How To Treat Vertigo

What is Vertigo?

By definition, vertigo is the feeling of uncontrolled spinning. Feeling lightheaded or dizzy is different from spinning vertigo. Most often, vertigo is coming from your inner ear and is called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). Frequently, small crystals become dislodged in your inner ear, causing the inner ear to send incorrect information to the brain, creating vertigo.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BBPV) is characterized as a balance disorder along with labyrinthitis and Ménière’s disease. It can often result from a head injury or simply occur among those who are older. Within the labyrinth of the inner ear there are collections of calcium crystals known as otoconia, the otoconia becomes dislodged from its usual position within the utricle and migrate to semicircular canals. When the head is reoriented relative to gravity, the movement of the heavy otoconial debris within the semicircular canal causes abnormal fluid displacement and results in vertigo.

What causes vertigo?

Vertigo most often has an unknown cause (35% of incidents). However, it can also be caused by:
• Head trauma (approximately 15%)(ie. concussion or motor vehicle accident)
• Meniere’s disease
• Vestibular neuritis
• Ear surgeries

The Top 3 Treatments for Vertigo

1. Epley’s Maneuver

If you tried the Dix-Hallpike and felt spinning on one side, the Epley’s maneuver is likely the right exercise to treat vertigo you’re looking for. If your right Dix-Hallpike was positive, you’re going to do the Epley’s maneuver with your neck starting to the right.

Follow these easy steps:
● Start sitting on the bed with your head turned 45* to the right. Place a pillow behind you so that it’s between your shoulder when you lay down
● Lie back quickly with your head still turned to the side and your head tipped back about 30* from the pillow. Wait until all vertigo stops, then another minute.
● Turn your head slowly 90* to the left. Wait until all vertigo stops, plus another minute.
● Roll your head another 90* to the left so that you’re lying on your left side, looking down towards the floor. Wait for all vertigo to stop, plus another minute.
● Sit up slowly from lying on the left side while looking over your shoulder.

2. BBQ Roll

If you tried the Head Roll Test and felt spinning, the BBQ Roll is probably your treatment for Vertigo. When your left Head Roll test was positive, you’re going to turn to your right during the BBQ Roll.

Follow these easy steps:
• Start lying on your back with a pillow behind your head.
• Roll onto your left side, making a 90* turn. Wait for any vertigo to stop.
• Roll back onto your back, now looking up to the ceiling. Wait for any vertigo to stop.
• Roll onto your left side, making another 90* turn. Wait for any vertigo to stop.
• Roll onto your stomach, propping your fists under your chin to tip your head down. Wait for any vertigo to stop.
• Still turning to your right, roll onto your left side. Once any vertigo has stopped, sit up from lying on your left.

3. Foster Maneuver

Follow these easy steps:
• Kneel down and look up at the ceiling for a few seconds.
• Touch the floor with your head, tucking your chin so your head goes toward your knees. Wait for any vertigo to stop (about 30 seconds).
• Turn your head in the direction of your affected ear (i.e. if you feel dizzy on your left side, turn to face your left elbow). Wait 30 seconds.
• Quickly raise your head so it’s level with your back while you’re on all fours. Keep your head at that 45-degree angle. Wait 30 seconds.
• Quickly raise your head so it’s fully upright, but keep your head turned to the shoulder of the side you’re working on. Then slowly stand up.

You may have to repeat this a few times for relief. After the first round, rest 15 minutes before trying a second time.

The symptoms of vertigo can be significantly detrimental to the quality of life we aspire to achieve, and Body Science Therapy is here to help you reach your goals. Mississauga’s Body Science Therapy is a certified clinic in assessing and treating concussions through the Complete Concussion Management Inc program. At Body Science Therapy, our practitioners are trained to identify and treat BPPV. If you believe you are experiencing symptoms of BPPV or vertigo, dizziness, and headaches following a concussion, please visit our website.