Motion Sickness & Spine Conditions

Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: July 27, 2015

motion sick

Many people suffer from motion sickness. While it’s not a life-threatening condition by any means, it can be a serious hindrance to a person’s daily routine. In this article, we will talk about motion sickness as it relates to the spine. We’ll discuss the causes of motion sickness, and what to do if you feel motion sick after your spine surgery.

Causes of Motion Sickness

Motion sickness is typically caused by a disturbance in the inner ear. Our inner ears control our ability to balance. When the body registers a conflict in the movement of the body and the things around it, motion sickness is the result. By way of an example, If you are flying in an airplane with the window closed, your eyes won’t see the fact that you’re moving through the air, but your other body parts may sense it. This contradiction is what results in feelings of motion sickness.

Symptoms of motion sickness can include any of the following:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Sweating

Motion sickness is most common when riding in a vehicle, flying in an airplane, or riding in a boat. Other conditions (such as vertigo) can cause motion sickness absent any movement at all.

Motion Sickness After Spine Surgery

Patients sometimes report feelings of motion sickness after a minimally invasive spine procedure. The most likely cause of motion sickness post-op is the after-effects of anesthesia. This sickness will dissipate in the days and weeks following your procedure. Extreme motion sickness caused by anesthesia can be curbed with various medications.

If you are concerned about motion sickness after your spine surgery, contact your surgeon to see if there is anything to be worried about. This goes doubly if your symptoms seem to be getting worse as you recover from your surgery.

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