Migraines and Dizziness

Although head pain is typically what people think of when they think of migraines, it’s certainly not the only migraine symptom.


Another common migraine symptom which many sufferers experience is dizziness or vertigo. In cases where dizziness or balance problems are the main migraine symptom the migraines are called vestibular migraine or migrainous vertigo.

Vestibular migraine sufferers may experience dizziness, imbalance, vertigo (feeling as though the world is moving), and sensitivity to movement – not only just before or during the migraine attack, but for some the dizziness and balance issues can be experienced during headache-free periods.

In terms of triggers, as is the case with other types of migraine, vestibular migraines can be triggered or made worse by certain types of food, by stress, and by certain activities such as intense exercise.

Treatment varies for vestibular migraines, but in general drugs to relieve and/or to prevent the symptoms of headache, nausea, dizziness or vertigo may be prescribed, but another treatment option for vestibular migraine sufferers is physiotherapy.

For some vestibular migraine sufferers, physiotherapy exercises can help to relieve balance symptoms – although if the migraines are very frequent these exercises can make the symptoms worse so timing of the physiotherapy exercise is key. 

A diagnosis of vestibular migraines is made via reporting of symptoms as there is no test which can be conducted to confirm migraines. However, your doctor may ask for some tests to be conducted in order to rule out other potential causes of the head pain and dizziness.

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