Upper cervical, vertigo axial joint

by Brenda
(Dorset, UK )

I've had a weakness at left axial joint for many years. It caused nausea and various symptoms. I was told if the other side went I would be in trouble.

The past 3 years have been difficult. I bent down, reached forward under the sofa, head tucked. When I got up my head was stuck forward. It happened after dental treatment when I had a small hard cushion under my neck press into the occiput.

Recently, if I tilt my head forward and to the right I had horrid sensations in my body. I have to sit very still, shoulders down and wait for it to pass. I have been like this for a few weeks. I have woken with two disabling bouts of vertigo. I got better but felt dizzy each time I tilted my head. The first time I had double vision.

Yesterday my gp came out and he wanted to do the mover the bed test. But because I get a cold feeling in the left of my head when I am dizzy and pain under my ear on the right and a long history of this he didn't do it.
A moment ago I had my head down to take a message and I felt poorly and spinning and had very cold feelings in left side of head. Nausea and giddy. I think I temporarily nipped the carotid artery.

I get head twitches too. I am so petrified that I am going to cause a stroke. I don't know how to help myself. This recent episode started while I was having physio. It is as though I am set back 15 years. I am 69. Active, or would be if this would stop.

It is isolating and scary.
Thank you

Hello Brenda,
Vertigo is indeed one of the most awful of conditions, but the good news is that if you have BPPV then it's very treatable.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo is a condition of the inner ear canal where the movement of fluid is impeded by crystals of calcium that have become displaced. What you describe sounds very like BPPV.

Do you have an observant husband, daughter or friend who would do a little test? It comes in two parts, and I suggest that he or she practises first on a guinea pig. What we are looking for is darting, or circular movements of the eyes that last usually only for a few seconds.

We'll only do the one part today. Lay various pillows on a bed, so the victim, you, can lie flat, but with your neck extended. Do it gently, because if there are degenerative changes in the neck, it can make your neck sore.

So you lie on your back, shoulders at the level of the last pillow, and the examiner cradles your head. Eyes wide open so that he can observe them.

Then he lowers your head into extension and then turns the head slowly to one side, hold it there for 30 seconds, carefully observing the eyes. Do they begin to dart about or spin, and do you start to feel dizzy? Then turn to the other side and repeat.

The darting of the eyes is called nystagmus, and may only last a few seconds so the examiner has to watch carefully. The test you have just done is called the Hallpark Dix test.

You are obviously familiar with he net, so you can see videos of nystagmus and more about the Hallpark Dix test and BPPV. I hope the test is positive, though you may feel awful, because then you can be helped, and fairly simply.

Let me know, keeping to this thread.

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