vertigo, dizziness 

How To Fix Vertigo: Physiotherapy Treatment For Vertigo

Does rolling over in bed make the room spin? Does looking up or down send you spinning?

It might be vertigo – and the good news is physiotherapy can help!

Because of her vertigo, Phyllis had already seen many doctors and a neurosurgeon. Fortunately, nothing serious was found but this did not help her.

She had trouble walking and with her balance. She was always worried about falling. She felt like her body was always swaying and unsteady.

After physiotherapy care, Phyllis no longer had any vertigo. She was able to again go up and down stairs without hesitation. She was finally confident moving around on her own.

questions about vertigo questions

What Is Vertigo?

By definition, vertigo is the feeling of uncontrolled spinning. Feeling lightheaded or dizzy is different from spinning vertigo. Most often, vertigo is coming from your inner ear and is called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). Frequently, small crystals become dislodged in your inner ear, causing the inner ear to send incorrect information to the brain, creating vertigo.

What does BPPV mean? Well, “benign” means not life threatening. “Paroxysmal” means something that comes and goes and lasts only for a short time. “Positional” refers to how it can be triggered by certain head movements or positions.

The Top Treatments For Vertigo

Physiotherapy neck assessment

1. Epley’s Maneuver

If you tried the Dix-Hallpike and felt spinning on one side, the Epley’s maneuver is likely the right exercise to treat vertigo you are looking for. If your right Dix-Hallpike was positive, you are going to do the Epley’s maneuver with your neck starting to the right.

Follow these easy steps:

  • Start sitting on the bed with your head turned 45° to the right. Place a pillow behind you so that it is behind your shoulders when you lay down
  • Lie back quickly with your head still turned to the side and your head tipped back about 30° from the pillow. Wait until all vertigo stops, then another minute
  • Turn your head slowly 90° to the left. Wait until all vertigo stops, plus another minute
  • Roll your head another 90° to the left so that you are lying on your left, looking down at the floor. Wait for all vertigo to stop, plus another minute
  • Sit up slowly from lying on your left while looking over your shoulder

2. BBQ Roll

  • Start lying on your back with a pillow behind your head
  • Roll to your left, making a 90° turn. Wait for any vertigo to stop
  • Roll back onto your back, now looking up to the ceiling. Wait for any vertigo to stop
  • Roll to your left, making another 90° turn. Wait for any vertigo to stop
  • Roll on your stomach, propping your fists under your chin to tip your head down. Wait for any vertigo to stop
  • Still turning to your right, roll onto your left side. Once any vertigo has stopped, sit up from lying on your left
  • 3. Other Treatments For Vertigo

    Some other things options to help with your vertigo includes:

    • Surgery, though this is becoming less common
    • Try sleeping on your good side
    • Sleep with 2 or more pillow under your head
    • When you wake up in the morning, get up slowly and sit on the side of your bed for a moment before getting up
    • Try to avoid bending over too much to pick things up
    physiotherapy neck exam

    What If These Treatments For Vertigo Did Not Correct My Problem?

    Did a few of the assessment positions make the room spin? Having a hard time figuring out which exercise to treat vertigo is right for you? Here is where some 1-on-1 time with a qualified physiotherapist is key. Treatment techniques for vertigo are usually very successful, only needing 1 or 2 sessions. The trick is figuring out which vertigo exercise is right for you.

    If you need help with your vertigo, reach out and schedule your appointment with one of your local physiotherapists:

    Schedule A Physio Visit

    Phone 604-738-1168

    Vertigo FAQ

    Q: What can trigger vertigo?

    A: Vertigo most often has an unknown cause. Some known causes can include:

    • Around 15% are due to head trauma, especially in younger patients. For example, a concussion or motor vehicle collision
    • Meniere’s disease
    • Vestibular neuritis
    • Ear surgeries

    Q: Will vertigo go away on its own?

    A: Sometimes vertigo will go away by itself over time. It can however return again. If your BPPV is not going away or you find it keeps coming back, visit your physiotherapist who will work with you to figure out how best to help

    Q: How long can vertigo last?

    A: Vertigo usually lasts only a few seconds to a few hours. When severe, it can last a few days or even months