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Can A Treadmill Cause Vertigo?

Treadmill Running

By Simon Gould

Vertigo is an unfortunate symptom of a problem with the way balance works. It can be an issue with the inner ear or various other brain problems. Vertigo attacks usually last only a few seconds but can last longer for some people. It can present itself in sudden dizziness and in some cases a migraine. Many people think it's a fear of heights and the associated dizziness but it's not.

Yes, a treadmill can cause vertigo

Just like any movement can be a trigger for vertigo sufferers, a treadmill can cause vertigo to occur. You're walking or running so your head moves around on the spot, when you stop or sometimes while you're exercising you may suddenly feel dizzy. It can happen outside and it can happen inside. It's a movement that triggers it and running is a vigorous movement.

If you're a fan of sport and golf, there was a famous vertigo incident that occurred to a popular player in the US Open. As reported by CBS Sports (with a video) golfer Jason Day, who was leading in 2015, suffered a bout of vertigo that made him collapse. He was just walking on the 9th hole. He never fully recovered for the tournament. He had tests and scans afterwards and no cause was found.

Treadmill Running
Pavel L Photo and Video/

If it can occur to a professional sportsman it can happen to anyone. Other movements can trigger it like getting up suddenly out of bed and other everyday activities. People who have vertigo often get motion sickness as well. If it happens pervasively and affects your daily life, especially if it prevents you from exercising a doctor should be seen.

How the risks can be minimized

Some sufferers actually take medication to help prevent a bout of vertigo occurring. There are other ways you can prevent it coming and I'll go through the ways you can still workout on a treadmill without getting dizzy. The first thing you need to do is build up very slowly to your desired speed. A warm up is usually 5 minutes but you may want to take longer so you get used to the movement.

So if you normally run then walk and get slightly quicker over the space of several minutes. Don't make any sudden speed changes so your body can get used to the movement. This is the same for when you've finished your workout. Gradually reduce the speed to when you finally stop. This routine should hopefully keep any dizziness at bay and allow you to exercise regularly.

Treadmill Running
Simple Photo Shot/


Vertigo can be a debilitating symptom but it doesn't have to be. It doesn't need to get in the way of doing something which is very good for your health, and that is exercising. For further information and how you can get help with your vertigo then this vertigo page on medical news today gives a fantastic overview of the problem and treatment options available to you.

Running on a treadmill is really no difference to running outside except that you are not moving forward, you're running on the spot. There is less movement than running outside because your head moves more running outside with the gradients and other obstacles. That being said it's a problem that you don't have to put up with. There are various techniques to help minimize the risks of getting it as stated above.

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Meet The Author

Simon Gould

I'm Simon Gould. I've been around treadmills my whole life. From running on them at an early age to working in treadmill dept's of national stores. I've run outside and I've run on treadmills and I prefer running on treadmills. I still run on one nearly every day and love it.

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