What Are Epley Maneuver Exercises for Vertigo?

Anyone suffering from Vertigo & undergoing Vertigo treatment is well aware of the Epley Maneuver dizziness exercises.  Epley Maneuver is a Vertigo exercise that’s recommended for BPPV Vertigo patients as part of Vertigo home remedies & exercises.  To understand just what the Epley Maneuver does & what it is used for, we need to understand these terms in detail.

What is Vertigo?

Vertigo is characterized by a feeling of dizziness, a spinning sensation, & an experience of the world around them spinning or moving even when it’s perfectly still. Vertigo is of two types: Peripheral vertigo & Central Vertigo. Peripheral Vertigo is caused by issues in the inner ear & in the vestibular system, which is responsible for maintaining the body’s balance. Central Vertigo is caused by a problem in the brain or the central nervous system, affecting the balance of the entire body.

Exercises for Vertigo

Peripheral Vertigo is of various types:

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV):

BPPV is by far the most common type of Peripheral Vertigo. BPPV causes short but frequent episodes of Vertigo. It is triggered by certain head movements & changes in the position of the head. BPPV is caused by tiny calcium carbonate crystals in the inner ear breaking away from their original position & lodging into the semicircular canal, causing problems with balance & position in space.

  • Labyrinthitis:

Labyrinthitis is an inner ear infection that causes dizziness & balance problems, Because this is a viral infection, it usually occurs with other symptoms such as headache & fever. It is called Labyrinthitis as the infection occurs in the part of the inner ear called Labyrinth, which controls balance & hearing. Any Viral infection like cold or flu, or bacterial infection, can also cause the condition.

  • Vestibular Neuronitis:

This type of Vertigo occurs suddenly & leads to sudden bouts of unsteadiness, dizziness, nausea, earache, & vomiting. It is caused by an infection spreading to the vestibular nerve, which controls the body’s balance & transmission of signals. Vestibular Neuritis often follows a viral infection such as cold or flu.

  • Meniere’s Disease:

Meniere’s Disease causes sudden Vertigo that can last for 24 hours. The Vertigo caused by Meniere’s Disease is so severe that it causes severe vomiting, dizziness, hearing loss, Tinnitus, & a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ears.

Vertigo Treatment Options

Vertigo treatment includes a lot of options, including Vertigo medicines, vertigo & dizziness exercises, & Vertigo home remedies & exercises.

Vertigo medicines to treat peripheral vertigo include:

  • Antibiotics, to treat inner ear infections that lead to labyrinthitis, Meniere’s Disease, etc.
  • Antihistamines, like Meclizine(Antivert)
  • Prochlorperazine medicines, to give relief from Nausea
  • Benzodiazepines, which are essentially anxiety medications that help in relieving anxiety

Vertigo patients often take a certain medication called betahistine, which is called Betaserc, or Serc, which helps reduce pressure inside the inner ear & provide relief from the symptoms of the disease.

Epley Maneuver

The Epley Maneuver is a popular Vertigo exercise & is one of the most recommended Vertigo home remedies & exercises. It is recommended for patients suffering from BPPV, & involves moving your head in certain ways to move the displaced calcium carbonate crystals from the semicircular canal to the inner ear. BPPV patients often notice that certain head movements trigger Vertigo attacks, & hence, the Epley Maneuver can prove to be extremely effective in Vertigo treatment. The Epley Maneuver has been shown to relieve the symptoms of patients immediately after performing, though it may take up to some weeks for certain patients. This Vertigo & dizziness exercise is also quite safe for most patients of any age & sex.

How to perform the Epley Maneuver

To perform the Epley maneuver for Vertigo treatment, follow the below-mentioned steps.

For the steps below, we have assumed that you have left-ear BPPV. In the case of right-ear BPPV, simply perform the steps in the opposite direction.

  • Start by sitting on the bed, with your legs laid out straight in front of you.
  • Lie down, while keeping your head turned in the left direction. Hold the position for about 30 seconds.
  • Next, turn your head to the right about 90 degrees, until it’s facing 45 degrees to your right side. Hold this position for about 30 seconds.
  • Before sitting up, rollover on the bed to your right side.

The Epley Maneuver is generally safe to perform for a majority of people, however, you must consult with your doctor before starting if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Any neck or back diseases or injuries,
  • Any vascular conditions,
  • Retinal detachment

There is often no need for you to perform the Epley Maneuver under the supervision of a healthcare professional. However, if you still suffer from dizziness even after performing the maneuver multiple times, then contact your healthcare provider for a thorough assessment & evaluation of any other underlying illnesses.

What if your Vertigo still persists?

If this Vertigo & dizziness exercise doesn’t cure your Vertigo immediately, then you need to meet up with your healthcare professional to discuss other Vertigo treatment options. These Vertigo treatments may include other Vertigo exercises such as Brandt-Daroff exercises, the Semont-Foster maneuver, the half-somersault maneuver, & many others.

They may also include certain Vertigo home remedies & exercises like:

  • Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba is heralded by Vertigo experts as a very effective Vertigo medicine for vertigo & dizziness treatment. Patients can get it in liquid or capsule formats both. Although it is a herbal supplement, you should consult with your doctor before starting the medication to avoid any side effects.

  • Stress Reduction

Vertigo symptoms are worsened by any acute or chronic stress the patient faces, a fact that medical experts agree with. Vertigo patients should check their stress by indulging in stress management activities like Yoga, reading, singing, dancing, knitting, sewing, etc. You may also try participating in Karate lessons & Tai Chi classes to give an outlet to all the nervous energy generated due to daily stress.

  • Getting proper sleep

Getting a full 8 hours of sleep is extremely important in stress management, & helps to keep Vertigo episodes at bay. A lack of sleep makes the patient prone to dizziness, & migraine headaches ensue, thus worsening any preexisting vertigo symptoms.

  • Staying hydrated

Just like a lack of sleep, the lack of hydration also leads to dizziness, nausea, motion sickness, & fainting in severe cases, among other things. Ensuring that you drink enough water every day helps keep severe Vertigo episodes in check.

  • Staying away from Alcohol & caffeine

Alcohol & caffeine consumption has been shown to lead to severe Vertigo episodes & lingering symptoms. Reducing your alcohol & caffeine consumption can greatly help in limiting Vertigo attacks over a long period of time.

  • Vitamin D

For people suffering from acutely severe episodes of BPPV Vertigo, increasing their intake of Vitamin D in their daily diets can prove to be effective in reducing their symptoms.

You can begin by including milk or milk supplements in your diet, along with food items like orange juice, canned tuna, & egg yolk.