Vertigo is the feeling of the surroundings spinning around or moving, even without any external movement present. A patient may feel as if they or their surroundings are uncontrollably spinning around, get nauseous, & experience vomiting. Motion sickness, headaches of migraine intensity, & excessive sweating are also common. People might also display rapid, abnormal eye movements that dart back and forth also called nystagmus.
The direction and randomness of these eye movements also help your doctor differentiate between the types of vertigo you’re suffering from. There are usually two types of vertigo; Peripheral & Central. Peripheral Vertigo is caused by an inner ear issue or a problem with the vestibular system. The other type of vertigo is called Central Vertigo. Central vertigo is caused by a problem with the brain, the central nervous system, & the brainstem.
Certain autoimmune diseases like Multiple Sclerosis, Lyme disease, & Lupus can also cause vertigo symptoms in some people. Peripheral Vertigo symptoms and attacks are usually less severe and debilitating than central vertigo symptoms and attacks. Peripheral Vertigo also lasts for a shorter amount of time and is quite easy to treat.
Peripheral vertigo treatment generally consists of vertigo exercises, vertigo medicines like Stemetil tablet, & some home remedies. Central Vertigo treatment consists of treating the underlying condition and providing certain home remedies to relieve the intensity of the symptoms. In some cases, surgery can be a vertigo treatment option for both sets of patients with Peripheral & Central Vertigo.
In this blog, we’ll tell you about some vertigo exercises that can help you get rid of your peripheral vertigo symptoms.
1. The Epley Maneuver
The Epley maneuver helps treat a certain type of vertigo known as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo(BPPV). BPPV occurs when the tiny calcium crystals that usually reside in your middle ear, get accidentally dislodged into the semicircular canal of the inner ear. This causes symptoms like dizziness, nausea, headaches, & motion sickness as these crystals can detect motion. This is also the reason why BPPV attacks seem to be triggered by a change in the position of the head & any head movements.
The Epley Maneuver is helpful in removing these dislodged calcium crystals from the semicircular canal & placing them back in the middle ear. Doctors recommend the Epley Maneuver as the first line of treatment in most cases of BPPV. They can either perform the exercises in their office, or give you certain instructions to perform these on your own.
To perform the Epley maneuver for left-ear BPPV, follow the steps below:
- Sit on the bed in an upright position. Spread your legs straight ahead and place a pillow behind your back.
- Turn your head to the left at a 45-degree angle.
- Quickly lie back until your shoulders are on the pillow. Wait for any dizziness to pass & hold this position for at least 30 seconds.
- Turn your head towards the right without lifting it. Wait in this position for at least 30 seconds.
- Now turn your body in such a way that you’re lying on your right side. Wait for any dizziness to pass, then wait another 30 seconds.
- Come back to your original position and sit upright on the bed.
For right-ear BPPV, simply reverse the direction of the steps in the above guide. The Epley Maneuver is usually safe to perform. Try to perform the exercises thrice every day in a set of 5 repetitions until the symptoms are gone. Always wait for at least 15 minutes before getting on with your everyday activities after performing the Epley Maneuver.
2. The Brandt-Daroff Exercises
The Brandt-Daroff exercises help treat BPPV by removing the dislodged calcium crystals from inside the inner ear with the help of gravity. These are often recommended along with the Epley maneuver for quick & effective BPPV vertigo treatment.
To perform the Brandt-Daroff exercises for left-ear BPPV, follow the instructions below:
- Sit on your bed in the middle and place your feet on the floor. Now turn your head 45 degrees in the right direction.
- Lie down on your left side without moving your head. Wait for any dizziness to pass and then hold the position for another 30 seconds. In case you don’t feel dizzy, wait for another 30 seconds before resuming the exercises.
- Return to your original position & wait 30 seconds.
- Now turn your head 45 degrees in the left direction.
- Repeat steps 2 & 3 on the right side.
- Return to your original position & wait for another 30 seconds.
- Perform the exercises in a set of five repetitions each.
For right-ear BPPV, simply reverse the direction of the steps above.
Try to perform these exercises twice every day for two weeks, one set in the morning and another at night.
3. The Semont Maneuver
The Semont Maneuver, also known as the Foster maneuver, is another BPPV Vertigo exercise. It is a bit less tedious to perform than the Brandt-Daroff exercises, but is quite effective for BPPV Vertigo treatment.
Follow the steps mentioned below to perform the Semont Maneuver for left-ear BPPV.
- Sit on the edge of the bed in an upright position and turn your head 45 degrees towards the right.
- Quickly drop to your left and only stop once your head is on the bed. Hold for a minute at least.
- Quickly move your body to the right side in a single movement without changing the angle of your head. Your head should be facing the floor at this point.
- Hold this position for at least 1 minute. After that, slowly return to your original position.
In case you have right-ear BPPV, start by turning your head to the left & dropping to your right side first.
Try to perform these for at least once a day until your vertigo symptoms show signs of improvement. Always wait at least 10-15 minutes before starting with your day.
4. The Foster maneuver
The Foster maneuver is another vertigo exercise used for BPPV Vertigo treatment. It is also one of the easiest vertigo exercises, as it doesn’t require a bed or another person to help you.
To perform the Foster maneuver for left-ear BPPV, follow the steps below:
- Kneel down with your hands on the floor & tilt your head upwards & downwards. Wait for any dizziness to pass before moving on to the next step.
- Place your forehead on the floor & tuck your chin towards your knees.
- Turn your head at a 45-degree angle to face your left elbow. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
- Raise your head until it’s at the same level as your back and shoulders while keeping it at a 45-degree angle. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
- Raise your head in a fully upright position.
For right-ear BPPV, perform the above-mentioned steps on the right side. Repeat the vertigo exercises 4 to 5 times in each set to get relief from your vertigo symptoms. Wait for at least 15 minutes before resuming everyday activities.