Herniated Cervical Disc and Vertigo

While in college, about twenty five years ago, I was in a car accident. I was also a cheerleader and all-around athlete. I was told that I had a herniated disc in my neck and surgery was recommended to remove the area that was herniated. In the early 1990s, the prognosis after surgery wasn't great and I had minimal pain, so I decided against surgery. Now, fast forward to the present day, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis almost eight years ago and have been working as a dental hygienist, leaning over patients daily.

I've had off and on dizziness for many years, but thought it was sinuses or allergies. When I was diagnosed with MS, I always guessed that that was the cause. I was told again about the herniated disc in my neck, but still no pain. Even though I'm in dentistry, I have a tendency to self-diagnose.

About ten months ago, the dizziness started again and was the worst ever. I would wake up in the middle of the night with the room spinning. I would stumble around for several hours, but it would improve as the day went on. I talked to my primary doctor about it and she thought it was BPPV, but wasn't positive and thought it could have been MS-related. I saw my neurologist a few days later and he ordered a MRI of the brain, but that showed no new lesions. Back to the primary care doctor and she then thought BPPV and sent me to an ENT. After several tests to rule out many other things, I was told it was BPPV and had two appointments for manipulations. Was told it was all good to go and was released, but the dizziness continued.

I've been trying to pay attention to what makes the dizziness worse. I now know it's when I hold my head a certain way or when I turn my head a certain way. I now think its cervical vertigo. I've had virtually no neck pain. I will see my neurologist in a few weeks and I'll run this by him but I know he'll probably order a MRI on my neck this time.

I'm finding all of this very frustrating, since I've seen four different doctors and still no answers. I'm almost at the point of just accepting that this is the way it's going to be and just live with it, but I'm not even 50 yet and I'm so sick of stumbling around like I'm drunk. I sometimes feel like I should just be happy that I'm doing so well with the MS.

From what I've read online there doesn't seem to be a lot of treatment options. If anyone could help me with ideas, I'm open to anything.

Thank you, Melinda



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