Skip to content

Migraines & Headaches Health Center

Font Size

Vertigo: Senses That Help Your Balance and Position - Topic Overview

Your brain uses the input from four sensory systems to help maintain balance and position in relation to your surroundings:

  • Vision provides information about your position and motion in relationship to the rest of the world. This is an important part of the balance mechanism and often overrides information from the other balance-sensing systems.
  • Sensory nerves in the joints allow the brain to keep track of the position of the legs, arms, and trunk. Your body is then automatically able to make tiny changes in posture that help maintain balance (proprioception).
  • Skin pressure sensation provides information about position and motion in relationship to gravity.
  • A portion of the inner ear, called the labyrinth, which includes the semicircular canals, contains specialized cells that detect motion and changes in position.

If there is a problem with any of the above systems, you will probably feel dizzy (unsteady) or have vertigo (spinning) or poor balance.

Recommended Related to Migraines/Headaches

Do Your Sleep Habits Trigger Migraines?

If you suffer from migraines, you may want to pay more attention to your sleep habits. That's the message from several studies which show that sleep problems, like insomnia, may actually trigger migraines.

Read the Do Your Sleep Habits Trigger Migraines? article > >

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: December 19, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Vertigo: Senses That Help Your Balance and Position Topics

    Today on WebMD

    woman receiving acupuncture
    14 alternative methods for migraine relief.
    woman with migraine
    Get the truth about migraines.
     
    headache in the bedroom
    Keep headaches from ruining your sex life.
    desert heat
    12 surprising headache triggers.
     
    woman with migraine
    Quiz
    drinking coffee
    Article
     
    Migraines Headaches Basics
    Article
    acupuncture needles in woman's back
    Slideshow
     
    young woman with migraine
    Articles
    spraying perfume
    Article
     
    man with a headache
    Article
    headache in the bedroom
    Article
     

    Special Sections