Can You Get Vertigo On A Cruise?

May 23, 2021

vertigo, can tight neck muscles cause dizziness

Recently, the CDC released new guidelines for cruise ships for this pandemic. Many people in the US expect to see cruise liners welcoming tourists on board sooner than later. It’s quite an exciting news for wanderlust travelers, even those who suffer from seasickness. With that in mind, we thought of tackling two common questions of some patients, “can you get vertigo while on a cruise?” and “can tight neck muscles cause dizziness?”

Let’s investigate the two topics and your possible options for relief so you can still enjoy a pleasant cruise trip. 


Vertigo During a Cruise Trip – Is it Possible?

It’s no secret that vertigo can arise from all sorts of health problems. However, not a lot of people know that it can stem from boat travel too. Doctors refer to this condition as Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS). It’s a prevalent problem that affects healthy individuals who recently boarded a boat, ship, or yacht. Essentially, this condition causes you to feel lingering rocking motions even when you’re back on land. 

Unlike in other types of vertigo-causing health conditions, MdDS doesn’t require head movements to get triggered. Most patients with MdDS often experience periodic vertigo and dizziness. The symptoms can last for days and disappear completely after your body recovers. However, it’s also likely for the symptoms to stop, then recur after several weeks, depending on other factors.  

To understand why MdDs symptoms can potentially keep on coming back, let’s talk about the question, “can tight neck muscles cause dizziness?”.


Vertigo Attacks Due to A Vestibular Problem 

Have you ever wondered how your body picks up changes in motion or balance? Why do people who have vertigo attacks sense false movements? The explanation lies in the group of tiny organs tucked inside the inner ears we refer to as the vestibular system. 

Usually, the body perceives balance and motion with the help of the vestibular system and the brain. As your head tilts, the vestibular system plus your eyes and muscle receptors produce signals sent to the brain. This means, when something goes wrong with your vestibular system or the rest of the organs involved in detecting balance or motion, your brain receives inaccurate information. As a result, you experience movement, even when you’re standing or sitting still.

Such system malfunctions occur when you have any of the following vestibular disorders:

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
  • Labyrinthitis (irritation inside the inner ear)
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Vestibular neuritis (inflammation or irritation of the vestibulocochlear nerve)

If you get diagnosed with any vestibular condition and plan to go on a cruise trip, we strongly recommend making enough preparations for possible vertigo episodes. You can head to your doctor to get a prescription for the dizzying or spinning sensations. Alternatively, you can minimize exposure to common vertigo or dizziness triggers.  

What Can Trigger Vertigo Episodes?

Avoiding vertigo triggers may come in handy when you’re on a cruise trip. Some examples of these triggers include:

1. Stress and anxiety

Stress and anxiety can affect both your mental and physical well-being. That’s why when you’re stressed out or anxious, you experience physical symptoms like sweating profusely or experiencing a vertigo episode. Both mental health problems can also cause the cervical muscles to tighten. 

When the neck muscles tighten, they can affect nearby tissues such as nerve roots and your brainstem. Consequently, this can lead to bouts of spinning sensations. This means that the answer to the question “can tight neck muscles cause dizziness?” is yes.

2. Failing to drink enough water 

Dehydration can impact your blood pressure levels. If you don’t get enough water into your system, your blood pressure plummets, affecting the flow of nutrients into essential parts of the body such as the brain. This, in effect, can cause vertigo or dizziness. 

3. Having a Vitamin B12 Deficiency 

Vitamin B12 keeps the blood cells in good shape. As a result, when you have a B12 deficiency, you can suffer from poor blood circulation. This problem often escalates and affects various systems such as your central nervous system. If you have a B12 deficiency, we recommend addressing it right away with food supplements or eating food rich in vitamin B12.

4. Experiencing frequent migraine attacks 

Some patients who frequently struggle with migraine episodes also experience spinning or dizzying sensations. Doctors refer to this specific type of migraine as vestibular migraines. If you observe both symptoms during an attack, it means you’re among the 1 percent of the population who has vestibular migraines.

5. Having MdDs or Mal de Debarquement Syndrome  

Although anyone can experience MdDS symptoms, it’s more prevalent in individuals who frequently travel by sea. Some professionals at risk of developing MdDS include people who go on several cruise trips, cruise staff, and ship crew. 

6. Having an upper cervical misalignment

The cervical bones or neck bones can sometimes shift from their neutral and original position. When this happens, they can apply pressure on surrounding tissues like the brainstem or nerve bundles. Essentially, the brainstem is a central nervous system component that bridges the gap between the brain and the rest of your body parts. It constantly transmits information back and forth so you can accurately perceive changes in balance and motion. If something goes wrong, you end up experiencing vertigo episodes. 


Upper Cervical Chiropractic – A Hope for People with MdDS 

Whether your dizzying spells or vertigo episodes stem from MdDs, vestibular disorders, or other underlying health concerns, upper cervical care can help you experience relief. It’s a natural way to resolving debilitating symptoms like vertigo attacks. The approach mainly corrects the cervical bone alignment to ease pressure on the brainstem or other affected nervous system components. 

It also helps restore balance in your brainstem and prevent additional problems that may contribute to a vertigo episode, such as abnormal fluid buildup in the inner ear. 

If you’re planning on joining a cruise trip but worry that it might get affected by series of vertigo attacks, you can consult with an upper cervical chiropractor professional. Find a nearby upper cervical care practice today.

Find An Upper Cervical Doctor in Your Areato schedule a consultation today.


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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.