This is not a “migraine” site, per se, although we deal with them as part of the symptom constellation members suffer from (and arguably one of the worst, most disruptive symptoms).
There is definitely an association . But careful here: bear in mind that migraine as an explanation of vertigo is a hypothesis, and it hasn’t helped that a popular diagnosis is now called “Vestibular Migraine”.
Most people with these symptoms used to be given a diagnosis “Migraine Associated Vertigo” (MAV), but that diagnosis appears to have become less “popular”, despite being imho a safer statement as you can definitely very safely associate migraines with vertigo in a constellation of symptoms. Saying one causes the other is still a scientific stretch. There is no obvious reason for me why use of MAV has fallen out of favour compared to use of the term VM, except that there seems to been some level of cultural contagion of the belief and this seems to have become dogma.
Personally I “believe” the migraines in the case of MAV/VM are caused by issues with the sensory apparatus (for whatever reason), ie most likely the inner ear or something influencing the inner ear. I’ve laid out my reasons for this belief elsewhere and won’t go further into my personal opinion here. I certainly do not have any definitive proof though, I fully admit.
Others have theories about “central sensitisation”, but I don’t see any hard science to distinguish the two.
Here we tolerate different beliefs of what these things are, but to say definitively that migraines cause the condition known as Vestibular Migraine or Migraine Associated Vertigo I think is as yet unproven, so has to remain as a belief (as well as a hypothesis).
We definitely do not want to focus only on migraine here as I believe strongly we should keep an open mind as to what might be the underlying root cause of these conditions, which may be to do with a pathogen, something psychological (like stress, which might cause biochemical fallout), or chemical (like poisoning or hormonal) or down to some biological issue of some kind.
Equally important are the concepts of Endolymphatic Hydrops and middle ear dysfunction, both of which are also known to cause vertigo, dizziness and apparently are associated with … migraines (a simple example is someone with confirmed Menieres disease suffering an unusual number of migraines).
There is also usually a whole slew of ear symptoms that can come with VM or MAV that include tinnitus, mild hearing loss, feeling of fullness, crackling in the ear. I think it’s unreasonable to ignore the obvious here that there is involvement of the ear’s anatomy in the condition. When considering the fact that people have vestibular and aural symptoms and then explaining it all away solely due to issues with another part of the anatomy completely seems a stretch to me!
Finally I would definitely draw attention to the distinction between “diagnosis” and “aetiology”. Those are two very different concepts. The first is applying a label to classify a condition, the latter is explaining the exact mechanism by which a malady occurs: we don’t have a definitive aetiology for Vestibular Migraine, Migraine Associated Vertigo, nor in fact Meniere’s disease! There is also no explanation as to why the symptoms of those conditions are in significant part very similar whilst there being obvious differences too.
Along with everyone else I look forward to more research …
PS there are loads of debates on this in Research, Theories & Controversies👨🎓 (access to this Category is reserved for Trust Level 2 - those who’ve made significant contribution to the site) and it’s clear some people have strong opinions on this topic and we tend to put those debates there.