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Vertigo Exercises

Vertigo Exercises

Vertigo is an abnormal sensation of motion or spinning that a person may have, which usually lasts for a minute or so. This article provides different exercises that will help overcome this problem.
Kanika Khara
Last Updated: Feb 8, 2018
A person having vertigo, experiences a feeling that either he/she is spinning or everything around him/her is spinning. It mainly occurs due to some kind of problem in the inner ear which causes short vertigo spells that come and go. It is usually caused by a problem with the balance mechanisms within the inner ear. Our ear consists of tiny calcium stones, (present in the utricle that helps you to keep balance) which move around in the ear canal when we stand up, turn around, look at the sky, etc. Due to some ear infection or inflammation, these stones are unable to move, and end up sending wrong signals to the brain that disturb our balance. As a result, the person may have feeling of spinning or tilting while moving the head, rolling over in bed, bending over, etc.
Some Exercises for Vertigo
This is not a life-threatening disorder and so it can be cured easily by performing some basic exercises. These cervical vertigo exercises are designed to relax the muscles of the neck and shoulder, to train movement of the eyes, and to practice head movements, and balancing issues in order to alleviate the debilitating effects of losing balance. The below given exercises should be done slowly and repetitively, and thrice a day. Besides treating the condition, they are also helpful in overcoming dizziness and other related symptoms.
Benign Positional Vertigo Exercises
These exercises help by enabling the calcium stones to move freely in the semicircular canals of the ear. Hence, they help in maintaining the body balance and prevent vertigo from reoccurring.
Epley Maneuver
Also known as particle repositioning or canalith repositioning maneuver, in this exercise you need to position your head into four sequential movements by allotting a fixed duration of time for each position. To do it: sit straight and position your head to the symptomatic or diagnostic side at an angle of 45 degrees, and lie down on your back. Be in this position for at least 5-7 minutes and then turn your head at an angle of 90 degrees to the other side. Remain in this position for another 5-7 minutes and turn your body onto your side with your face pointing downwards. Now, go back to your initial sitting position and remain in that position for at least 30 seconds. Repeat the entire process 2-3 times and then relax.
Brandt-Daroff Exercise
In this, the affected person is repeatedly asked to shift from a sitting position to a lying position, which helps in improving the brain's ability to overcome the conflicting balance signals it is receiving. To do it: sit straight on the edge of the bed and slightly turn your head to the left at an angle of 45 degrees. Quickly lie down on your back to the right and stay in this position for 20-30 seconds or until the uneasiness subsides. Now get up, sit straight, and remain in this position for another 20-30 seconds. Likewise, turn your head to the right and lie down quickly on your back to the left. Stay in this position for another 20-30 seconds and then sit upright, and repeat the entire process.
Vestibular Vertigo Exercises
These are simple yet effective exercises that help in maintaining the vestibular sense or sense of equilibrium by focusing or concentrating on a specific object.
Eye Exercises
Sit or stand up straight and focus on an object that is right in front of your sight. Slightly tilt your head at an angle of 45 degrees to the right, while keeping your eyes focused on that object. Return to the initial position and likewise tilt your head at an angle of 45 degrees to the left, while keeping your eyes focused on that object. Do this exercise 2-3 times a day.
Exercising with Balls
Bouncing on an exercise ball is an effective and fun way to regain your balance. All you need to do is simply sit on the ball and bounce up and down. You can also throw a tennis ball or hand ball from hand to hand within eyesight, or pass the ball under your legs, or throw a tennis ball or rubber ball back and forth against a wall or with someone.
Following the aforementioned exercises is easy and they might prove beneficial to regain your body equilibrium. However, no matter how easy they are, for beginners it is recommended to perform these exercises under a doctor's supervision and once you are thorough with them you can practice them at home.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.