Positional vertigo is typically a shortened name for "benign postural positional vertigo," or BPPV. This condition is caused by the migration of balance crystals in the inner ear (otoconia), which move from their usual position into one of the semicircular canals usually the posterior canal.
This results in dizziness when you roll over in bed, bend over, look up or turn your head quickly. The dizziness usually lasts less than a minute. If the motion is repeated, the dizziness is not as severe. If there is no motion, there is no dizziness. The dizziness usually resolves over weeks to months.
There are several other causes for dizziness that have a positional component. Postural vertigo occurs when you get up too quickly. This is from a relative lack of circulation to the head. Anyone can experience this, but it is more often seen in the elderly or people taking blood pressure medication. Getting up slowly usually avoids the problem.
Cervical vertigo can occur with problems in the neck. Symptoms are usually worse when the neck is bad and get better when the neck problem improves. Symptoms are related to motion of the neck and head. The feelings can be that of true spinning vertigo or imbalance. Treatment for the neck problems usually is the best option for treatment of this form of dizziness.
Many times it is not clear what the cause of the dizziness is without a thorough medical evaluation. If treatment is not successful, it is possible that there is an alternative or additional cause that has not yet been diagnosed.