Best Neck Stretches for Vestibular Dysfunction

Vestibular disorders, especially Vestibular Migraine, can cause neck pain and cervicogenic dizziness. However, thankfully, these are both manageable with vestibular physical therapy and cervical (neck) physical therapy. The neck is a complex group of muscles, bones, joints, and other soft tissues that can easily make you feel ‘off’ or out of place.

Luckily, that feeling does not have to last forever. Cervicogenic dizziness and other neck dysfunctions are very treatable. One of my favorite ways to manage cervical issues is stretching. Here are my twoi favorite stretches:

Pectoral Stretch

Your pec muscles are located in the front of your chest. You have 2 on each side, the pec major, and the pec minor. The pec major is larger and lays on top of the pec minor. To stretch them both, you need to perform 2 different stretches for best results. In this video we see three stretches.The first two stretch the pec major, and the last stretches the pec minor. The further up the doorway you place your hands, the more you’ll get into the pec minor.


Trapezius Stretch

If the back of your neck is bothering you, it can come from your chest, but another great stretch is a trapezius stretch, which will help stretch the back of your neck. The back of your neck is made up of quite a few muscles, but the biggest one, which tends to feel knotty, is the trapezius muscle. Here’s my favorite way to stretch the back of my neck. Watch the video, and if you want a second stretch for a similar movement, don’t twist your head!

What else can help neck pain?

Other than stretching, many things can help with neck pain. General exercise, improving your posture, and taking breaks from sitting.

General Exercise?

Exercise is good for us. Whether or not we’d like to admit it, we know that it’s something we should participate in regularly. There are a few exceptions, but it’s statistically unlikely that you’re in that group of people. If exercise makes you dizzy, or you’re worried that it could make you dizzy, Vestibular Group Fit is the answer to your issue. Vestibular Group Fit is the all-in-one, holistic solution to strengthening your vestibular system, helping you to move, and more! This helps you get rid of your neck pain through movement, and will help you prevent dizziness attacks in the future!

Improving your Posture

Your posture is just as important as your mom said it would be. If you ever thought that you may be having dizziness BECAUSE of your neck, your posture could be playing a roll. Your posture is in charge of where your head is – it’s all about your neck. If you neck is giving your brain a ‘bad’ signal about where your head is in space, it gets confused and send a dizziness signal. But, it can be treated with Cervical Physical Therapy and Vestibular Group Fit!

Taking Breaks from Sitting

Sitting for too long can be harmful to our posture, and if we remember from above, our posture can make us feel dizzy if it’s poor. In a world where we all work from home, it can be easy to get into the routine of sitting at your desk and not leaving until you finish work, except maybe a trip to the kitchen or two (I am guilty of this myself). Instead, it’s vital to take sitting breaks. Every 45-60 minutes stand up, walk to get a glass of water (yay, hydration!), grab a snack, or just take a lap around the house. It doesn’t matter what you do, but set a timer and make it happen! It will help your neck, back, and vestibular system!


2 thoughts on “Best Neck Stretches for Vestibular Dysfunction”

  1. I have Vestibular Disorder with coordination, balance,disequilibrium,Nystagmus, light sensitivity and noise sensitivity. I feel sick everyday with motion sickness while moving. I had Torticollis surgery July 20, 1960. I was just wondering if SCM could be part of my problem. I had a cold and sinus infection in February 2016 and have never been normal since that time.
    I have had different tests, four MRIs, VRT for three different times w/o feeling better. I would appreciate if you could suggest some

    Thank you for reading my comment.

    Linda Warren

    1. Avatar photo

      Hello Linda! There are a few things here that could be giving you trouble. I cannot tell you what it is or is not as you’re neither a patient or a client (where i can point you educationally in the right direction). VRT works for some people, but not for all. I find it’s often more effective to take a step back and look at the whole picture and that that tends to be more effective than VRT. This is something we do in Vestibular Group Fit! https://thevertigodoctor.com/vestibular-group-fit You can sign up here 🙂

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *