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!


9 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 😊

  • 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?

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