Vertigo Symptoms: The Many Symptoms Related to this Common Problem



Vertigo itself is merely a symptom of many different conditions of both the ear and the central nervous system. Therefore, any vertigo symptoms list is going to describe what vertigo feels like and then list its associated symptoms.

That is what we are going to do today. We are going to provide a symptoms list that will help you understand what vertigo is. In addition, it can help you identify what is at the source of your problem. Then we will present a natural therapy that addresses the underlying cause of vertigo for many patients, thereby providing some much-needed relief.

Vertigo Symptoms and Underlying Conditions

We are going to start with a description of what vertigo is and then outline some accompanying symptoms of the conditions that may be at the root of vertigo.

An illusion of movement

Vertigo is a false sensation of motion. Either you feel like you are moving when you are not, or the world around you seems to move. It is often a spinning sensation, but it can also be a tilting or swaying sensation. Unfortunately, this illusion of movement can throw off a person’s balance enough to result and fall and even a serious or fatal injury.


When a bout of vertigo is bad enough to cause a fall, it is referred to as a drop attack. For the elderly, falls related to it can be deadly. However, anyone can be seriously injured if vertigo occurs at an inopportune time, such as while on a ladder or while driving a car.


This vertigo symptom is directly related to having a severe episode. When vertigo is mild, you may be able to close your eyes and sit or lay down for a few minutes until it passes. Severe vertigo can cause a person to feel sick, even when laying down. In fact, if vertigo is severe enough or lasts long enough, it could result in vomiting.


This is a good indicator that your vertigo is actually related to migraines. Other symptoms could include sensory sensitivity, nausea, and aura preceding the headache. About 40% of migraines present with vestibular symptoms like vertigo, which makes migraines an underlying factor for millions of vertigo sufferers.  

Hearing loss

When hearing loss accompanies vertigo, a possible cause is Meniere’s disease. Other symptoms to look out for include tinnitus (ringing in the ear) and a feeling of fullness in the affected ear (Meniere’s often only affects one ear, at least until it reaches the later stages). While this condition is rather rare – affecting only about 0.2% of the population – it may be something to consider if vertigo is severe and lasts longer than 20 minutes at a time. Episodes of positional vertigo usually only last a few minutes or even less than a minute.


This symptom may occur during a bout of vertigo and can be observed by a doctor. Since the eyes are seeing something different from what is being reported to the brain from the ears and other balance sensors, eye movements may become erratic while the eyes are searching for the cause of the sensation of motion.

These are just some symptoms that you may be experiencing if you deal with occasional or recurring bouts of vertigo. While this list is not intended to help you make a diagnosis of an underlying condition, you can see that there are many factors in play when it comes to vertigo. We now would like to address one commonly overlooked factor – an upper cervical misalignment.

Vertigo and the Upper Cervical Spine

When the top two bones in the neck – the C1 (atlas) and the C2 (axis) – become misaligned, it can result in many of the underlying causes of vertigo. Here are a few of the effects that a subluxation in the upper neck can have on the body:

  • Decreased brainstem function – Many neurological conditions, even common ones like migraines, are attributed to issues with brainstem function. Since the atlas surrounds the brainstem, even a slight subluxation can put pressure on this key component of the central nervous system (CNS). Therefore, this can be an underlying factor in many of the CNS conditions that cause vertigo.
  • Reduced blood flow to the head – This can affect both the ears and the brain. The head needs a free flow of blood and oxygen. The neck provides this free flow of blood by means of loops in the neck bones that provide a passageway for the arteries. Misalignment can affect this passageway and restrict the free flow of blood.
  • Inhibited ear function – When the atlas is out of position, the surrounding soft tissue shifts to compensate. This, in turn, may affect the function of the nearby eustachian tubes. These are tiny tubes that drain excess fluid away from the ears. If these tubes are not working properly, the ears may sometimes fill with fluid resulting in vertigo, hearing problems, a greater potential for infections, and other issues.

If you are suffering from chronic bouts of vertigo, especially if you have a history of head or neck trauma that could have caused a misalignment in this sensitive area, then we encourage you to seek out an upper cervical chiropractor. This specific form of chiropractic may be just what you need to take care of the underlying cause of your vertigo.

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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.