Vertigo is a condition where you feel as if the world is spinning around you, even though you are standing in one place. While a minor attack isn’t so dangerous a severe case of vertigo may leave you nauseated and feeling like vomiting. There’s also a high risk of your losing your balance and falling.
While medications may offer a temporary cure, it’s better to implement some lifestyle changes. They can help reduce the frequency of attacks. Vertigo exercise is especially effective because vertigo attacks are triggered when there’s a conflict between the signals sent to the brain through the body’s different balance-and position-sensing systems.
Vertigo Relief Exercises
Vertigo exercises are also called vestibular rehabilitation exercises. Doctors prescribe them to vertigo sufferers to help rectify the body’s loss of balance created by the inner ear problems.
With the brain depending on signals from the muscles, eyes and inner ear for balance, these exercises help retain your balance. It helps provide vertigo relief by stimulating the central nervous system so that you have a better sense of balance.
It helps to naturally reset your equilibrium so that you have greater control and fewer vertigo symptoms by engaging your eyes and brain, and in the process compensate for any inner ear problems.
There are various exercises which can help give vertigo relief. They are:
1. Rapid Eye Movement
In this exercise, you have to sit straight and quickly look up and down 20 times. Now look sideways or left to right 20times. Make sure you don’t move your head while performing these eye movements.
2. Head Movement
Sit straight and while keeping your arm stretched out, focus your eyes on the thumb. Now move it from side to side, while moving your head. Repeat while moving the thumb up and down also with head movement. Repeat this 20times and at least 5 minutes every day.
3. Walking With Eye Shut Exercises
Start walking; keep your eyes shut for a few seconds and open. Repeat for about 5 minutes every day. It’s obvious that you have to do this some place safe, where there are no dangerous obstructions to your walking.
4. Shrug Your Shoulders
Shoulder shrugging can help provide vertigo relief. You have to sit straight and shrug your shoulders 20 times. Then turn your shoulders left to right to left about 20 times.
5. Sitting And Standing
This is an easy exercise. You just have to sit straight on a bed or chair and get up slowly to stand. Repeat about 20 times. Do this with your eyes open at first, and then once you find an improvement in your balance, you can do the exercise while keeping your eyes closed.
6. Ball Passing
This is another vertigo exercise where you have to sit straight and keep passing a ball from one hand to the other. Keep the ball above your eye level and repeat ten times a day.
7. Touching Toes
Though you may think that touching toes will aggravate the condition, it doesn’t. It actually helps it. You have to bend down to touch toes while maintaining a fixed gaze. Repeat 5 to 10 times and don’t forget to focus on your head movement.
Vertigo Exercises For BPPV Cases
There are specific exercises meant for BPPV sufferers. While they may not help cure the condition or its recurrence, they do help reduce the symptoms and the length of each attack.
You’ll notice maximum benefits and effects after repeating them for a few weeks or months. However, it’s better to perform this exercise with the guidance of a vertigo specialist.
8. Brandt-Daroff Exercise
You have to do the Brandt-Daroff exercise on the bed or sofa. Start by sitting upright on it, and then move to lie on one side. Do this while keeping your nose pointed to about 45 degrees to the side where the vertigo attack had started.
Keep this position for about half a minute or till the vertigo effects subside. Now return to the seated position and repeat the same thing on the opposite side. Repeated the exercise a few times, twice a day.
As there’s the risk of these movements aggravating your vertigo symptoms and triggering a nausea attack, it’s better to perform all movements slowly.
This exercise is best for position induced vertigo, and these directions apply to left-sided vertigo. You just have to repeat the same directions on the right side if you have right-sided vertigo.
Start by sitting on the edge of your bed and turning your head to about 45 degrees left. You should be at about midway from staring straight in front and at your shoulder.
Now quickly lie down on your back, with your head on the bed while the 45-degree angle is maintained. Keep a pillow under your shoulders and maintain this position for about 30 seconds.
Now turn your head to about 90 degrees to the right while keeping your head in the same 45-degree position, but on the right side. Maintain the position for 30 seconds without raising your head.
Then slowly turn your head and body to the right side. You should be looking to the floor and hold this position for 30 seconds. Sit up slowly and sit on the bed for a few minutes. Repeat these maneuvers thrice before sleeping every evening till you don’t feel any dizziness for 24 hours.
10. Semont Maneuver
This vertigo exercise is applicable to the left side. Just reverse movements if the vertigo attack is from the right side. Sit on the edge of your bed and turn your head 45 degrees to the right.
Now quickly lie to the left side and remain there for 30 seconds. Now quickly move and lie down on the opposite side of the bed while maintaining the 45-degree angle. Lie down for 30 seconds while you look at the floor. Now slowly return to the original sitting position and wait for a while before getting up.
11. Half-Somersault Foster Maneuver
This is the more popular vertigo relief exercise of the lot because it’s easier to do than the others. All you have to do is kneel down and look up at the ceiling for a few seconds.
Now keeping your chin tucked in, touch the floor with your head while ensuring your head reaches your knees. Wait for a while till the vertigo symptoms subside, which is about 30 seconds.
Next turn your head to the side of the vertigo attack and hold the position for half a minute. Now quickly raise your head so that it’s level with your back. Stay on all fours with your head tilted towards your ear at a 45-degree angle. Hold the position for 30 seconds. Next raise your head quickly till it’s upright but turned, and slowly stand up.
Tips To Follow While Performing Vertigo Relief Exercises
- It is important that you practice your exercise regularly every day. You could perhaps perform five or six-minute segments of exercises while concentrating on different movements.
- It’s even better if you exercise at the same time every day. You could perhaps set an alarm and stick to the same routine.
- Keeping track of your exercises, progress and accomplishments achieved helps keep you motivated.
- Always exercise in a quiet and safe space without distractions. Do not do any vertigo exercises while under the influence of any alcohol or drugs, including some pharmaceutical medications. Always exercise within your body limits and capacities.
- Do not force or overwork yourself, and if required, get guidance from a physician. It’s because while some vertigo exercises with pictures are safe, as long as you follow directions and the pictures.
There are also some that can get dangerous. It can instead lead to serious injuries. So, it’s better to consult your doctor before starting any vertigo exercises. Your physician will suggest which exercises will help you the most.
- With so many vertigo causes, the exercises which help one person may be harmful to another. Do remember that while vertigo relief exercises will not trigger a vertigo attack, it can flare up the symptoms of an initial attack.
There will usually be some initial unsteadiness and dizziness while exercising. This is normal because the exercises push against your body’s balance and coordination limits. This in turn helps the vestibular network send the right signals to the brain.
- You’ll notice an improvement in your symptoms as you keep repeating the exercises every day. You will also be able to practice more exercises using a wider range of motion. In fact, all exercise-induced symptoms will disappear when you start performing the more difficult exercises.
- Like any other exercise or treatment procedure, it’s important that you set realistic expectations before starting vertigo exercises. You cannot expect overnight results.
You will have to perform the exercises regularly for some time, and you’ll slowly but surely see results. You’re feeling worse at the start of the exercises actually indicate that it’s working and that you have to continue doing it!