Are neck problems related to this?

In the beginning of this journey, I thought I had cervical vertigo. When I asked Dr. Cherchi and Dr. Hain about that, they said the jury is still out on cervical vertigo and what is really is. I do have lots of neck/back issues and sometimes wonder if my migraines have any relationship to neck compression. I know chiros believe this to be the cause lots of times, but as someone who used to go to the chiropractor, I no longer allow neck adjustments. I am too freaked out at the possibility of greater problems being caused. I am curios is others have had suspicion that neck problems play a part in this.

Thanks -


I promise I won’t always write this much. I just feel like I’ve stumbled upon an Oasis of folks like me after walking around (actually floating around) for so long with no one to talk to about any of this.


that’s what we’re here for. I was a newbie just a year ago, lost and wandering not knowing which way was up, literally, having to educate myself.

yes, over the years, this has become like an encyclopedia of information.

I did this: up in the right hand corner of the screen is a search window. put in cervical vertigo. You’ll come up with a handful of hits. If you want to go to one of the posts you find, way to the right, at the bottom of the identifiers “jump to post”

try it again for cervicogenic vertigo and see what you come up with.

Hope that helps,



You brought up the head/neck/back issues.

I have scoliosis, and spent much of my life going to chiropractors. (I practically grew up with them. I come from a family who’s big into chiropractic, but since my “crash” I can no longer do it. I suddenly didn’t want anyone messing with my neck. I know what its like to be to be in a “total spin” for an extended period of time, and I won’t do ANYTHING to ever go back there. There was a point in the beginning of all of this, I would go in for an adjustment and the minute he laid the table down, the room would just start spinning and I would jump up, and he would look at me like I was from Mars. I stuck with it for a month or two, and he would adjust my back, but I wouldn’t (couldn’t) let him touch my head or neck. Eventually I just said “forget it”. He would always tell me how he could do wonders for Migraine Headaches - “Headaches” being the key word there. He just never seemed to get the “dizzy” part of it. Anyway, there wasn’t anything he ever saw on my x-rays (even with the scoliosis) that made him understand my dizziness.

Anyway, (sorry, I’m rambling) - I never really looked into the cervical vertigo thing. I’ve come acrossed it in my cyber-sleuthing many times, but always have felt pretty comfortable with my diagnosis of MAV (mostly because the symptoms just fit - migraines run in my family, my auras, etc.).

How does one know (or suspect) cervical compression? Is it visible by x-ray or MRI? I’m just curious. (Guess I ought to do my homework huh? I’m terrible that way. I have the hardest time reading anymore. I used to love to read, now its a real chore. I have a very hard time concentrating - it sucks.)

Anyway, in response to your reference of “neck problems” - just recently, I have noticed a pattern for me. After a major migraine episode for me (most recently, experiencing the aura and the whole 9 yards) I end up with a “huge sore knot” on my neck - stiff neck to where I can barely turn it. I’ve experienced this many, many times in my life, and have always thought “what, did I sleep wrong?” but I believe its migraine related.

Anyway, I don’t mean to babble, but your post caught my attention.


I have neck pain on the side of my head where I feel my dizziness and migraine headaches and it is my understanding from the literature I’ve read that migraine travels along the neck nerve pathways and up into your head. It is all connected to migraine. It is migraine causing the pain instead of the other way around. I just read this and it made sense. I have terrible neck pain, especially when I’m dizzy and feeling lousy.


Yes, I get terrible neck and shoulder pain and both my consultant and David Bucholz in ‘Heal your Headache’ say that it is caused by the migraine. I never got the pain before I was ill.


just an abstract .
you have to pay money for the rest.

Migraine is a common and debilitating disorder of episodic
Its phenotype includes attacks of severe headaches
that involve the trigeminal and upper cervical dermatomes,
sensory dysmodulation and, in one-fifth of patients, an aura
with neurologic symptoms Patients with primary headaches
often report pain that involves the front of the head in
the cutaneous distribution of the first (ophthalmic) division
of the trigeminal nerve.However, the pain in due course
frequently exceeds the trigeminal territory as pain from the
back of the head, innervated by the greater occipital nerve
(GON), also is described or represents the sole manifestation
of pain in patients with migraine
Furthermore, other clinical features such as hypersensitivity of the skin of
the face or scalp, neck muscle tenderness, and hyperalgesia
often are reported
Experimentally, it has been shown that spread and
referral can be induced by stimulation of structures in
the neck, which are innervated by the upper cervical roots.
Posterior fossa tumors, stimulation of infratentorial
dura mater, direct stimulation of cervical roots ,
vertebral artery dissection , and stimulation of subcutaneous
tissue innervated by the GON
may be perceived as frontal head pain. Similarly, direct stimulation
of the supratentorial dura mater leads to pain mostly
referred to the first (ophthalmic) division of the trigeminal
nerve ; however, it also may be referred to dermatomes
supplied by the upper cervical roots .

