Cervical vertigo vs. MAV- I'm so sick of this nonsense

Hi everyone!

Well the pressure is mounting and I am slowly but surely sinking, I’m now on 225 mg of effexor which is the maximum dose. My parents are freaking out because I’m 18, and antidepressants are known to make teenagers suicidal, especially if they have no pre-exsisting chemical imbalance. Anyway, I paid my down payment for college, not knowing if I’m going to be able to enroll in the fall because of my condition. Everyone I know is freaking out “Whats going on?” “Whats your next move?” ha ok, like I know.

Anyway I have lingering doubts in my mind and I was hoping you all could help me- I know this sounds a bit ridiculous but I’m completely sick of doctors and I’m pretty sure the participants in this forum know more about balance disorders then the actual doctors.

My dysequilibrium began in febuary 2006- I had a two week bout which miraculously cleared up about a very heavy night of drinking. The reason I mention the alcohol is because alcohol is a muscle relaxant and I know muscles around the spine can effect it’s sensory perception in different ways. Let it be known that although I have suffered from minor BPPV and migraines most of my life I have NO vestibular abnormalities. In May 2006, my stupid ex boyfriend tried to pick me up- yes pick me up, and my head snapped back. It wasn’t a monumental force, but just the same, as my head was back, the world began to spin as it does when traditional vertigo sets in. I yelled at him to put me down, but it was too late. As I began to walk away I noticed the crushing dysequilibrium return. I HAVE BEEN THAT WAY EVER SINCE. Some of the doctors I talk to have never heard of cervical vertigo, others refute its exsistance. The only people who will actually consider it are physical therapists who ofcourse, really do not have that much active authority in the medical field.

Has anyone had a similar experience or any real understanding of cervical vertigo?

I hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend! any responses would be much appreciated.

My ENT had me see a chiropractor, as we get vestibular input from our neck area. It didn’t help too much, but it did help some. I also had a moment when everything changed: in a yoga class, spinning my head.
I get neck massages every two weeks from a great woman who does a lot of trigger point work. I think they help.
I think it’s multifactoral, and I take meds too.
By the way, the chiropractor was very professional, the first person to give me a disability scale and follow it, and to test my cervical proprioception. He didn’t cure me, but he likely helped me.
Have a good weekend.


We all find that there are so many different opinions out there about what causes our dizziness, ranging from MAV, to Menieres, to other inner ear problems, to anxiety, to childhood trauma, and on and on and on. I have been told that mine is neck-related by osteopaths. Dr Halmagyi, the dizziness expert here in Sydney, told me that he believes neck problems don’t cause dizziness. He thinks dizzy people try to keep their heads as still as possible to minimise the dizziness, and its that which causes the muscle stiffness.

I think the most important thing is to follow your own leads because you know your own symptoms best. If you have a hunch it might be your neck, have some chiro and see what happens.

Hi there

I went for three courses of osteopathic treatment in my early 20’s more for back ache than the migraine/vertigo but they always adjusted my neck. It never made me dizzy having that done, and I used to get a lot less vertigo then than I do now (that could have been as a direct result). I think massage and Osteo/chiropractic treatments might make you feel more comfortable and relaxed (and that is not a bad thing at all) if nothing else, as having this vertigo makes you very tense. Being able to relax may in itself help the condition, and the neck does get really stiff.

I agree with robsydney and Kira - it is a case of trying something that you feel will help you, and as you have pinpointed that you suspect it could be your neck then that seems like a good place to start. Sometimes we know our own bodies better than medics - but that doesn’t mean we don’t need them either. I don’t think there are really clear diagnoses about the vertigo and how it is connected to other conditions from my experience (by that I mean there are symptoms, but it doesn’t appear they have hard evidence apart from the association and frequency - others might correct me on that though) - its best to just go with your instinct if you are looking for ways to manage/dispel the vertigo in addition to the medical help.

I hope you try it out and get some benefit from it, by the way I think it is great you put your downpayment on college, you sound like you are not allowing the vertigo to take your choices away - that you will make the decision, not let the vertigo take you over. I hope you find something that gives you some respite soon.

It’s been a while since I read about cervical vertigo, so I can’t give you much response to that.

I can tell you that BPPV type symptoms are part of MAV according to the nuerologist that diagnosed me. The ENT that sent me to the nuerologist (Ihave seen more than one ENT) told me that I do not have any form of vestibular dysfunction and could not explain any of my symptoms.

If it helps you at all, I cannot look up for any length of time or lay on a hard surface on my back. For me, the world doesn’t spin when I put myself in these positions, I just feel like I am falling backwards, and backwards and backwards. After just a few moments, my lunch starts to make it’s presence known and I have to get myself into a normal position immediately before I lose it.

By the way, don’t give up on school. I’m currently taking night classes and working full time. It can be done. Best wishes on the college



When i was diagnosed with Migraine Eqivalent by Dr. Robert Baloh at UCLA i asked him if my problem could have started out as BPPV and evolved into MAV…and he said yes. All i know is that the way this condition started out many years ago was near exact like BPPV. So like you said…MAV or Migraine Equivalent…they both have similar symptoms as BPPV.


