7 Best Exercises For Vertigo You Can Do At Home

Written by Charushila Biswas , MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist

Doing exercises for vertigo can prevent feeling dizzy. No, you don’t need to climb a tower to experience vertigo. People with vertigo can experience a spinning sensation while sitting or even without moving an inch. This condition can be caused due to ear infections, inflammation, abnormal bone growth, inflammation, middle ear calcium deposits (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or BPPV), or head trauma (1).

Thankfully, vertigo caused due to BPPV can be managed by doing a few exercises. If you have been diagnosed with BPPV, do these 7 exercises at home. This article also tells you which exercises to avoid and what precautions to take. Read on to get all the information in one place!

7 Best Exercises For Vertigo (With Pictures)

1. Brandt-Daroff Exercise

How To Do

  • Sit at the end of your bed.
  • Lie down on your left side and turn your head 45° to the right (nose pointing up).
  • Hold the position for 30 seconds until the dizziness fades.
  • Sit up and wait for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Do this five times, twice a day.

2. Epley Maneuver

Note: Perform this exercise only under supervision.

How To Do

  • Sit at the end of your bed and turn your head 45° to the right.
  • Lie down, maintaining the head’s position. Ask your physical therapist to support your head and neck.
  • Your neck will be at a 30° extension. Maintain the position for 30 seconds.
  • Turn your body to the right. The physical therapist will support your head while you turn. Hold this position for about 20-30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the left side.
  • To get up into a sitting position, hold your head at a 45° angle, flex your knees, drop your legs off the bed, and push yourself up with your hands. Your physical therapist will support your head.
  • Slowly, turn your head to look straight.

3. Semont Liberatory Maneuver

How To Do

  • Sit at the end of your bed and turn your head 45° to the right.
  • Lie down on your left, maintaining your head’s position (nose pointing up). Hold the position for 60 seconds.
  • Get up to the sitting position and lie down quickly on your right, with your face facing the bed. Remain still for 60 seconds.
  • Return to a sitting position and sit for 5 minutes.
  • For right ear issues, reverse all directions.

4. Foster (Half Somersault) Maneuver

How To Do

  • Kneel on a bench with the palms flat on it and look down.
  • Tilt your head up and look at the ceiling.
  • Hold this pose for 15 seconds.
  • Put your head on the bench in a half-somersault position and tuck your chin towards your knees.
  • Hold this position for 15 seconds.
  • Turn your head to the right at a 45° angle.
  • Hold this for 15 seconds.
  • Hold the head in the same position and extend your arms. Hold this for 15 seconds.
  • Keep your head in the same position, remove your hands from the bench, and get into a kneeling position. Hold this position for 15 seconds.
  • Repeat the steps in the other direction.

5. Gaze Stabilization Exercise

How To Do

  • Sit on a mat or bed.
  • Extend one arm with your index finger out.
  • Look at the index finger for 15 seconds.
  • Turn your head to the right and left slowly with your eyes fixed on the tip of your index finger.
  • Do this for 10 seconds.
  • Move your head up and down with your gaze fixed on the index finger.
  • Do this for 10 seconds.
  • Move your head diagonally up and down with your gaze fixed on the index finger. Do this for 10 seconds.
  • Do the same on the other side.

6. Romberg Stance

How To Do

  • Stand with your feet close. You may hold on to a wall or a chair.
  • Close your eyes. Keep your head straight.
  • Hold this for 15 seconds.
  • Open your eyes and turn your head side to side.
  • Do this for 10-15 seconds.
  • Move your head up and down.
  • Do this for 15 seconds.
  • Repeat the steps with your eyes closed.

7. Single Leg Balance

How To Do

  • Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. You may hold a chair or a wall for support.
  • Lift your left foot off the floor, flex your knee, and balance your body weight on the right leg.
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat with your right foot.
  • If comfortable, you can move your head side-to-side and up and down while doing the leg balance.

You can perform these exercises every day under the supervision of an experienced physical therapist to reduce vertigo caused by BPPV. However, if you have an ear infection or head trauma, consult a doctor and get medications before starting these exercises. The repetitive movement during exercises helps manage the sudden symptoms of vertigo. Let’s understand how.

How Exercising Benefits Vertigo

Dr. Daniel Boyer, MD, says, “Exercise helps to redistribute the calcium carbonate crystals in the inner ear.” The redistributed calcium carbonate crystals help maintain proper body balance. Research also shows that people with BPPV respond well and get faster relief from vertigo after doing the maneuvers mentioned above (2), (3).

The doctor may recommend different types of exercise therapies depending on what is triggering your vertigo. Here’s a breakdown of the therapies:

  • Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy: This therapy uses exercises to strengthen the ear parts responsible for maintaining balance. The goal of this therapy is to improve the patient’s symptoms and maintain healthy inner ear function. Epley Maneuver/Repositioning Maneuver (recommended for people with BPPV) is an example of this type of therapy.
  • Gaze Stabilization Exercises: These exercises help maintain balance by improving your ability to focus on a stationary object while the head moves around.
  • Head-Elevated Activities: This type of therapy helps reduce the number of episodes of vertigo. It can also help improve symptoms associated with dizziness, such as difficulty in concentration and thinking.
  • Proprioceptive/Balance Exercises: This type of therapy helps reduce vertigo symptoms and improve balance.
  • Eye Tracking Exercises: This therapy may help reduce the number of episodes of vertigo.

While these maneuvers and exercises can greatly help people with vertigo, certain exercises may trigger vertigo. Scroll down to find out what they are.

Which Exercises To Avoid

Exercises that involve serious head movements, like swimming, may worsen vertigo. Vigorous head movements may move the calcium crystals in your ears much faster and affect your balance. Avoid sit-ups and yoga as they may set off positional vertigo or worsen it.

While it is best to take a break from traditional exercises, it is also important to follow all safety measures while doing the seven exercises mentioned above.

Safety Precautions To Take

  • Stand near a wall or handrail, set up a chair or walker, or use some form of support to maintain your balance.
  • Ask someone to stand close by as you do these exercises.
  • Do not use throw rugs. Instead, use an anti-slip mat.
  • Avoid sudden head movements.
  • Keep the floors dry to prevent slipping.
  • Store household items on low shelves to eliminate the need to climb or reach high.
  • Install grab bars near the bathtub and toilet.
  • Do not rely on exercise alone to treat vertigo. Seek medical attention to treat conditions like a bacterial ear infection.

The Takeaway

Positional vertigo caused due to calcium deposits in the middle ear can be treated with the seven maneuvers mentioned above. Do these regularly under the supervision of a trained physical therapist to recover and get relief faster. However, if you have vertigo due to any other reason, you must take the prescribed medication and treatments besides exercising. Keep the safety precautions in mind while you exercise to feel better in a few weeks.

References:

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Vertigo
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482356/
  2. Evaluation of vestibular exercises in the management of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC3450312/
  3. Effect of Vestibular Exercises Associated With Repositioning Maneuvers in Patients With Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31356483/
Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.