Anxiety, Dizziness, and Neck Tension - Anxiety Support

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Anxiety, Dizziness, and Neck Tension


I've read many posts on here from people that share a variety of symptoms related to anxiety, dizziness, and tension in their neck and shoulders. My post is meant to offer hope, as well as some therapies that have reduced the severity and frequency of my anxiety and constant off balance feelings.

It took me a dozen doctor visits and a deep dive into Google to begin to understand that my main problem causing chronic dizziness was most likely associated with my neck muscles, specifically in my suboccipitals, sternocloidalmastoid, and semispinalis capital.

Physical therapy and a dozen or so daily stretches in my neck and shoulders have Allowed my symptoms to plateau, and even begin to feel better

Chronic bad posture at the computer, and hours of driving have tightened these muscles and essentially began cutting off some blood flow and neurological abilities in my left hand and even up into my head. I would get dizzy often, and even passed out once while sitting in a barber's chair.

So for all of you out there with dizziness and neck tension, look into physical therapy and do some research on neck muscles associated with your balance.

And one final note: much of this has been brought on by years of working a stressful military job that frequently have me anxiety. The psychological aspect of my anxiety has created physical problems, and both issues need to be addressed for me now.

Hope some of you find this useful. And don't forget to relax. Remember to breathe, stay motivated in life, and own the day!


17 Replies

Hi Dave

Thats excellent advice.I've been having motion sickness in the car the past couple wks. Driving or passenger. Just in the car. Do you think your advice could apply to my situation?

Rubyxx 😊

sooperdc in reply to rubyred777

Hey Ruby,

I'm not sure if my therapies and stretches would help or not. My symptoms are more due to bad posture and stress than anything else. If you hAve a lot of tension and anxiety, maybe it could help.

I have had similar symptoms, and did physical therapy for 6-12 months. It did help some of my symptoms, but I finally was sent to a neurotologist, and found out that what was also causing my tight muscles in my neck and various symptoms was an inner ear disorder. It can cause a lot of symptoms, and because it causes balance issues, it affects gait, and muscle problems. If you don't continue to get better, you might want to see a neurotologist and rule out an inner ear disorder. You can check out symptoms of inner ear disorders on to see if you think you might possibly have an inner ear disorder. I wish you the best of luck. I hope you continue to get better each day!

Margie, if you don't mind sharing, what was the inner ear disorder that they found and how did they find it (MRI, etc?).

Were they able to offer treatment and did your sx go away?


Hello there, your symptoms sound very familiar to me. I am glad you've found some relief for them. My sternocleidomastoid in particular is very tense and even causes my ears to feel full. I was wondering if you could please share your stretch routine with me. Thank you very much in advance!

This is a very good post Dave. I did 30 years in the motor trade from age 16 but the place went down in 2004. Extremely stressful position at the end, lifting heavy units and with 4 daughters and the first boyfriend arriving on the scene tight neck, dizziness and balance issues started. I then suffered anxiety state and was unable to work for 2 years. I moved to an Ebay business. In my case I suffered from epilepsy from age 15 which is extremely well controlled but I take the anticonvulsants Phenytoin and carbamazepine and one of the side effects of those 2 drugs is balance so that made things a bit more complex. Never the less I have been to neurology, had the carbamazepine changed to slow releases and have had my celebrium checked on an MRI and had some shoulder physio, all ok. The anticonvulsants are just promoting balance issues when anxiety is present. The problem has remained intermittent for 12 years and it usually occurs after issues with some of my daughters. My wife has been fantastic. Just one daughter left at home and a year away from retirement my problems will soon be over when the house is quite but they won't be unless I change and become the motivated person I once was. i Know mine is anxiety and working at a computer and looking at my phone just makes the neck worse. I gave up drinking a year and a half ago because of the anxiety/balance been so intermittent, I wish I had given up 12 years ago.

Thank you so much for your post. I only looked into my problem today properly and hit your post and thought "that's me". It's time to tackle this anxiety, I have done my stretch, some else can have a go.

I wish you well Dave and anyone else suffering the same problems.

