European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

, Volume 275, Issue 10, pp 2421–2433 | Cite as

Approach to cervicogenic dizziness: a comprehensive review of its aetiopathology and management

  • K. DevarajaEmail author
Review Article



Though there is abundant literature on cervicogenic dizziness with at least half a dozen of review articles, the condition remains to be enigmatic for clinicians dealing with the dizzy patients. However, most of these studies have studied the cervicogenic dizziness in general without separating the constitute conditions. Since the aetiopathological mechanism of dizziness varies between these cervicogenic causes, one cannot rely on the universal conclusions of these studies unless the constitute conditions of cervicogenic dizziness are separated and contrasted against each other.


This narrative review of recent literature revisits the pathophysiology and the management guidelines of various conditions causing the cervicogenic dizziness, with an objective to formulate a practical algorithm that could be of clinical utility. The structured discussion on each of the causes of the cervicogenic dizziness not only enhances the readers’ understanding of the topic in depth but also enables further research by identifying the potential areas of interest and the missing links.


Certain peculiar features of each condition have been discussed with an emphasis on the recent experimental and clinical studies. A simple aetiopathological classification and a sensible management algorithm have been proposed by the author, to enable the identification of the most appropriate underlying cause for the cervicogenic dizziness in any given case. However, further clinical studies are required to validate this algorithm.


So far, no single clinical study, either epidemiological or interventional, has incorporated and isolated all the constitute conditions of cervicogenic dizziness. There is a need for such studies in the future to validate either the reliability of a clinical test or the efficacy of an intervention in cervicogenic dizziness.


Cervicogenic dizziness Cervical vertigo Bow hunter’s syndrome Barre–Lieou syndrome Whiplash-associated disorder Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

Not applicable.

Informed consent

Not applicable.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Kasturba Medical CollegeManipal Academy of Higher EducationUdupiIndia

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