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Vertigo Treatment Overview- Exercises, Medication, and Physical Therapy

Author: Dr. Anita Bhandari | April 12th, 2018


Summary – This post will give you an overview of possible treatments for vertigo. The post talks about home-based exercises, medications, natural remedies, and therapies to treat vertigo.

While most vertigo is self-treated or can be cured with certain medications, vertigo occurring from labyrinthitis and BPPV is usually cured with physical therapy. Epley Manoeuvre is one of the most common practices to cure vertigo, where the head is turned to numerous distinct positions and influenced to clear crystals or debris from the inner ear’s semi-circular canals. As a result, this helps to reduce the inflammation and irritation caused by vertigo.

However, besides this measure, there is an entire assortment of possible ways to rectify completely symptoms of vertigo. So, let’s check some of the prominent ways to deal with vertigo specifically, Benign Positional Vertigo (BBPV).

BBPV Treatment – Lifestyle Measures

If you have the patience and ready to wait to get rid of vertigo symptoms, then making some lifestyle modifications can help you cope with the dizziness.

  • Using two pillows at night provides a good sleep to patients suffering from vertigo. As a result, you will fresh and more active throughout the day.
  • If you feel problem in your ear at any one particular side, then this is the ‘bad’ side. Avoid sleeping on the bad side.
  • Make sure you wake up steadily and slowly in the morning. After wake up sit at least for 1 minute at the edge of the bed.
  • Avoid pending from waist to pick up things.
  • Avoid stretching your head to get something out from the top cabinet.
  • Sometimes medications for motion sickness are also helpful in regulating vertigo problems.

BBPV is often considered as self-limiting as the symptoms disappear or subside within few months of inception. It is not a life-threatening disease, and hence, you must wait out to get it cured.

Vertigo Treatment – Home-Based Exercises and Remedies

It is possible to treat vertigo through some home-based remedies and exercises. You can consult a doctor, physical therapist or an audiologist in order to treat BBPV. With a series of body movements called as canalith repositioning procedure, it is possible to cure BBPV.

  • What is Canalith Repositioning Manoeuvre?

Canalith Repositioning Manoeuvre is a form of specialized training of Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy or VRT. This form of training is absolutely safe and is ideal to cure BBPV.

Most of the doctors even refer this treatment as Epley Manoeuvre. It involves performing series of specialized training patterns for trunk and head movements to shift small displaced otoliths to a specific place in the inner ear where they cannot cause the symptoms.

You cannot perform appropriate VRT exercises on your own. Hence, it is essential that you seek the assistance from an occupational or physical therapist to perform the training at a prescribed pace. When the exercise is performed along with few progressive fitness therapies then the result is reduced stress and increased energy.

Besides Epley Manoeuvre, the other types of canalith repositioning manoeuvre are – Semont Manoeuvre and Brandt Daroff.

  • Process of Canalith Repositioning Manoeuvre

The therapy of canalith repositioning manoeuvre can be performed at your doctor’s clinic. It consists of numerous slow and simple Manoeuvres for positioning your head at different positions. The main aim of performing this exercise is to move particles from the semi-circular canals of the inner ear that comprise fluid into a small opening area known as a vestibule. Vestibule comprises an otolith organ, known as utricle in the ear where such particles don’t result in any trouble and are more conveniently resorbed.

Different positions are practiced with each position held for 30 seconds. The position is released as soon as the abnormal eye movements or vertigo symptoms stop. This practice delivers effective results in one or two sittings.

Once the process is completed, you must avoid placing the treated ear past shoulders or lying flat for the rest of the day. During few sessions, it is advised to keep the head elevated on few pillows. This would give enough time to the particles to float in the labyrinth and settle in the vestibule. Even it would help to resorb the fluids in the inner ear.

Even, your expert physician will teach you some ways to precisely perform the canalith repositioning process at home. This is to ensure that you do not experience problems after work.

Vertigo Treatment – Medication

Use of some medications can also help to treat vestibular disorders depending on the dysfunction of the vestibular system. The medication dose depends on whether the dysfunction is in the initial phase, acute phase, or chronic phase.

Dimenhydrinate or Dramamine is an antihistamine medication ideal to reduce inflammation in the vestibular system. Sometimes patients are also placed in a soft collar to reduce the range of movement of their heads to gradually resolve vertigo.

If you are suffering from any other health disorder then it is best to consult a doctor before taking any medication. The treatment offered to the patients would be tailored to their specific underlying causes.

Vertigo Treatment through Dietary Adjustments

Most individuals suffering from Meniere’s disease, migraine-related dizziness, and secondary endolymphatic hydrops have experienced relief from vertigo with some modifications in their diet.

  • One major modification is to avoid consuming non-dietary substances like nicotine and other forms of medications that can result in nausea or vomiting.
  • Other than this, foods with high salt and high sugar must be avoided. Also, make sure that you consume nuts and seeds at a balanced level.
  • Cutting on cheese, meat, antacids and increasing consumption of yogurt can result in the onset of symptoms related to vertigo.

Treating Vertigo through Surgery

When any of the above methods are not able to deliver effective results then surgery is the final treatment for vertigo as well as other symptoms caused by vestibular system dysfunction. The kind of surgery performed depends on the physical condition and diagnosis of the patient.

The surgical measures performed for vertigo can be either destructive or corrective.

The corrective surgeries are performed to stabilize or repair the functionality of inner ear. The destructive surgeries are performed to combat the production of sensory information or to prevent transmission of crystals to the brain from inner ear.

Experts recommend surgical procedures in very rare cases of vertigo when canalith repositioning procedures are not effective.


I hope you’ve been able to get the information that you have been looking so far. Vertigo symptom is annoying and can disturb your overall lifestyle. But the good thing is that there are numerous ways that can help cure this problem to the fullest. Know more about the Vertigo (dizziness) : Causes, Symptoms & Treatment here. Do discuss these measures with your physician or health expert first. Expert assistance will help you avail customized treatments so that you can get rid of vertigo completely and live a healthy life!


Author Bio

Dr Anita Bhandari works as a Senior Consultant with Jain ENT Hospital in Jaipur, India. She is an MS in ENT and has done Fellowship in Otology and Neurotology from Singapore. Anita has acted as a Principal Investigator on a UNICEF collaborated project for three years that worked with 3000 underprivileged children. She has developed three patent-pending breakthrough technologies in the related field and is passionately driving NeuroEquilibrium's Advanced Vertigo and Balance Disorder Clinics across India and Asia and Africa. Anita is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences on vertigo and balance disorder management.