Vestibular and balance training is an excellent way to combat the effects of vertigo. When people experience vertigo, they are often unable to complete basic daily tasks. The feeling of dizziness and sense of movement even when perfectly still can last for hours or even days. Vertigo often arises because of a problem within the inner ear. Fortunately, there are some effective vestibular and balance training exercises you can do to help combat vertigo.
A common cause of vertigo is calcium crystals that come loose in the inner ear. These loose crystals can send signals to your brain to make it think you are moving resulting in vertigo symptoms. The Epley maneuver is a vestibular and balance training exercise that can help return these crystals to the part of the inner ear in which they belong. To perform the maneuver:
- Begin by sitting on your bed with a pillow behind you.
- Slowly turn your head to the right about 45 degrees.
- With your head still turned, lie back quickly so that your shoulders are on the pillow and hold the position for 30 seconds.
- Turn your head to where it is facing 45 degrees to the left without raising your head and hold for 30 seconds.
- Continue to turn left into the bed another 90 degrees with your head and body and hold for 30 seconds.
- Finish by sitting up on your left side.
This series of movements is to treat symptoms experienced in the right ear. Use the same series of movements but in the opposite direction to treat the left ear.
Cawthorne exercises are a series of vestibular and balance training movements that aim to control movement of the eyes and head to regain a sense of balance. They begin by moving just the eyes up and down or side to side. The head is then moved side to side or up and down with the eyes open, and the exercises progress from there.
The important thing with these exercises is to practice them every day as improvement won’t be felt if you only perform them once a week or when you feel vertigo symptoms.
Vestibular and balance training with Continuum Wellness
The physical therapists of Continuum Wellness will perform a complete evaluation of your symptoms and history of vertigo to properly diagnose you and recommend a course of treatment. Depending on what is causing your symptoms, your vestibular and balance training plan will be customized so that you achieve the maximum benefit. If you are suffering from vertigo or other vestibular disease, contact us today to set up your initial appointment.