Vertigo is not a specific disease, but a clinical symptom with many different etiologies. Cervical (cervicogenic) vertigo is one of the reasons of dizziness. It can be defined as a balance problem that arises specifically with head and neck movements, accompanied by neck problems. The duration of the symptoms may be short-term (acute) like a positional vertigo, or may be long-term.
Cervical vertigo may occur because of two different reasons. First reason is a problem with sensory (proprioceptive) stimuli in the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the neck. The faulty perception of the place and status of the neck structures by the vestibular system, meaning that these data are not in concordance with the data obtained from the eyes and the inner ear, may lead to clinical situations defined as vertigo, imbalance and dizziness. The second reason is short or long-term ischemia because of vascular dysfunction.
Moving the head backward, reaching up to a place or inclining and reaching to a place can adversely affect blood flow to the vertebrobasilar vascular system and cause cervical vertigo. Blood pressure in this system may decrease in elderly people when standing up from a lying position.
Patients who have cervical vertigo, may have additional feelings of imbalance, headache, unconsciousness, nausea, vomiting, tinnitus, hearing loss and rarely feeling of light flashing in the eyes.