This week from Dr. Cerami and Utah Sports and Wellness


From: Pain Medicine, January 2015


Quick Summary:

This study takes a look the case of a 54 year old female who had suffered from chronic neck pain with episodic vertigo and tinnitus for 24 years. She had loss of cervical lordosis and a small protruded disc at C5-C6; Disc surgery resolved all of her symptoms.  “Patients with cervical spondylosis complaining of vertigo have significant lower blood flow parameters than non-vertigo patients with cervical spondylosis.” There exists a potential association between cervical spondylosis and vertebral artery occlusion resulting in vertigo due to vertebrobasilar insufficiency. These authors “think that there is a direct link between cervical disc pathology and vertebrobasilar insufficiency as mediated by sympathetic nerves.”

These authors also note:

  • The term “cervical vertigo” was coined in 1955, which involves vertigo, tinnitus, hearing loss, and neck pain.
  • “Insufficient blood supply to posterior circulation is called vertebrobasilar insufficiency.”
  • “The most common complaint in patients with vertebrobasilar insufficiency is vertigo.”
  • “A degenerative painful disc may have a significant increase in inflammatory cytokines that could theoretically irritate the sympathetic nerves that innervate cervical discs and cause vertebral artery insufficiency which subsequently induces ischemia of the vestibular-cochlear organ.”