Dizziness during runs



  • Hello there. I have just come across this thread and wanted to suggest something. Have you seen a vestibular physio. I have had all of these symptoms for the past year or more. I was diagnosed last year as having PPPD (Persistent postural-perceptual dizziness). I have been seeing a vestibular physio since before Christmas. The idea is basically to recalibrate your balance as there is a disconnect between the eyes and brain and you have to retrain this. I have had some success although still have dizzy spells.
  • Hi Mac77, if it was PPPD, I would think that we would have the same issues running indoors on a treadmill etc.
  • Not sure if this will help. My experiences of dizziness have been cardio-related. I wrote them up at https://rundomization.wordpress.com/2019/11/17/pollution/#alte
  • Hello everyone! I've had the same problem for several years. Over the past couple years I may have discovered a resolution, but I cannot afford to sustain it right now.

    After hearing my problem, my massage therapist referred me to an Upper Cervical specialist. These specialists deal specifically with the top two vertebrae -- the Atlas and Axis. The premise is that the brain stem passes through these bones and is responsible for transmitting the nerve impulses from the brain to every part of the body. If one of the top two bones becomes misaligned, even slightly, it can affect the nerve transmission to multiple parts of the body which can cause a variety of health conditions.

    This practice in the United States is considered alternative and not covered by my insurance. So I ponied up the dough and tried it out. It involves an initial consult, an X-ray, and if needed, an adjustment. This is not like a traditional chiropractor. Using the X-ray, coordinates are taken to determine the exact misalignment. These coordinates are loaded into a device which uses an ultrasonic pulse to make the adjustment. It's completely non-invasive and you don't feel anything.

    The first time I did this, I ran the next day for 4 miles with zero dizziness. For me this felt like the best day of my life because my condition had reached the point where I literally could not run outside anymore. It had been a couple years.

    The next day I ran again. There was a hint of dizziness and I understood why. Herein lies the problem. Many people (most people) are slightly or grossly out of alignment and don't know it. This happens from accidents, falls, head trauma, etc... Could be from childhood. When you get an upper cervical adjustment, your body will instinctively fight to regain that cervical positioning which it has held for so long. So more adjustments are necessary to gradually hold the correct position over time. It gets expensive and each adjustment requires 4 hours of downtime with a neck brace.

    If any of you can find a similar specialist and have the resources to endure a regular regimen of treatments, please give it a try and let me know if it works. This is the only thing that has ever made a difference for me. I do plan to start the adjustments again soon.
  • I have only just seen this thread and it's really informative, but shocked that noone has got a answer!! I have the exact same problem, going dizzy and veering to the left after about 2 miles.... again it doesn't happen on the tredmill or doing any other form of exercise.... I'm sure it's something to do with vision as it does not matter how fast or slow I run!! Fingers crossed there is some kind of help out there 
  • Hi All,
    A very interesting thread and as previously mentioned the fact that there is no clear diagnosis makes it even more interesting. I'm male and 48 years old, I've been running since 2011 and competed in all sorts distances ranging from 1 mile to 50 miles and would consider myself and experienced runner. However over the last 2-3 years I suffer an infrequent condition when going for a run, the only pattern is that the issue manifests itself after 2.5 - 3 miles, after 3 miles I know I'm safe and cannot recall it ever occurring after this distance, what happens?
    Well the following happens:
    Light headed
    Wobbly jelly legs
    Feeling of hunger
    Head feels numb

    How do I fix it?
    By stopping or walking very slowly, it will then subside after approx 15 minutes

    What have I done about it?
    Been to the GP many times, I'm not diabetic, no cardio issues, blood pressure can be low, eye health is fine, no pain or swelling anywhere else, I should add of course that this happens only when running, although I can say I've never experienced it on a treadmill but I very rarely use a treadmill

    So no diagnosis I'm afraid and like others would be keen to understand if progress has been made, the only real suggestion from my GP is that it could be to do with postural blood pressure issues and to drink more fluids, I would agree that times I should drink more.

    My next course of action is to experiment with more water, daily salt/electrolyte tablet and monitor. I will of course post back if I make progress.

    Kind regards
  • <span>My daughter has dizziness problems when running and I have found this website link (below) that may be useful to others too. It identifies cervical vertigo (caused by neck and spine pressure) as an under-diagnosed and therefore untreated trigger of dizziness when running. Physiotherapy can successfully rectify the problem, apparently. </span>
  • Mine happens after 3miles and will happen 2 or 3 times, have to stop as I get fully disorientated.... and then it goes away. It's not vertigo I don't think. It only happens outdoors and is not related to hydration or food.

    I stretch my neck and back. I imagine that blood is not getting to my brain. Whether this is the case or not it fits the theory as when I begin a run the blood is going to the muscles and perhaps the head is neglected. I can fix it by the stretches. Maybe I have a vessel that gets trapped or something.

    After these spells I can get going and run for 10/13 or even longer and don't get a reoccurrence.
  • He guys- I was reading this thread with interest having had the same problem over the winter- Having looked through this thread there's an obvious pattern- ok on the treadmill, not ok outdoors.

    I only got a treadmill in November which is when I noticed it running to get my kids from school...

    I believe it's something to do with how your brain visually accommodates to running on the treadmill that then creates an imbalance while you are on the road-

    I just had a terrible first mile- it was ok when I looked to the side, or looked down, but awful looking ahead. I persisted for about 3 miles and it felt almost normal by the end.

