Increase of heaviness in the head

Hi Everyone,

Just a couple of days ago i began to notice a heavyness in the head and getting in and out of bed started to feel a little dizzy and adventually ended up with a couple of mild spins. I don’t know why out of the blue this vertigo came on…maybe a little more stressful at work or something i may have eaten…who knows. When i have this vertigo i generally resort back to the vestibular exercises (Brandt-Dorff exercises) and they give me some relief.

I was wondering if anyone on this forum…prior to a vertigo, episode… sometimes it starts out with a heavyness in the head and Motion increases + equilbrium is off.



ps. when we get this heavyness in the head…does anyone know what this is exactly?

Joe- I get the heavy-head too with the “sinus popping/crackling” as a bonus. My doc thinks it’s all because of the messed up fluid pressure in ears (which are related to sinuses.) Mine is only when I’m laying down…when I get up, I know it’s going to be a tough day if I have woken up with those symptoms. I’m also the lucky one on this board who hears my eyeballs move in my left ear 24/7. I’ve noticed some overall improvement now that I’m FINALLY up to 150mg Verapamil. My goal is 180mg by the end of Feb. It’s taken me 4 months just to titrate to 150mg because I’m such a med-whimp! Joe, I don’t know what you are currently on, but maybe you need to increase dose?? (FYI to anyone out there who has had trouble with, uh, the bathroom, while on Verapamil: My remedy is 400mg of Magnesium Citrate AND at least 10 Prunes a day…solves the problem!) :smiley:

i am very familiar with this feeling. i had it almost everyday for the last several months during my “burnout” phase of meniere’s phase prior to getting the gent injections. during that time, my equilibrium was seriously compromised on almost a daily basis. my neurotologist never gave me an explanation for the heavy head feeling but i have my own theory. i think for meniere’s or mav, the inner ear signals/brain gets so stressed and confused that it literally is struggling to tell which way is up. there’s a constant battle going on of signals saying, “hey, we should be going this way,” and “no, that way,” and the brain feels like we should just be going down either to settle it all as a safety measure or because that’s the natural direction things go. meanwhile the muscles in our body and our eyes are okay with everything and fine to remain upright.

i realize that is a very elementary, simplistic way to put that and probably incorrect. but it’s a theory. i’m way too tired today to dig any deeper and come up with anything much more scientific than that. :slight_smile:

i can add to this that so far since having 3 gent injections (the gentamicin injections are designed to destroy the hairs in the inner ear that are sending the bad signals in the meniere’s patient) that i have not had the heavy head sensation since. i am also on 2 mav meds as well-amitriptyline and topamax.

hope you feel better soon.


Hi Joe,

I know the feeling you mean, but I am not sure if it’s BPPV or MAV or both? I know you have suffered with both of these too. When my head feels heavy like this, I like to sit with my head resting back against something, as I feel like my head needs support! The last time I was like this was November and I was getting spinning on lying down and sitting up too. I had an Epley manoeuvre done and it helped enormously.
Hope you are feeling much better soon. Take care.

Thanks Everyone for your share.

I just don’t know what to make of this heaveyness in the head plus the motion in my head increases too. It’s like my brain is floating around. It can take up to a week sometimes before it finally resides. I end up having to take a little extra benzo when this symptom rev’s up. The poor brain is probably very tired of compensating.


Joe, I lived for about 10 years with that. Only now that you mention it I realize I dont get it anymore. I used to go round to see people and always end up with my hands clasped behind my head trying to support it. I used to say it felt like a canonball. Other terms I used were my neck felt stiff like a polker shoved up into my head and the migraines at the back of the head felt like someone had hit me over the neck with an iron bar.

I cant say that the heavy head was always a prelude to a bad vertigo attack, but my severe vertigo attacks have generally come the day before or the day after a bad migraine (the back of the head type).



After having this condition for so many years i don’t get the severe vertigo anymore. The vertigo that i receive now is very light.



After having this condition for so many years i don’t get the severe vertigo anymore. The vertigo that i receive now is very light.


I think this condition can weaken the muscles to the neck in some people, I have pain in the neck muscles then a loss of control , rendering them unable to hold my head up at times. :shock:
hence the head bobbing crapolla! I get sometimes.


Eurrgh, I hate heavy head - it’s a real pain in the neck (pardon the pun).

It’s always my warning sign that I need to get home if poss so I can rest my three ton head on the sofa. I start getting a creeping neck/shoulder pain, my head grows heavier by the minute and I end up holding my neck really stiffly, keeping my head in line with my shoulders.

I actually bought myself a soft neck collar - the kind of thing you’d use for whiplash or something, and wear it on occasion when this is really bad. It kind of takes the pressure off your neck as it supports your bowling ball of a head. No points for style mind you :slight_smile:


Add a dashing kerchief?

This heaveyness in the head really mimics BPPV. But it’s most likely migraine related. I had the epley maneurer done years ago and other procedures to no avail. I got up from bed this morning…started walking and had some mild spinning and rain into the bedroom door. No fun…


Oh but of course David :o


You’ve got the helmet and goggles already - add the dashing kerchief and you’ll be the Red Baron! :smiley:

Forgot to mention that along with the heaviness in the head, I also feel like my brain and insides of my head are STRAINED. Does that make any sense?


I get the bowling ball head feeling too. The back of my neck feels like its strained from holding up my head. I always thought I had bad posture but thinking back to how excruciating the pain in my neck can be at times, bad posture doesn’t cut it. My vertigo is constant. Laying down is the only thing that helps.

I’ve often considered getting one of those neck braces LOL. At least it would help take the pain off my head and neck

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Hey Sixdeep,

I never used the expression “bowling ball head feeling” but that does make sense. Feels as though a bowling ball is moving around inside my head…almost like a ping pong ball. The strained-tension like feeling is also prevalent. My neck is always a little sore too. Once in awhile i get a professional massage and that gives me some relief.


I think that’s how i would describe mine too - not lightheaded except sometimes - heavyheaded - tons of pressure like the head weighs 50 lbs or something. i’m going through that this week now that allergies have started - feeling like crap


Mostly mine was the canonball, but sometimes the pressure was like (the description I used to use) an elephant sitting on top of my head. It was just like something was pressing down on top of my head.


It is hard to rule out stress. I often wonder if I flex my neck when I’m sleeping, or doing simple tasks like typing on a computer.

I do lean forward though - slight forward head posture. Perhaps that could trigger migraine?

Scroll down just a bit and look at the graph. A slight bend in the neck makes a 12 lbs head 32 lbs. I don’t have the math, but you would add thousands of pounds of strain on your neck throughout the day with a slight bend than you would if you stood normal. Add that up over weeks and months, and it’s going to lead to muscle exhaustion. Forward head posture causes all kinds of problems…

According to the Mayo Clinic Health Letter Vol. 18, #3, March 2000, the effects of long term forward neck posture leads to “long term muscle strain, disc herniations and pinched nerves.”