How to diagnose cervicogenic dizziness.


Cervicogenic dizziness (CGD) is a clinical syndrome characterized by the presence of dizziness and associated neck pain. There are no definitive clinical or laboratory tests for CGD and therefore CGD is a diagnosis of exclusion. It can be difficult for healthcare professionals to differentiate CGD from other vestibular, medical and vascular disorders that cause dizziness, requiring a high level of skill and a thorough understanding of the proper tests and measures to accurately rule in or rule out competing diagnoses. Consequently, the purpose of this paper is to provide a systematic diagnostic approach to enable healthcare providers to accurately diagnose CGD. This narrative will outline a stepwise process for evaluating patients who may have CGD and provide steps to exclude diagnoses that can present with symptoms similar to those seen in CGD, including central and peripheral vestibular disorders, vestibular migraine, labyrinthine concussion, cervical arterial dysfunction, and whiplash associated disorder.





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Publication Info

Reiley, Alexander S, Frank M Vickory, Sarah E Funderburg, Rachel A Cesario and Richard A Clendaniel (2017). How to diagnose cervicogenic dizziness. Archives of physiotherapy, 7(1). 10.1186/s40945-017-0040-x Retrieved from

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Richard Alan Clendaniel

Assistant Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery

Current research is focused on the organization and adaptation of the vestibular system as a model of motor learning as well as for patient care. Specific projects include: 1) identification of the changes responsible for improved function with recovery from unilateral vestibular loss, 2) understanding the role of vestibular adaptation / compensation in the recovery from vestibular deficits, 3) context specific adaptation, and 4) the efficacy of different vestibular rehabilitation programs in the reduction of symptoms and functional limitations.

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