    I don't think it's anything to do with your heart or your ears- it's a software problem in our brains. Cure would be to stay off treadmills... I'm going to try this for a while and see.
  • Hey Drtim...
    so I managed to get a good 6 weeks of running in April last year with zero issues during lockdown... Basically had to run them stop before it started and then each run it happened less and less until o was dizzy free HOWEVER it came back randomly with a vengeance and has been here since (even getting it walking on occasion)
    ive not been on a treadmill for 12 months.
    my threshold is about 800m before it sets in..
    its soooo frustrating!!! 
  • Just coming across this thread in my search for answers and I can say I suffer from the same symptoms. I am a young female in excellent shape and I have been running for a little over two years now. Quarantine had me running outdoors nearly every day 3-5 miles and I fell in love with it. However in the fall I began to feel dizzy about a mile into my runs, like my head was disconnected from my body and I couldn't move in a straight line, this also comes with a ton of nausea (sometimes to the point of throwing up!). The only thing to make the sensation stop is to stop running and walk. I too find that on a treadmill I can run for miles and feel completely fine. I went to my doctor and described these symptoms and he too just laughed and told me I'm probably iron deficient or need to eat more - however this makes no sense of why I can run on the treadmill and be fine. If anyone has any updates or solutions that would be greatly appreciated!
  • Nyrunnergal it’s so frustrating isn’t it!! <div>
    </div><div>Nothing makes sense as if it was medical it would be with all exercise especially on the treadmill.

    it just makes zero sense and it’s so frustrating!! It even happens to me on walks occasionally.. </div>
  • Im also now sporadically facing this issue since last year 😭 I ran a 5km Monday, no problems. I ran a 5km Tuesday and after 3km felt like I was going to faint.
    This started happening to me last year and my docs put it down to my BP dropping too quickly during a run. At that point my BP was slightly above the normal range so agreed and ended up reducing my distances from 13km back to the 5kms however, it literally could hit me at any time or day. Some days fine, other days not. Unlike others here, I did have the same problem on a treadmill.

    I have a marathon to run this year and it's this that's making me more nervous than the fact I've never done even a half marathon let alone a full marathon 😂

    I just want to know whyyyyy so we know what to do to stop it 😭
  • About 2 years ago I first fainted during exercise.
    I went through lots of cardiac tests (heart MRI, exercise tests, ECGs etc) they couldn't find anything wrong.
    I assumed it might be a one off and continued cycling and running. But it wasn't but luckily I could feel it about to happen and stop.
    In September 2020, my optician noticed an eye problem.
    In February 2021 things were bad I could feel the faint coming on after 1 to 4 km of running
    The eye doctors found Central Serous Retinopathy (CSR) this is caused by a leaky blood vessel causing a fluid bubble under the retina.
    Its September 2021 and the latest scan says the bubble (CSR) has cleared.
    I've started running again and so far so good.
    Anyone else had this experience? None of the eye doctors/neurologists know if there is any link (it's not in their textbooks)
  • Nearly two years of silence in this thread, but I'm sure people are still having these symptoms, that's why I'm here!. Reading the while conversation, it is evident that there are probably more than one distinct problem here, but I am writing with a suggestion that might be the root cause of one of them.
    I am a very fit 58 year old who up to six months ago could run 20k at reasonable speed without problems. Carrying bottle with electrolyte drink etc.

    Then the dizzyness kicked in. It happens at about 6km, everything fine before that. Then a growing sense of reality becoming fuzzier. Pushing through this, it just gets worse. Around 13k, have to stop, distortions to vision, dizzyness. I tried comepeting 20k recently, but after having to stop at 13k, then push on (miles from home), Difficulty standing up. Rest, run, stop. Took me 25 stops to get home, it got worse and worse. In the last stages a new symptom, a breathing difficulty, quite worrying. Seems to be a blood pressure problem in part, values very low half an hour later, 70/45. The feeling of faintness lasted hours after. But when running, even in the later stages, no feeling of weekness in the legs. I could have sprinted between recovery stops.

    While I see no diagnosis in this thread over several years, I was wondering, could this be a problem of inappropriate action of the vegus nerve? This hasn't been mentioned before but from what I've read (leaving aside any youtube video about it - they are all from nutters), this nerve does regulate blood pressure and might be activating due to seeing running as a 'shock' that kicks it in with a nervous response.
    This is just a guess - I'm fishing around for an explanation along with the rest of you.
  • A page about the 'baroreflex'. Unfortunately I don't understand it, but I have a feeling that my symptoms are in this neurological area.
  • 5 years down the track from when this started and still none the wiser - I have found it even happens to me when hiking. I really am at a loss as to what this could be and no one seems to want to look into it further to try and get a diagnosis.
    I play football and can run around for 90 mins and it doesn't happen, it seems to be that the stop/start doesn't allow it to take effect.

    I am trying to build my tolerance up but I get stuck at 1.5 miles where I have to stop for 10/15 mins before I can carry on.

    absolutely gutting it is!!
  • Is anyone still active on this thread? I am experiencing the same thing and would like to connect. I have been dealing with dizziness while running for over a decade now. It is so upsetting, as running is my true stress reliever. I am currently in PT and OT, which is a new attempt, and have been referred to a neurologist to look into vestibular migraines.
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