Before going in to see a vestibular physiotherapist, there may be a few exercises you can try at home. The only thing that makes these at home treatments for vertigo difficult is that, as mentioned earlier, the exercise has to fit the cause of vertigo you’re dealing with. Without a diagnosis, it’s kind of hard to know what that is.
However, these exercises are painless and have a very low risk of any side effects, so the worst that can happen is probably that it won’t make any difference. It is a good idea to have someone else in the room when you do these, just in case you experience vertigo and lose your balance.
Let’s look at five exercises for vertigo you can try at home.
1. Crystal Repositioning – Epley
This is very similar to the Epley Maneuver. It’s kind of hard to describe in words. Use the description below as a starting point, but the best thing is to watch the video of it here.
Begin by sitting on a firm surface like a bed, bench, table, or couch with your head turned at 45o to the right.
You are going to lie back quickly on the surface, keeping your head turned the whole time. Wait until vertigo stops. Then, turn your head 90o to the left and wait until it stops again.
Then, roll over a quarter turn to your left side, and wait until vertigo stops again. Lastly, sit up slowly, keeping your head turned.
2. Brandt-Daroff Treatment
If the Epley Maneuver didn’t seem to cure your vertigo, try this one instead if you believe BPPV is the cause of it (which the Dix Hallpike will show you). Use this process:
Sit on the side of a bed, turn your head 45o left, and lay quickly on your right side until the vertigo stops, and then an additional half minute.
Then, sit up quickly and stay there, following the same timing procedure.
Lastly, turn your head 45o to the right and quickly lay on your left side. Again, wait until vertigo symptoms ceases, and then an extra half minute.
You want to repeat these steps 10-20 times, three times a day until you go two straight days with no vertigo dizziness or other symptoms.
3. Barbecue Roll
If the cause of your vertigo is something other than BPPV, which the head roll test will confirm, this is probably your best exercise to try. Again, a video is simpler for being clear on how to do this. Watch a video and other helpful instructions here.
Start by lying on your back with a pillow under your head. Roll to your left side and wait for vertigo symptoms to cease. Then return to your back, and wait again for vertigo to stop.
Begin this same process again, and again to the left. So you’re rolling 90o to the left both times. But this time, instead of returning to your back after vertigo stops, you roll onto your stomach, using your fists to hold up your chin and tip your head downward. Wait again for vertigo symptoms to cease.
With your head turned to the right, roll back on to your left side again. After vertigo stops, sit up from this position.
4. Eye-Ear Reflex
Now, if the cause of your vertigo is related to something else entirely, you could be dealing with a breakdown in communication between your eyes and ears. Inflammation and ear infections are possible causes for this. If you have blurry vision when you turn your head or move it up and down, this next exercise might be a good one to try.
- Sit in a chair facing a wall, and put a picture or a word on the wall that you can see clearly
- Focus both your eyes on the picture, and keep them there throughout the entire exercise
- Turn your head slowly left, never taking your gaze off the picture
- Turn your head slowly to the right, again without shifting your gaze
- Keep doing this, left and right, back and forth, for 30 seconds without stopping, never taking your eyes off the picture
- If you feel dizzy when doing this, that’s a good sign. It means you are probably addressing the cause of your vertigo and are rebuilding the proper communication between your eyes and your ears.
- Once you have evidence this exercise is working, do it for five minutes straight, two times per day.
5. Movement Re-Creation
Now, if you had an illness like the flu and have felt dizzy or unbalanced ever since, your inner ear may have become inflamed.
Another way to correct that is to figure out which movement causes your vertigo, and just start re-creating that movement ten times in a row, twice a day, until your brain figures it out again.
Just be careful with this one though, because since this activity causes vertigo, you don’t want to lose your balance or fall down and injure yourself. So have a friend there with you, or prepare the room so you can fall safely.
Learn more about these last two exercises here