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Can tight neck muscles cause stroke?

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Posted on Thu, 19 May 2016
Question: Can tight neck muscles cause a stroke? I'm 32 years old and have been diagnosed with Cervical dizziness/Vertigo. The vertigo has caused me a lot of anxiety and is affecting my work and life. I'm seeing a physiotherapist any other suggestions that would help get me to me again?

thanks
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Answered by Dr. Prasad (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Medications for dizziness...

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

If you ask me generally, I would say tight neck muscles will not cause a stroke. But in the context, when a patient has history of cervicogenic vertigo we will find significant cervical changes (osteophytes) that can impair vertebral artery blood flow especially while turning head to right/left. And reduced blood circulation of vertebellar artery (vertebrobasillar insufficiency) has a risk of stroke.

Therefore if you have history of cervicogenic vertigo, it would be worthwhile to get a 2D cervical doppler tests. Doppler test will assess cervical as well as vertebral artery blood flow. Simultaneously you can also get the other stroke risk factors assessed.

As far as cervicogenic dizziness, I am glad you are through physiotherapy sessions. Though it seems it's unhelpful, it has a significant role in determining future prognosis of this condition. You should also be followed up regularly by an orthopedic surgeon. Ask your surgeon if you need rheumatologist referral to treat those cervical spine changes.
Besides, had I been your treating doctor, I will also start you on betahistine tablets. It will help you.

Hope I have answered your question. Let me know if you need clarifications.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Prasad

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2005

Answered : 3628 Questions

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Can tight neck muscles cause stroke?

Brief Answer: Medications for dizziness... Detailed Answer: Hi, If you ask me generally, I would say tight neck muscles will not cause a stroke. But in the context, when a patient has history of cervicogenic vertigo we will find significant cervical changes (osteophytes) that can impair vertebral artery blood flow especially while turning head to right/left. And reduced blood circulation of vertebellar artery (vertebrobasillar insufficiency) has a risk of stroke. Therefore if you have history of cervicogenic vertigo, it would be worthwhile to get a 2D cervical doppler tests. Doppler test will assess cervical as well as vertebral artery blood flow. Simultaneously you can also get the other stroke risk factors assessed. As far as cervicogenic dizziness, I am glad you are through physiotherapy sessions. Though it seems it's unhelpful, it has a significant role in determining future prognosis of this condition. You should also be followed up regularly by an orthopedic surgeon. Ask your surgeon if you need rheumatologist referral to treat those cervical spine changes. Besides, had I been your treating doctor, I will also start you on betahistine tablets. It will help you. Hope I have answered your question. Let me know if you need clarifications. Regards