Thank you Dave! I have long suspected that my anxiety and my tight neck/scalp muscles might be the source of my dizziness. Doctor's have had little to offer. I am going to focus on the muscles to see if that helps.

Hi Dave! Thank you , are you able to share your stretching routine? This sounds like my exact issue!

Hello, your post helped me a lot. 2 months ago i started feeling very dizzy all the time! I went to a lot of doctors, finally a neurologist told me i have a lot of muscle tension in my neck due to my computer job and driving for hours everyday...also anxiety issues..i did physiotherapy for a month now, and i started to feel better but i still get dizzy daily. Im afraid this wont go away :( any advice? What r ur stretch routines?

HI Dave I am currently going through menopause but in the past week have experienced a pain at the top of the spine near the neck, it's made me feel nauseous at times but I do experience anxiety and panic attacks, what do you recommend. Having blood tests done at the moment to see what the cause is. Thankyou

sooperdc in reply to sheza52

Hey Sheza. Sorry to hear about your upper back pain. The best advice for everyone I think is to get a thorough examination by specialists (orthopedist, neurologist, physical therapist). They can better pinpoint the issues and recommend treatment based on a variety of lifestyle questions. I'd also Look into a chiropractor and massage therapist. A quality massage therapist has done more for my back than any doctor. But I checked all the PhD boxes before I went to the massage and chiropractor route.

Also, stretch, stretch, stretch. Ha. Get loose and limber. Try yoga. Free your body and mind from daily stress, and stay motivated to get healthy! 😉

Thankyou so much for your feedback, it helps a lot.

Dave, thanks so much for the post. I have those exact symptoms and the weird thing is, sometimes my neck doesn't even feel that tight! But I do a few stretches and feel much better. I've had 2 MRIs, bloodwork, etc. etc. all came back fine, but the only thing that helped was physical therapy/massage.

For those interested in a stretching routine, go to Google and search "stretch the suboccipitals" "stretch the sternocloidalmastoid", and "stretch the semispinalis capital" and you can put together a routine for yourself.

All the best and happy holidays to everyone!

I've been thru this myself!

Still trying to cope with it!

Any secrets or advice for this?

Hey. I feel dizzy most of the time and can't last a minute I get into a vehicle.i have tension behind my neck and my left palm feels numb sometimes. Currently taking medicines for depression. Do you think I have a problem similar to yours?

Hi there,

I was diagnosed with BPPV in June after having sudden brief and debilitating attacks of vertigo when I leaned my head to the right, looked down to put my wallet in my purse after buying coffee. Although I never noticed these symptoms in bed, when I was finally told to do the Epley, i did get it while lying down; realizing it was originating from my right ear. When the true spinning eventually stopped, I had and still do have a constant off balance feeling. Before this all started, I spent copious amounts of time at the computer and have tension at the back of my head. I still feel dizzy when I turn my head as if my perception is not aligned and it takes my body/brain a moment to catch up with itself.

Muscle testing with a naturopath determined it was coming from my sternocleidomastoid muscle and she gave me some supplements. I had a similar issue 6 years ago where I awoke and felt like a pendulum was swinging in my head - I had been looking down for many hours a day at the time and straining the back of my head.

I also get headaches deep in my left ear (even though BPPV was in the right ear) and this is rare for me. CT scan is normal. I also get ear fullness in the left ear in the morning sometimes and watery eyes.

Do you think this can be neck related and do you think neck inflammation can also cause BPPV?

Id like to attack this from all possible angles to set myself up for the highest success rate possible. I've noticed a mention of inner ear disorders, likely that of vestibular nature. And I've heard this before.

All my years of research has led me here, and all sounds good, I'd just like to add mention of a rebounder, a mini trampoline used to do many things, one of which is correcting inner ear disorders and therefore also improve balance by helping to eliminate toxic and misplaced lymph fluids that have lodged their way into the inner ear by means of inactivity and highly acidic diets. A few sessions improve my balance almost immediately.

This coupled with a stretching routine is about to give me my off back. I can feel it.

Thanks Dave (and everyone). Good luck!

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