Does Stretching Cause Dizziness?

Young woman in extended side angle pose
Dehydration may cause dizziness after stretching. (Image: Motoyuki Kobayashi/Photodisc/Getty Images)

After warming up your muscles before exercise or cooling them down afterward, you should stretch to keep your muscles flexible. If you often feel dizzy or faint after stretching your muscles, see a doctor to rule out a serious health problem The good news is that the cause may be simple and easy to correct. But there are a number of possible explanations for dizziness after stretching -- and some do require medical care..

Blood Pooling

If you're getting dizzy after a post-exercise stretch, the problem might be that you're not cooling down properly before your stretch. Cooling down involves lowering the intensity of your exercise for 10 to 15 minutes, allowing your heart and breathing rates to return to normal, the University of Iowa Health Care website explains. Jog for a while after running, walk after jogging and do some form of light aerobic exercise after resistance training.

Orthostatic Hypotension

More common among older adults, orthostatic hypotension is sudden dizziness immediately upon standing up. It's often not a serious condition and can be the result of mild dehydration or low blood sugar. See a doctor if it happens frequently, though, because it may be a symptom of a more serious health problem — particularly if the dizziness is so severe that it leads to loss of consciousness.

Cervical Vertigo

The precise cause of cervical vertigo may be difficult to pinpoint, but it's often associated with whiplash, head injuries or visits to a chiropractor. Its primary symptom is dizziness when you turn your head or stretch your neck. Ear pain may accompany the dizziness, but you should not experience significant loss of hearing. On his Dizziness-and-Balance website, Dr. Timothy Hain recommends you visit a primary-care physician for evaluation if you suffer these symptoms.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

Possibly caused by debris in the inner ear, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is similar to cervical vertigo in that it causes dizziness when you change the position of your head. BPPV causes 50 percent of all dizziness in older adults and 20 percent of all dizziness regardless of age, Hain reports. If you suspect this is the cause of your dizziness, look for a physician familiar with the Semont and Epley maneuvers, as each of these procedures for clearing out the ear has a cure rate of approximately 80 percent.

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