Dizziness can hit you when you least expect it. It's not unusual to feel a head rush after your workout, particularly when you're stretching. It might simply mean you're having trouble recovering from the workout or it could be a sign of a more serious problem. If it happens often, you should see a doctor.
There are a few reasons why you might get dizzy when stretching. If it happens often, you should consult a medical professional.
If you're getting dizzy when stretching, the problem might be that you're not cooling down properly before you stretch. Lower-body workouts make you particularly vulnerable to dizziness because large amounts of blood can pool in your legs. Cooling down helps your body disperse blood evenly.
Cooling down involves lowering the intensity of your exercise for 10 to 15 minutes, allowing your heart and breathing rates to return to normal. All you have to do is lower the intensity of your workout for a few minutes to keep blood flowing before you stretch.
If you were doing an intense cardio exercise like running or cycling, you can walk around or pedal your bike slowly for a few minutes as your heart rate comes down. If you were squatting or doing another lower body weight lifting exercise you should walk around the gym for a few minutes. Walking engages your leg muscles enough to keep blood flowing through your body and regulates your blood pressure.
If you get light headed when standing up, you probably have orthostatic hypotension. 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.
Read more: Hypotension & Exercising
Neck pain can actually cause dizziness, according to an article from the Vestibular Disorders Association. It's a difficult problem to figure out and you shouldn't try to diagnose yourself because your dizziness might be caused by a different problem.
There aren't any tests to figure out if you have cervicogenic dizziness. It would stem from a problem in your neck like a cracked vertebrae, so that would be one indication that you have this problem.
Your dizziness and lack of balance would get worse when you move your head if you have cervicogenic dizziness. If you have dizziness that gets worse when you stretch your neck, you might be suffering from this condition.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
Possibly caused by small pieces of broken-off calcium called canaliths in the inner ear, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) 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, Timothy C. Hain, M.D., reports.
Read more: Causes of Sudden Dizziness
If you have problems balancing or are constantly dizzy, check with a doctor to see if you might be suffering from BPPV. To relieve your symptoms, she'll have you do a series of head movements called the Epley maneuver, which helps settle the debris in your ear which might be causing vertigo.
- Dizziness-and-Balance.com: Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
- Physiological Reviews: Regulation of Increased Blood Flow (Hyperemia) to Muscles During Exercise: A Hierarchy of Competing Physiological Needs
- Cleveland Clinic: Orthostatic Hypotension
- Vestibular Disorders Association: Cervicogenic Dizziness
- MedlinePlus: Benign Positional Vertigo
- MedlinePlus: Epley Maneuver