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Can Neck Massage Cause Vertigo?

Hey there, welcome to a topic you might find a bit perplexing! Have you ever left a massage parlor feeling light-headed or dizzy? It’s an odd question, I know. You go in for relaxation and come out feeling like you’re on a merry-go-round. Can neck massage cause vertigo? This isn’t just a question floating around in massage circles; it’s one that has been pondered by medical professionals as well. So, let’s dive into it, shall we?

What Is Vertigo?

Definition and Symptoms

Vertigo goes beyond feeling dizzy; it is an actual sensation where either yourself or the surrounding seem to be spinning rapidly, often described by its victims as an uneasiness or “whirling” feeling that can cause nausea, sweating and difficulty walking – similar to when children used to spin themselves quickly as kids but with much less fun results! Think back on how spinning around felt as children; vertigo feels similar but less thrilling!

Common Causes

The most common causes are problems in the inner ear, where our sense of balance is regulated. Conditions like Meniere’s disease (MD), Vestibular Neuritis and Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) may all play a part. Other possible contributors could include migraine headaches, medication side effects or neck injuries – this is where neck massage comes into the picture! So can neck massage help alleviate these conditions?

What Is Neck Massage?

Types of Neck Massage

Types From Shiatsu and Swedish, to Deep Tissue, and Sports massage – each offering unique techniques and benefits – comes a range of neck massage styles with gentle to intense techniques kneading, rubbing, tapping or stretching involved.


Neck massages aim to do much more than relax; their purpose is also to increase blood circulation, ease muscle tension, and relieve emotional strain. Their positive impacts reach into physical as well as psychological realms of well-being – yet can their gains be outweighed by vertigo risks?

The Anatomy of the Neck and its Impact in Vertigo

Neck Muscles

Your neck is much more than an uni-body support column; it houses muscles like the sternocleidomastoid and trapezius which facilitate head movement while providing balance to maintain equilibrium in your life. Furthermore, these two structures connect directly to your spinal cord in order to transmit signals that lead to and from your brain.

Blood Supply and Nerves

Vital blood vessels such as the carotid artery and jugular vein travel through the neck to deliver blood to the brain, impacting its functions such as regulation of balance. Even slight disruptions of these can have significant adverse impacts.

Can Neck Massage Cause Vertigo?

Scientific Studies

Though scientific evidence on this topic remains limited, several studies suggest that manipulating one’s neck could trigger vertigo symptoms. Some healthcare practitioners hypothesize this could be related to its anatomy and its connection to vestibular system that regulates balance.

Personal Anecdotes

Forums, social media platforms and anecdotal accounts frequently report vertigo or dizziness after getting their neck massaged. While these stories cannot serve as scientific studies, their prevalence suggests the necessity of further investigation.

How a Neck Massage Could Trigger Vertigo?


Massage therapy could cause or worsen vertigo by applying pressure to specific muscles or nerves that influence blood supply to the brain or neural transmission pathways, potentially increasing or worsening vertigo symptoms.

Risk Factors

People who suffer from vertigo, neck problems or certain kinds of headaches could be more susceptible to dizziness attacks.

Before booking your spa visit, consult with a healthcare provider, particularly if you have experience vertigo or are managing neck-related medical conditions.

Select an Experienced Masseuse

A certified massage therapist who specializes in vertigo or neck problems will make a substantial impactful difference when treating clients with vertigo or neck conditions. Their right technique could make an enormous difference.

Counterarguments: Can Neck Massage Relieve Vertigo?

Studies and Reports

Research shows that massage may alleviate symptoms associated with vertigo. Some types may stem from muscle tension issues or blood flow disruption – both issues which a neck massage could help address.

Expert Opinions

Many healthcare providers recommend neck massage as a possible therapy to combat vertigo, especially for cases that include muscle tension and stress.

How to Recognize and Deal with Vertigo Post-Neck Massage?

If you do experience vertigo after a neck massage, it’s crucial to avoid sudden movements and sit down immediately. Hydrate, and if the sensation doesn’t subside, seek medical attention.


So to answer our original question about whether neck massages could cause vertigo, we will say the answer is probably. Though no evidence has yet been discovered connecting this therapy and vertigo risk directly, it would be prudent to remain aware of potential adverse outcomes and act proactively as early intervention is always preferable!


Can a simple neck massage cause vertigo?

While unlikely, vertigo could occur under certain circumstances such as preexisting medical conditions.

What steps should I take if feeling dizzy after receiving one of these therapies?

Sit back, drink plenty of fluids, and consult a healthcare provider if symptoms continue.

Are there any types of neck massage that are safer?

Soft-tissue massage may pose less risk; nonetheless it’s always wise to consult your provider first before scheduling one yourself.

Could neck massage actually ease my vertigo symptoms?

Some evidence points toward it helping, particularly tension-induced vertigo.

Who are at greater risk for experiencing vertigo after receiving a neck massage?

Those who already suffer from vertigo or have had neck issues in the past are most at risk.

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