Tara Kachroo

Eye movement issues as a symptom

Eye movement issues as a symptom

Eyes movements and body movements coordinate

Sometimes eye movement dysfunctions can create an issue in other parts of the body, other times an issue somewhere else in one’s body will create a related eye movement problem. It can go both ways.

I had a client that had made massive strides in all her problem areas, improving her balance, strength, breath capacity and stability. During one session I noticed that each time we started going through a movement or testing something, her eyes would look left. When she looked to the right it threw off her reflexive stability and she felt wobbly and unsteady.

We didn’t have time that session to go through an entire eye movement assessment, but I had already noticed a problem with the muscles in the back of her neck on the right side (cervical extensors) being weak. When we did further testing of those cervical extensors it was clear that the movement they were having the most trouble with was rotating her head to the right. Ah-ha!

Neck movements and Eye movements are tightly linked

Looking to the side can start to activate the muscles that rotate your head to that side, sending a ‘neural pulse’ through that pathway — a sort of precursory command to initiate movement before it actually happens. Since the muscles that turned her head to the right were still strong and actively supporting her head, but the muscles that turned her head to the left were dysfunctional, she was unconsciously activating the part of her neck that wasn’t strong with her eyes. Clever.

The neuromotor system is pretty damn brilliant.

We discovered the issue that was inhibiting her left cervical extensors: a scar on her shoulder. We treated it, and found the right cervical extensors had returned to normal functioning and she no longer felt wobbly or unsteady when looking to the right.





André-Deshays, C., Berthoz, A. & Revel, M. Eye-head coupling in humans. Exp Brain Res 69, 399–406 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00247585