ChiroACCESS Clinical Review

Dizziness of Cervical Origin: Prevention

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Lead Author(s): 

Dwain M. Daniel, D.C.


How this evidence was rated:

Strength of Recommendation Taxonomy (SORT)

Published on

August 2, 2007

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The diagnosis of cervicogenic vertigo has not been accepted universally within the healthcare community (1) and others feel vertigo itself has been poorly defined in the literature (2). Rather than argue semantics, for the purpose of this paper, the term dizziness of cervical origin (DCO) and cervicogenic vertigo will be considered interchangeable and a valid clinical diagnosis. It has been clearly established in the scientific literature that there is significant afferent input from the mechanoreceptors in the cervical spine and surrounding soft tissue and these afferent impulses play an important role in proprioception (3-6). It has been postulated that disturbed afferent input due to injury reduces joint position sense, an essential component of proprioception (7-9). Clinically, dizziness and light-headedness are often seen in the physician’s office as a result of whiplash injury. Additionally these symptoms are a relatively common presenting complaint in the chiropractor’s office (10), regardless of etiology and, based on clinical evidence, respond well to spinal manipulation.

As would be expected due to its inherent controversy, little research has taken place relating to prevention and risk factors.

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