The Best Way to Treat Vertigo

The Best Way to Treat Vertigo

Vertigo feels like the world is spinning or rocking even when someone is perfectly still.

The most common form of vertigo is called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or BBPV for short.

BPPV occurs when small calcium carbonate crystals become trapped in the semicircular canals which is one of the structures in the inner ear that controls balance. When this happens it causes the ear to send incorrect information about head and body movements to the brain causing the symptoms of vertigo like loss of balance and dizziness.

Other vertigo causes include:

Infection – Also known as Vestibular Neuritis, which is an infection of the vestibular nerve, located in the inner ear.

Meniere’s disease – Occurs when an abnormal amount of fluid builds up in the inner ear which can cause sudden episodes of vertigo for several hours. People with Meniere’s disease may also experience tinnitus or hearing loss.

Head trauma and neck dysfunction can also cause vertigo.

In this article, I will describe three effective techniques that can help you treat vertigo at home. It is important to consult with a vestibular physiotherapist to determine which of these treatments are best for you.

What's the best vertigo treatment?

There are 3 vertigo remedies you can do at home. Before completing any of these maneuvers, you should be cleared by your physiotherapist or doctor. 

1.) Epley’s maneuver

When being assessed for vertigo by your physiotherapist, they will most likely complete a test called the Dix-Hallpike test. If this test brings on your vertigo symptoms, they will complete the Epley’s Maneuver. The Epley’s Maneuver works to clear the calcium carbonate particles out of the semicircular canals in your inner ear. The Epley’s Maneuver is very effective at treating vertigo, and in fact one performance of the maneuver can sometimes completely stop your symptoms. If you experience a reduction in symptoms, your physiotherapist will teach you how to complete the Epley’s Maneuver at home to allow for continued improvements. 

Here is how to complete an Epley’s Maneuver at home:

If your vertigo is more dominant on the right, then complete the following instructions. If your vertigo is more dominant on the left, then complete the following instructions in the opposite direction. 

First, lie down on your back on your bed and place a pillow behind your shoulders and neck. Then sit up from that position and turn your head to the right at a 45-degree angle. Your head position should be halfway between looking forward and being completely rotated to the right.

Then lie down quickly on the pillow with your head turned 45 degrees and the head back so that the head is slightly extended backwards over the pillow. Moving into this position may bring on your symptoms. Wait in this position until your symptoms completely subside. If symptoms do not come on with the position, then wait for 30 seconds.

Next, turn your head slowly 90 degrees to the left. Now your head position should be halfway between looking forward and being completely rotated to the left. Again wait until the symptoms of vertigo stops, or at least 30 seconds

Next, keeping your neck in the same position, roll your body over completely to the left. Wait for vertigo symptoms to subside, or at least 30 seconds.

And lastly, sit up slowly while keeping your head in the same position as previous looking over your shoulder.

Completing this maneuver helps dislodge those crystals in the inner ear, which can reduce your vertigo. 

Again it is important to consult with a doctor or physiotherapist before completing this self-treatment.

Check out this post from BeActive Physiotherapy and Wellness to learn more about Vertigo (Read the caption)

2.) BBQ roll

If your physiotherapist completes the Head Roll Test and it elicits your vertigo symptoms then the BBQ Roll is probably the best option for you.

Here’s how to perform it. Complete the following instructions if you tested positive on the left. Complete the following instructions in the opposite direction if you tested positive for the right :

Lay down on your bed on your back in a comfortable position. You can place a pillow underneath your head if you want.

Roll your entire body to your left side. Pause until your vertigo symptoms subside, or for at least 30 seconds.

Keeping your head in contact with the pillow, next roll your body back to the neutral position so that you’re looking up at the ceiling. Again, wait until your vertigo symptoms decrease, or for at least 30 seconds.

Next, roll your entire body towards the right. Wait until vertigo symptoms stop, or for 30 seconds

Next, tuck you chin into your chest and turn over to lie in the prone position (on your stomach) supporting your upper body on your forearms. Wait until your vertigo symptoms stop, or for 30 seconds.

Now, roll onto your left side, keeping your head on the pillow. Then wait for another 30 seconds. After this, sit up at the side of the your bed.

You may need to complete a few rounds of the BBQ roll to completely reduce your vertigo symptoms.

3.) Foster maneuver

Your physiotherapist may teach you to perform the Foster Maneuver if they suspect there is particle build-up in the back of the semicircular canals. 

Here’s how to perform:

First, kneel down with your body upright. Then look up toward the ceiling for 3-5 seconds. You may start to experience your symptoms at this point. 

Next, bend at your back and turn your head down so that your forehead touches the ground while tucking in your chin. Support yourself by keeping your hands on the ground. Hold this position until all your vertigo symptoms subside.

After, turn your head to the side of the ear that causes vertigo. Wait until your symptoms decrease or for 30 seconds..

Next, keeping your head turned toward your shoulder on the side you are working on, raise your head up so it’s now level with your back. Your hands should still be on the floor at this point. Wait until symptoms decrease or for 30 seconds.

Finally, still keeping your head turned, raise yourself up to the original kneeling position and again wait for symptoms to subside.

You may have to perform this a couple of times to get the relief you desire. Just make sure you rest for a few minutes before each round.

Now if you want a more customized plan to address your specific Vertigo causes, then Body Science Therapy can help. They specialize in treating Vertigo. To learn more visit:

One of the most effective treatments of BPPV, courtesy of Aquatic Centre Physiotherapy


This appointment is your opportunity to tell us what hurts and discover whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care is a good fit for you! During this session, you will talk with a physiotherapist or chiropractor on a phone call (or online) and create the right care plan specifically for your pain. There is no obligation on this session is to find out whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care can help you getting back to doing the things you love in life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Episodes can last for a few seconds, minutes, hours, or even days.

An episode will usually last only a few minutes and may not occur again. When it doesn’t go away or becomes recurrent, contacting a vestibular physiotherapist will help you get rid of vertigo.

  • Dizziness
  • Feeling like the world is spinning or moving.
  • Hearing loss
  • Problems with balance
  • Sweating

About Taylor Sipos

Taylor is a physiotherapist at The Orthopaedic Therapy Clinic located in Toronto, Ontario. He treats patients with various musculoskeletal conditions using patient education, exercise therapy, manual therapy and acupuncture. His treatment philosophy involves giving his patient’s the means to self-manage their injuries. He does this through reassurance, education and health promotion. Taylor uses the same principles as a patient educator at Pain Hero. He aims to provide you with high-quality, easy to understand information to teach you about your condition and how to improve it.

Medical Disclaimer:

The information presented in this blog post is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, treatment or a diagnosis, consult with a medical professional such as one suggested on this website. The Clinic Accelerator Inc. and the author of this page are not liable for the associated risks of using or acting upon the information contained in this article.

Book Your Free Consult

Or Fill Out This Form & Get A Call Back

By submitting this form you are consenting to receiving appointment reminders, exercise plans, plans of care, and any relevant services from Integra Health Centre and Your email will never be sold and you can unsubscribe at any time.