I have both as well, and can’t lay flat. When I start to get some more pronounced BPPV syptoms–on advice of my ENT–I do GENTLE Brandt-Daroff exercises: tuck in your head, with your chin pointed at the opposite shoulder, and GENTLY fall to the one side, and then the other. They are described on Dr. Hain’s site–my ENT felt that they will gently disperse the crystals that are starting to clump. After my experience of slamming my head into permanent dizziness, I’m very careful with these.
Here’s the URL that describes them–about half way down the page:
tchain.com/otoneurology/diso … /bppv.html

I completely agree about the comments about going back to school: I guess a famous therapist (Milton Erkickson) was dying of ALS, and he said that his work was the best therapy for him. It’s not easy, but continuing to work or go to school keeps you involved, gives you structure, and makes you realize what you can accomplish, despite vertigo. I know we have to be realistic about what we can do, but I find that when I limit myself due to vertigo, my world shrinks. Some limits are reasonable, and some are just based on fear. It’s figuring out which is which, that is tough.

I was just reading through the posts about the association between BPPV & MAV. It’s interesting for me because that’s how my symptoms started. I just turned over in bed one night & the room started to spin. I still get episodes of BPPV now - usually on a roughly 6 monthly basis. The rest of the time I’m plagued by headaches, dizziness, constant imbalance etc etc. The last time I had a phase of BPPV was the day after I had a tooth extraction. I am convinced the two are related - I think the horizontal position of the dental chair plus the force used to take out the tooth probably dislodged some particles.

Does anyone know why there’s an association between MAV & BPPV - I’d be interested to know.


It seems like so many of us have had BPPV and subsequent MAV/prolonged symptoms. The only thing I’ve ever read is that ears that have been damaged by viral infections are prone to BPPV–that doesn’t explain why the MAV connection. I did read an article about patients who didn’t respond to Epley’s, and that still doesn’t explain it. I don’t think the mechanism of MAV is completely understood, but it’s very interesting that so many of us have had and continue to have bouts of BPPV along with our MAV. I’m certain there’s a connection–I just can’t explain it. Maybe someone else can. The only thing I am heartened about is the increasing recognition of MAV. The American Headache Society conference is this week, and there’s a session on it. Also, a local vertigo expert who never used to diagnosis it before, now diagnoses it. So, I think it’s beginning to become recognized, just in the last few years.

I have been tested for BPPV three times and came up negative each time. That being said, “my theory” for the BPPV type symptoms is that certain neck positions that stress the neck muscles in such a way that they can trigger migraines.

My theory comes from simple ergonomics. I have gone through some training on it because of some neck and shoulder problems that I was having. The lady showing me how I should position myself and my desk told me that long term bad positioning of the neck can cause muscle strain and headaches. I have repositioned everything at my desk and found that most of my neck and shoulder problems went away.

My point is that now when I sit at someone else’s desk, I find myself quickly getting a tight neck to be shortly followed by a headache. If my balance and vertigo symptoms are created by headaches, then it is only a short step to say that if bad positioning/ergonomics can cause headaches, then they could probably cause problems with people with MAV.

I am not a doctor, this is only my attempt at explaining to myself why I have BPPV symptoms without testing positve for these symptoms. I may not be right, but I have never had a doctor try to explain it to me. If any body else has their own theories, I would like to hear them, maybe they might make more sense than mine.


I would be interested to know what you’ve done to reposition your desk etc. I’m certain my bad posture whilst sitting at my computer contributes to my problems with neck stiffness etc.



The positioning of my desk is fairly simple. I have raised my monitor so that the top of it is even with my eyes when sitting straight up. (I like using in/out baskets flipped upside down to also allow for storage commonly used items.) Adjusted the keyboard and mouse so that my arms remain parrallel with my legs, again when sitting straight (This may require installation of a keyboard tray depending on your desk.). Lastly, I adjusted my chair height to accomodate those two functions as well as raising the back up and bringing it forward to provide proper lumber support and encourage sitting straight.

If the company you work for is big enough, there may be a person employed who specializes in ergonomics who may be able to help you further.

Hope this helps.

Hi Brian

Thanks for the info. I work from home so it’s mostly for my computer desk that I was interested.


Hi, I asked a nuero the same thing and she said no, the nerves in the spine and neck are very protected and wouldnt cause this. every doc i asked said the same thing.
I’m not sure but i think this is something chiropractors made up to drum up bisness.
i’m not fond of chiropractors as a friend had a strok during a neck cracking. and then i fond out this was a commen occurance.

have you had the doctor do the eply manuvouer on you?
it sound plausable that you have bpv to me, and it can be fixed with eply or brandough manuver.
also go to dr hain web page.
he explains all of this suff.

sorry here is his link, i forgot it