How Does It Work?
Vertigo is an extreme form of dizziness that makes it feel like your world is spinning. Along with being dizzy, symptoms of vertigo can also include unsteadiness, nausea or vomiting, blurred vision, anxiety, and increased sweating.
The most prevalent cause of vertigo is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) – triggered by movement of your head such as tilting it up or down, getting up or lying down, and turning over. The reason for this is that fluid inside the sensitive semicircular canals within your inner ear moves as you do. Should tiny crystals of calcium carbonate enter your semicircular canals, it confuses your brain about your position.
While medications can be prescribed, they generally treat the symptoms rather than the condition. Vestibular rehabilitation therapy is designed to redistribute the crystals.
What Exercises Are Involved?
VRT falls into three categories:
Balance training exercises help patients to walk on uneven ground or in the dark.
Gaze stabilization exercises aim to improve visual acuity during head movement.
Habituation is used to treat dizziness caused by visual stimulation or moving your head as in vertigo. This the category we will focus on here.
Before attempting this home exercise program, you need to determine which ear has the problem. Here we assume it is your left ear. Between each movement, wait for vertigo to dissipate. Sit up slowly after habituation exercises.
The Epley Maneuver
Sit on a bed.
Turn your head 45O to the left.
Keep your head angled as you quickly lie back.
Without raising your head, turn it 90O to the right.
Roll your body and head another 90O to the right.
Sit on a bed and turn your head 45O to the right and keep it in that position throughout.
Quickly lie on your left side to look at the ceiling.
Come back up to sitting, then quickly lie on your right side to look at the floor.
Half-Somersault or Foster Maneuver
While kneeling, look up at the ceiling.
Now put your head upside-down on the floor, tucking in your chin.
Without moving your torso, turn to face your left elbow
Sit on a bed and turn your head 45O to the right.
Move just your body to lie on your left side.
Come up and repeat to the other side.
How Long Does It Last?
Before diving into how long physical therapy takes, confirm that your vestibular symptoms are not signs of something else:
- Vestibular neuritis
- Acoustic neuroma
- Vestibular migraines, and so on.
With regular VRT, vertigo sensations should settle within three to six weeks. Many people never suffer from it again.
For more information on physical therapy for vertigo, contact the licensed professionals at Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic today.