Vertigo can be treated by simple exercise at home

Treating BPPV (Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo)

Vertigo or BPPV (Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo) can have a number of causes from an infection, or an injury to the dislodging of little flakes that naturally detach and float free to disturb the fine hairs that are responsible for our sense of balance – something that can become more common as we age. Vertigo can be a one time event, an occasional attack or a chronic affliction. Sufferers can find the world slowly revolving or can completely lose all sense of up and down with the world flip-flopping and reducing the sufferer to helplessness. In severe episodes it is impossible for the sufferer to sit or stand.

You can get some relief or even prevent chronic episodes by doing exercises at home. Doing the Brandt-Daroff exercises two to three times a day can often help clear up acute symptoms after around ten days or thirty sets. Symptoms usually will go away on their own but they can last many months and these exercises can shorten the suffering.

  • Start by sitting upright looking ahead for thirty seconds.
  • Vertigo exercise 1Credit: Sketch by Jane GatesThen gently lie on your side with the afflicted ear facing down. Turn your head at a 45 degree angle looking slightly up and to the side and count to thirty again. Vertigo exercise 2Credit: Photo by Jane GatesDon’t be surprised if the vertigo occurs. It should settle within your time counting.
  • Vertigo exercise 3Credit: Photo by Jane GatesSit up again for thirty seconds.
  • Vertigo exercise 4Credit: Photo by Jane GatesThen lie on your opposite side with the afflicted ear side up for the next thirty seconds. Repeat the 45 degree angle in this other direction.
  • Return to the original sitting position.
  • Repeat the set three times.Vertigo exercise 3Credit: Photo by Jane Gates

Be prepared for things to get worse before they get better. And if you suffer from spinning and flipping, it is likely you will experience these symptoms each time you change position. As you continue the exercises the severity will diminish.

For people who have chronic problems – particularly those who suffer from loose flakes, doing a set of exercises once a week may reduce or even prevent more acute episodes.

Always seek the advice of your doctor before taking medications or treating yourself -- even with simple exercises like these.