A mechanism that could explain these clinical and
experimental findings is the convergence of trigeminal and
cervical afferents on to neurons in the trigeminocervical
complex of the brain stem. Convergence along with sensitization
of central trigeminal neurons provides a physiologic
basis for the clinical phenomenon of spread and
referred pain by which pain originating from an affected
tissue is perceived as originating from a distant receptive
field . This review focuses primarily on central
mechanisms in the trigeminocervical complex and brain
stem in view of recent experimental findings that
could facilitate understanding of the clinical presentations.
Peripheral mechanisms in headache physiology are
beyond the scope of this review and are discussed

The Neural Substrate of Pain in Headache:
Anatomy and Convergence
Early neurosurgical studies in patients showed that stimulation
of trigeminally innervated intracranial structures,
such as the supratentorial dura mater and large cranial
vessels, evoked painful sensations regardless of the stimuli
applied and implied that the afferent input from dural
structures is the neural substrate of head pain [17,18].
Hence, afferent input, or at least perceived input, from
dural structures is likely to be the neural substrate of pain
in primary headache syndromes, such as migraine or
cluster headache.

The nociceptive input from the dura mater to the first
synapse in the brain stem is transmitted by small-diameter
A- and C-fiber afferents in the ophthalmic division of
the trigeminal nerve by the trigeminal ganglion to nociceptive
second-order neurons in the superficial and deep
layers of the medullary dorsal horn of the trigeminocervical
The trigeminocervicalcomplex extends from the trigeminal nucleus caudalis
to the segments of and monkey These dural-sensitive trigeminal neurons
Neurones in the trigeminocervical complex are the major
relay neurones for nociceptive afferent input from the
meninges and cervical structures; therefore, they are the neural substrates of head pain.
This review highlights the importance of two basic mechanisms in headache physiology:
convergence of nociceptive afferents and sensitization
of trigeminocervical neurones.
These physiologic findings have clinical correlates such as hypersensitivity and spread
and referral of pain frequently seen in patients with primary
headache, such as migraine. Special reference is made to
the influence of structures from the upper cervical spine
in generating and contributing to migraine headaches.
The pathophysiology and functional relevance of these
basic mechanisms to headaches is discussed in the
context of recent experimental findings with regard to pain processing.

by T. Bartsch, MD and Peter J. Goadsby, MD*

Hi Molly,
For me a stiff neck is always a guaranteed bad day or two for me. During the last two years (since my head problems started) I have noticed a pattern that my stiff neck is going to mess me up more than usual. When I start to experience the stiff neck I now know that within a day or two I better watch out, because usually I will experience a severe head dizzy episode. I have added “stiff neck” to my list of “triggers” as a warning sign to look out.

When my neck is stiff it feels like my brain is teetering on top of my sharp pointed spine. No physical pain in the head, just physical pain in my neck bones.

I’ve always been a firm believer in chiropractic care. It always worked for me in my twenties for lower and upper back pain. Dr. always did the neck adjustment on me (ahhhh!) and I loved it. I’m 34 now and last year I visited the chiropractor when my neck was so stiff and painful, I thought maybe I could prevent my head going really bad on me, if only I could get it “cracked, and popped”, and get that ahhhh relief. I did, but two days later at work I had a severe head episode, everything moving to the right, and I felt like I was going to pass out and die.

I never did return to the chiropractor, because I was afraid of inducing another bad head episode. Not blaming the chiropractor at all… maybe I should have followed up with more visits, I don’t know.


When I read these connections between neck and MAV, I just can’t help but wonder if there is a connection that just hasn’t been realized medically yet. All those nerves that feed our brain passing through our necks. But I’m with you Crystal, at the beginning of this I went back to my trusty chiro and got adjusted A LOT. Then I read more about the vertebral artery and decided that neck adjustments were just too risky for me. I go back and forth regarding this, again wondering if chiropractic could be the magical answer we’re all searching for. But there may just not be a cure that is that easy!



if you do an advanced search by author Heather you will come up with a lot of hits for neck pain. She was always complaining of pain originating in her neck, cervicogenic.

And she had incredible MAV symptoms


— Begin quote from “crystalT”

When my neck is stiff it feels like my brain is teetering on top of my sharp pointed spine.

— End quote

I feel like that every day now. :frowning: