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Why Do I Get Lightheaded When I Stretch?

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Dizziness can strike when you least expect it. One of the most common ways to experience lightheadedness is when you stretch.

It may seem strange to experience dizziness during this recovery portion of your workout, but it may simply mean that the body is working harder to recover. If it happens often, you may want to consult a doctor, as it may indicate a more serious cause.

Why Do I Get Dizzy When I Stretch?

Lightheadedness while stretching is often the result of high-intensity or endurance exercise, such as running too far or too fast. 

That said, people who engage in moderate exercises may experience that unsteady, dizzy feeling while stretching, or holding a stretch for too long. Health experts advise taking note of your symptoms, in addition to when you experience them. Specific symptoms, for example, can indicate an underlying health condition. It’s also important to understand that there are two types of dizziness you can experience:

  • Lightheadedness: This type of dizziness may cause you to feel faint or unbalanced. 
  • Vertigo: With this type of dizziness, it can seem like your surroundings are spinning.

Blood Pooling

Experiencing dizziness when you stretch may stem from not cooling down properly after a workout. Lower-body workouts, for example, make you more susceptible to dizziness while stretching because large amounts of blood can pool in the legs. 

When you cool down, you help your body disperse blood evenly. Ideally, cool down for about 10-15 minutes, lowering the intensity of your exercise to allow your breathing and heart rate to return to normal. Thai can help you optimize blood flow and reduce the chance of blood pooling.

Positional Vertigo

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), also known as positional vertigo, is usually triggered by specific changes in head positioning. If the head leans a certain way in a stretch, you may experience a sudden sensation of spinning. The dizziness episodes tend to be brief and range from mild to intense. BPPV causes about 50% of all dizziness in older adults and 20% of dizziness regardless of age. 

Neural Tension in Spine

The cervical spine is an area in the neck that contains the spinal cord, neck muscles, and nerves, which send messages to the rest of your body. Cervicogenic dizziness is a condition that causes vertigo-like symptoms when the spine or neck area is inflamed or injured. Irritated nerves and blood vessels or previous injury can cause stiffness and dizziness, especially if you position the neck in a certain way while stretching. Depending on the severity of the condition, you may also experience inner ear pain, nausea, unsteady gait, or a sense of spinning. 

Neck Pain

It is very common for neck pain to cause dizziness, according to the Vestibular Disorders Association. The problem with neck pain being the culprit of your dizziness during stretching is that it is difficult to diagnose. Unfortunately, there are no tests to determine if your dizziness is induced by neck pain. Experts say, however, that the dizziness tends to stem from a cracked vertebra, or something similar. This explains why the lack of balance or lightheadedness worsens when you lean your head one way or another during a stretch session.

Orthostatic Hypotension

Most people can experience dizziness if they stand up quickly after being seated for a while. If this happens every time you stand up, though, then you may suffer from orthostatic hypotension. This condition, although not a serious one, tends to result from low blood sugar or mild dehydration. If it happens when you stretch or stand up, consider speaking with your health care professional, as it may be a symptom of a more serious problem. The last thing you want is for the dizziness to lead to loss of consciousness.


It’s very easy for someone to become dehydrated, especially during a workout. Failure to replenish the liquids you lose while exercising can result in symptoms of dehydration. Most health experts recommend that you drink water before, during, and after a workout or stretch session. Keeping up your water intake can help you avoid lightheadedness, especially when your head is positioned in certain ways while stretching. 

Is it Normal to Feel Dizzy After Stretching? 

It is not normal to feel dizzy after stretching. Stretching should feel good, not cause panic because it makes you dizzy.As stated throughout this article, there are several factors that contribute to lightheadedness or dizziness after stretching. If you properly hydrate and cool down post workout, you should be able to experience a dizzy-free stretch session. That said, an underlying condition may be the culprit, so talk with your doctor if dizziness persists.

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