Vertigo is the sensation that your surroundings are spinning even when they are not, & that you’re out of balance. Vertigo is rarely a problem in itself; it is usually a symptom of an underlying illness, diagnosed or undiagnosed. Certain medications, viral infections, & inner ear nerve issues can lead to Vertigo, the most common type of which is BPPV Vertigo, otherwise known as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV).
BPPV Vertigo is caused by small Calcium Carbonate Crystals in other parts of the ear, accidentally entering the semicircular canal of the inner ear, an area responsible for maintaining balance in our body by coordinating with the balance nerves in our brain.
Although not always, Vertigo is often accompanied by Nausea & motion sickness, wherein the patient may feel that certain movements & motions that trigger Vertigo also bring on Nauseousness.
BPPV Vertigo can occur in recurring episodes; however, it causes problems with performing everyday activities like walking, running, sitting, exercising, etc. While medications are known to help with cases of Vertigo, certain exercises for Vertigo are also recommended to be done at home. These exercises, also known as manoeuvres, help reinstate the displaced calcium carbonate crystals to their original positions in the semicircular canal, & restore the patient’s balance. Doctors often recommend performing these exercises alongside medications to help you treat & better manage your BPPV Vertigo.
In this article, we’ll tell you some of the most common exercises for Vertigo you can perform at your home to treat your Vertigo. Read on to know more.
Brandt-Daroff exercises utilize gravity to help dislodge crystals from the semicircular canal so that they no longer pose a problem in maintaining the body’s balance.
This exercise can be performed at home in a few simple steps as given below:
- Sit in the bed with your feet on the floor, and then turn your head 45 degrees in the right direction.
- Without changing the direction of your head, lie down on your left side on the bed. Maintain this position for about 30 seconds.
- Slowly return to the starting position, & take a 30-second pause.
- Now, turn your head 45 degrees in the left side, & repeat the previous steps in the right direction.
- Return to the starting position & pause for 30 seconds.
- Repeat this set of procedures for about five times in a single sitting.
This exercise, like almost every other exercise for Vertigo, can bring about dizziness. Hence it’s important to remember to give yourself a moment for the dizziness to pass before getting up to stand after performing the Brandt-Daroff exercise. Considering you have been seeing a doctor & taking regular medications alongside this exercise for BPPV treatment, it should give tangible benefits to you in about three to four weeks.
The Semont Maneuver, also known as the liberatory manoeuvre, is another exercise for Vertigo recommended for BPPV treatment. It takes less time to perform than the Brandt-Daroff exercise; however, these should best be done in the presence of a healthcare provider.
For the below set of exercises, we’ll assume that you have left-ear BPPV.
- Sit on the edge of your bed in an upright position & turn your head 45 degrees to the right.
- Quickly drop to your left until your head is on the bed, & hold this position for 30 seconds.
- Next, quickly move your body to the right side in a single movement without changing the position of your head.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds, and then slowly return to the starting position.
If you are suffering from right ear BPPV, then turn your head to the right first, & lay down on your left side on the bed. Considering that your BPPV treatment is in line with medications & exercises, then the Semont Maneuver should begin to show results in a day or two.
The Epley Maneuver is another popular & commonly recommended exercise for Vertigo. Most patients with Vertigo get relief from their symptoms with the Epley Maneuver.
Although the original Epley Maneuver can only be performed with the help of at least two other people, the modified Epley Maneuver can be easily performed by yourself at home.
Below is the procedure for performing the Epley Maneuver at home if you have left-ear BPPV. In the case of right ear BPPV, just perform the steps in the opposite direction.
- Sit on the bed in an upright position, while placing your legs straight ahead in front of you with a pillow behind you.
- Next, turn your head 45 degrees to the left.
- Lie on your back quickly until your shoulders are on the bed. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
- Next, turn your head 90 degrees to the left without lifting it up. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
- Now, turn your body & head another 90 degrees to the right & hold for 30 seconds.
- Next, sit upright on the right edge of the bed.
For the best results in your BPPV treatment, perform the Epley Maneuver for at least three times a day, & repeat each day until you notice a reduction in your symptoms in the full 24 hours.
The Foster Maneuver is also sometimes called the ‘Half Somersault’. It is one of the most recommended & easiest exercises for Vertigo, in that it doesn’t need to be performed in a bed nor does it require any other person to be present.
Below is a list of steps you’ll need to do to perform the Foster Maneuver if you have left ear BPPV. In the case of right ear BPPV, do these steps on the right side.
- Firstly, kneel down & place your hands on the floor. Tilt your head upwards & then back, & wait for any dizziness to pass.
- Next, place your forehead on the floor, pointing your chin towards your knees.
- Now, turn your head 45 degrees towards your left elbow. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
- Keeping your head in the same position, raise it to the level of your back & shoulders. Hold for another 30 seconds.
- Finally, raise your head in a fully upright position.
Repeat the manoeuvre at least 4 to 5 times to feel relief from Vertigo symptoms in 24 hours. Remember to always wait at least 15 minutes between each repetition. While these exercises are all designed to aid in BPPV treatment & help manage Vertigo symptoms better, it’s also important to remember that these exercises can bring about dizziness for brief periods of time. Always give yourself some time to relax & unwind after each session, before going about your day.
Also, if you feel dizziness between the steps of a single manoeuvre, then it’s best to lie down & wait for the dizziness to pass before getting back into the exercise. Also, remember to only perform any of these exercises after having consulted an expert & getting an exact diagnosis. If your Vertigo isn’t caused by BPPV & is the result of some other underlying condition, then these movements might exacerbate the symptoms.
Vertigo is a 100% treatable & manageable condition that requires a good, sound, & reliable diagnosis along with a personalized approach towards treatment & care. Neuroequilibrium range of clinics is known around India for its specialized Vertigo care & an army of experts that accurately diagnose, treat, & care for you to help tackle & manage your Vertigo.