Three Exercises You Can Do When Vertigo Strikes

Simply put, vertigo is the sensation of spinning. One of the most common ear diseases, it is caused by a variety of factors that affect the inner ear which is your body’s source of balance. Many cases of vertigo will resolve on their own and others will be more difficult to treat.  Either way, there’s no disputing the fact that the symptoms can be distressing and disruptive.

Three Exercises You Can Do When Vertigo Strikes

Vertigo usually comes and goes and is triggered by changes in the position of your head. Lasting minutes to even hours, the most common symptoms include:

●  Feeling unbalanced

●  Dizziness

●  Tilting or swaying

●  Being pulled in one direction

●  Nausea

●  Sweating

●   Headache

●  Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)

The above information is provided for informational purposes only and should not be used for self-diagnosis. If you experience frequent, sudden, or severe episodes of dizziness, you should consult with your doctor for an evaluation.

{Three exercises you can do}

Because you never know when vertigo might strike, it’s important to know ways to help reduce your symptoms and help them clear as quickly as possible. Your healthcare provider may share exercises with you to help alleviate an episode’s symptoms. Depending on the cause of your vertigo, some exercises will be more effective than others. Try a few and see if they help your situation. Remember that it’s common for these exercises to make your vertigo symptoms worse while you are doing them.

Try to stick it out until it resolves. The following are common exercises used to remedy vertigo symptoms, and should not be construed as medical advice or as an alternative to meeting with a healthcare professional.  Always consult with your physician before engaging in a new treatment or exercise program, and immediately cease any program if you experience pain or discomfort.

1)  The Epley or modified Epley maneuver:  Begin by sitting up on a bed or couch. Turn your head halfway toward the side that’s spinning. Then, trying to keep this position, lay back quickly and allow your head to dangle back off the bed a bit. This will put your head lower than your shoulders and body. Stay in this position until the vertigo resolves. Because the Epley can be tricky to master on your own, it’s usually best to have your doctor show you this once or twice in the office before you give it a try by yourself.

2)  The Brandt-Daroff maneuver:  Similar to the Epley, start in a seated position on a bed, couch or other flat surface. Turn your head about halfway toward the side of your body that’s spinning. Holding your head in this position, lay down on the opposite side of your body. (So if the spinning is coming from the right and your head is turned slightly to the right, lay down on your left side.) Hold this position for 30 seconds, wait 30 seconds and repeat on the other side 5 times, twice a day.

3)  Eye and head movement techniques:  Holding your head still, move only your eyes left and right and up and down ten times. Then focus on a point on the wall or your finger in front of you. Keeping your eyes on your focus point, move only your head—first side to side and then up and down. This practice can help reduce the number of vertigo episodes you have if practiced regularly and combined with other exercises.

If you are unsure about the best ways to manage your vertigo, talk to your doctor or a physical therapist. He or she will be able to teach you additional tips and techniques that can make living with vertigo more bearable.

Editorial Team
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