Vertigo and dizziness

Do you have these symptoms?
  • Loss of balance?
  • Nausea?
  • Feeling of whirling or spinning when stationary?
  • Light-headedness?
How do the two conditions differ?

Vertigo is different from dizziness in that it includes the illusion of movement, such as the room spinning round.


What causes dizziness or vertigo?
• Tightness in the muscles around the neck containing position sensors that help 'tell' the body about its position & movement.
• An inner ear infection, which may last weeks, producing nausea & sometimes vomiting with head movements.
• Problems with the balance sensors in the inner ear.  This part of the ear is important because it contains the tiny hairs which help the body sense your body’s position, orientation & balance.
• Anxiety & hyperventilation.
• Medication such as anti depressants or anti hypertensive drugs.
• A problem with the blood supply to the brain.
• Visual/eye problems.
• Diseases like Meniere’s, in which there is damage to the apparatus of the inner ear. This more usually affects people in & above middle age. Symptoms can come & go over the years, & may include profound vertigo, nausea, vomiting and visual problems. There is often a history of tinnitus or deafness between attacks.
• Low blood pressure (hypo-tension). Here the dizziness is commonly experienced when suddenly getting up from lying down. Common in the elderly.
• Poisoning (e.g. alcohol, drugs, carbon monoxide).

Vertigo/dizziness - diagnosis & treatment
Manual therapy is appropriate for a number of vertigo or dizziness issues, and during your first consultation we will investigate the most likely cause of your symptoms.

A substantial number are due to obvious mechanical causes that respond well to treatment. Others will need referral.

Case study 1
Gordon, in his sixties,  had had vertigo for a year.  He'd had one session of treatment with a specialist before seeing us for this..  Tests involving him lying down suddenly and turning from side to side confirmed the vertigo by re producing the feeling of 'wooziness' and nausea.

But happily for him it was all but gone on his 6th visit, with treatments consisting of the Epley Manoevre, plus a lot of other hands on work to improve his neck movement.  

Case study 2
A 62 year old lady had 4 episodes of vertigo over 2 years before seeing us, which originally started for no apparent reason. Vomiting and diarrhoea were also features of these attacks, which usually took a few days to pass.

She had been to her GP who had excluded blood pressure as a cause as this was under control with medication. Her vision had been checked and nothing abnormal was noted in an ear, eye, nose and throat (EENT) examination.

The lady had eight treatments of gentle work to the neck tissues before she was discharged. A lot of work was focused on the upper neck joints, which limited her ability to turn her head. She experienced relief after the first treatment & had just 1 brief re-occurrence before her 5th visit.


Jill and Chris were both trained in the U.K and started Osteoworks back in 2004 when they moved to N.Z from London with their son.