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Stress & Vertigo: Is There A Connection?

By October 23, 2023January 2nd, 2024No Comments
vertigo and stress

Vertigo, a disorder characterized by a spinning sensation, is frequently connected with inner ear or vestibular system abnormalities. There is, however, a lesser-known link between stress and vertigo. While it is not always the main reason, stress can aggravate and even cause vertigo in some people. In this blog, we will investigate the relationship between stress and vertigo and offer tips to help you manage this.

Recognizing Vertigo

Before we get into the association between stress and vertigo, let’s define vertigo and its common causes.

Vertigo is a symptom of an underlying condition rather than a sickness in and of itself. Even when you are totally still, it is commonly described as a spinning or swaying sensation. Vertigo can be induced by a number of things, including:

  • 1) Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV): This is the most common cause of vertigo and occurs when tiny calcium particles in the inner ear become dislodged.
  • 2) Meniere’s Disease: This chronic inner ear disorder can lead to recurrent episodes of vertigo, accompanied by hearing loss and tinnitus.
  • 3) Vestibular Neuritis or Labyrinthitis: These conditions involve inflammation of the inner ear or the nerves that control balance, leading to vertigo.
  • 4)Migraines: Some people experience vestibular migraines, where vertigo is a key symptom.
  • 5) Stress: Stress can exacerbate existing vertigo conditions or even be a trigger for vertigo in some individuals.

The Relationship Between Stress and Vertigo

While stress may not directly cause vertigo, it can aggravate pre-existing disorders or trigger symptoms in people who are predisposed. The following is how stress and vertigo are related:

Tension: Stress can cause muscle tension, especially in the neck and shoulders. This stress can impair blood flow to the inner ear, exacerbating vertigo symptoms.

Anxiety and Panic: Excessive stress and worry can precipitate panic attacks, which may include symptoms such as dizziness and lightheadedness, which mirror vertigo.

Stress causes the body to release cortisol, a hormone that affects several basic systems, including blood pressure. Blood pressure fluctuations can contribute to dizziness and unsteadiness.

Poor Lifestyle Choices: When people are stressed, they may resort to unhealthy coping techniques such as poor food, lack of exercise, and insufficient sleep, all of which can exacerbate vertigo symptoms indirectly.

Managing Vertigo Caused by Stress

If you feel that your vertigo is caused by stress, you must properly manage both the stress and the vertigo symptoms. Consider the following strategies:

Stress Reduction Strategies: Incorporate stress management strategies such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and progressive muscle relaxation into your everyday routine.

Stay Active: Physical activity on a regular basis can help reduce stress and enhance general well-being. Exercise also improves blood circulation, which can help those with vertigo.

Diet: A well-balanced diet can help stabilize blood sugar levels and sustain general health. Excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption can aggravate both stress and vertigo.

Adequate Sleep: Get adequate quality sleep, as sleep deficiency can exacerbate stress and vertigo.

Seek expert Help: If stress and vertigo become unbearable, seek the advice of a healthcare provider who specializes in vertigo. They can assist in the diagnosis of underlying problems and provide treatment recommendations.


While stress is not a direct cause of vertigo, it can aggravate symptoms or even produce vertigo in some people. Recognizing the link between stress and vertigo is the first step toward successful management of both. You may take responsibility for your well-being and decrease the impact of stress-induced vertigo on your life by implementing stress-reduction measures, keeping a healthy lifestyle, and getting medical care as needed. If you or someone you know is suffering from vertigo without relief, reach out to our office for a free 15-minute consultation on what your options are and how we can help you get back to your normal!


San Diego Chiropractic Neurology

We are a chiropractic neurology clinic that specializes in functional neurology, brain trauma, and spine trauma. Some other common conditions we work with are concussions and TBI, ADHD, POTS and dysatuonomia, headaches and migraines, as well as dizziness and disequilibrium syndromes.

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