Cervicogenic dizziness – musculoskeletal findings before and after treatment and long-term outcome

Eva-Maj Malmström; Mikael Karlberg; Agneta Melander; Måns Magnusson; Ulrich Moritz

The purpose of this study was to explore musculoskeletal findings in patients with cervicogenic dizziness and how these findings relate to pain and dizziness, and to study treatment effects and long-term symptom progress. Twenty-two patients with suspected cervicogenic dizziness underwent a structured physical examination before and after physiotherapy guided by the musculoskeletal findings. Questionnaires were sent to the patients six months and two years after treatment. Clinical presentations of patients were similar with dorsal neck muscle tenderness, zygapophyseal joint tenderness, large cervical range of motion, cervico-thoracic hypomobilty and muscle imbalances. The treatment resulted in reduced joint and muscle tenderness, increased cervico-thoracic mobility, improved muscle balance and reduced pain. After 6 months, 13 of the 17 patients had still no or less neck pain and 14 had no or less dizziness. After 2 years, 7 patients had no or less neck pain and 11 no or less dizziness. The authors conclude that patients with suspected cervicogenic dizziness have some musculoskeletal findings in common. Treatment based on these findings reduces neck pain as well as dizziness long-term but some patients might need a maintenance strategy.

Disability & Rehabilitation, 2007, 29(15), 1193 – 1205

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