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  • littleninja
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    Hello and thanks for the wonderful forum/site/youtube! everything is very informative, concise and easy to comprehend. MUCH APPRECIATED!

    Have a question regarding a recent onset of moderate to severe vertigo. Could foraminal narrowing from stenosis/spurs/bilateral uncovertebral hypertrophy be involved/causing vertigo?

    I am a 40yr old caucasian female – wt 130 ht 5’6. hypothyroid for 15 years, well managed with synthroid – no other conditions to report. I am active and exercise at least 5x a week – sometimes less in the winter with increased cervical symptoms and muscle spasms.

    I had discectomy and fusion of C5/6/7 in 2008 with cadaver bone graft and a plate/6 screws. No trauma to the area to report. I have experienced severe muscle spasms for approximately a year prior to surgery and continuing since. A feb 2012 MRI showed herniations in the discs above/below the fusion area, increased narrowing of spaces/canals, degenerative discs, significant spurring etc. Have gone through 2 bouts of physical therapy (both during winter time) 1st round cervical traction 3x a week for 6 weeks provided minimal relief but caused major headache and vertigo. BPPV treatment was administered with no relief. Vertigo subsided after end of traction tx. 2nd bout of therapy used ultrasound which provided great relief of spasms in upper traps/rhomboids. experienced mild vertigo with BPPV tx again failing to resolve.

    During 2nd round of PT (november 2011) I was prescribed 2mg tizanidine at bedtime. experienced significant relief of muscle spasm and continue on this dose at present. Feeling great to be relieved of severe spasms, I attempted to re-incorporate running/jogging into my weekly exercise routine. After 1 week including 4-5 runs of 3 miles or less, I experienced a vertigo bout lying in bed and turning my body to the left side. Significant nystagmus for 30 seconds to 1 minute occurred. I was able to repeat the scenario only when laying down and turning to the left. changing head position while turning did not matter, the turning of the body seemed to be the cause. After my 2nd week of running the vertigo increased in frequency and began occurring upon walking/standing and included bouts of blurred vision.

    Running has been discontinued for 4 days but the vertigo persists with increasing severity and an almost non-stop frequency. Nausea is now added to the mix. Experience nystagmus and significant vertigo with positional changes of the body moreso than postional changes of head/neck. Standing up, bending over, turning in bed (either direction), and even walking (feels like I’m walking on a trampoline constantly) bring on symptoms of dizziness, false movement and nystagmus.

    Attempted self BPPV tx to no avail. From research I am wondering if a spur/narrowing might be affecting nerves related to vision/balance? I’ve incorporated NSAIDS with the hope that perhaps my running precipitated a pinched/impinged nerve and that reduction in inflammation may relieve pressure thereby reducing and/or eliminating the vertigo symptoms.

    Thoughts? On the right track? other things I should consider?

    Thanks again for your wonderful website!

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8459

    Vertigo is rarely caused by the cervical spine and when it is, the vertigo is caused by a problem with blood supply from the vertebral artery. This condition (called Wallenberg’s syndrome) is so rare that after looking for it for 30 years, I have never seen a case of it (except with injury to the vertebral artery).

    Vertigo is typically caused by the vestibular mechanism. Some cases are caused by a “stone” in these canals. The vestibular mechanism is a group of three interconnecting rings of fluid lined by hair cells that deflect with motion of the fluid. A small stone in these channels will cause defection with certain head positions and can cause vertigo. There are some exercises that can “trap” the stone in a nonfunctional area.

    Of course, there are other causes but I am not a specialist in this field. An experienced ear/nose/throat doctor (ENT) should be able to help you.

    Dr. Corenman

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