The intent of the flow chart is to create a working diagnosis from the patient’s symptom of dizziness, which is considered a vague term. A more differential diagnosis can be narrowed with a thorough intake, review of medical history and review of systems combined with the physical examination.
Balance problems and dizziness are common symptoms following a concussion1,2. Dizziness at time of injury has been found to be one of the top three risk factors for a prolonged recovery in sports-related head trauma3. Evidence shows that both mild head trauma and whiplash injuries can result in significant vestibular (inner ear) dysfunction, resulting in dizziness and balance problems4. Additional common symptoms associated with dizziness and balance problems include foggy headedness, nausea, motion sensitivity, blurred vision and anxiety. Statistics for Sports-Related Concussions or mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI):
Identifying the cause(s) of dizziness can be complex and time consuming. Hopefully, this tool proves helpful as a clinical guide. However, it is not intended to serve as a tool for confirming a medical diagnosis or treatment protocol.
Keep your eyes peeled for our next download connecting the dots between subjective report and objective clinical tests!
1. Guskiewicz K, McCrea M, Marshall S, and et al. Cumulative effects associated with recurrent concussion in collegiate football players: The NCAA concussion study. Journal of the American Medical Association 2003;290:2549-2555.
2. Teasdale T and Engberg A. Duration of cognitive dysfunction after concussion, and cognitive dysfunction as a risk factor: a population study of young men. BMJ 1997 Sep 6; 315(7108):569-72.
3. Zemek R, Farion K, Sampson M and McGahern C. Prognosticators of persistent symptoms following pediatric concussion: A systematic review. JAMA Pediatrics 167(3):259-265.
4. Gordon K, Dooley J and Wood E. Is migraine a risk factor for the development of a concussion? British Journal of Sports Medicine 2006;40(2):184-185.
5. Lincoln A, Caswell S, Almquist J and et al. Trends in concussion incidence in high school sports: a prospective 11 year study. American Journal of Sports Medicine 2011;29:958-63.
Free Download #1:
Dizziness Differential Diagnosis: Clues from the patient's history - CLICK HERE
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Free Download #3:
Connecting the dots between standard clinical tests and more advanced testing - CLICK HERE
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Connecting the dots between objective findings and recovery - CLICK HERE