How to Treat Vertigo with Brandt-Daroff Exercises

By Cheryl Grace Myers

Vertigo is a disorder of the middle ear, caused by small crystals that have colonized in a sensitive part of the inner ear. These crystals become displaced, causing the dizziness of vertigo. Usually a physician who specializes in dizziness and balance disorders will perform The Epley or Semont maneuver to help settle the displaced crystals. The Semont maneuver is a calculated and rapid moving exercise, performed only by a doctor in the safety of a doctor's office. Brandt-Daroff exercises are similar to the Epley maneuver, but they can be done at home. These exercises can benefit anyone with dizziness, vertigo, imbalance, lightheadedness or faintness. They are safe and easy to perform.

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Vertigo is a disorder of the middle ear, caused by small crystals that have colonized in a sensitive part of the inner ear. These crystals become displaced, causing the dizziness of vertigo. Usually a physician who specializes in dizziness and balance disorders will perform The Epley or Semont maneuver to help settle the displaced crystals. The Semont maneuver is a calculated and rapid moving exercise, performed only by a doctor in the safety of a doctor’s office. Brandt-Daroff exercises are similar to the Epley maneuver, but they can be done at home. These exercises can benefit anyone with dizziness, vertigo, imbalance, lightheadedness or faintness. They are safe and easy to perform.

Sit on the edge of the bed. You can also do this exercise on the floor or any flat surface.

Turn your head left, at a 45-degree angle, so that your chin is halfway to your left shoulder. After you have turned your head to the left, lie down on your right side. While lying down, your head should still remain at a 45-degree angle, which is not against the flat surface, yet not pointing toward the ceiling. Stay in this position for 30 seconds. If you are experiencing vertigo, continue this position for one minute or until vertigo subsides.

Sit up and into the normal sitting position as when you started. Remain sitting for 30 seconds.

Turn your head right, at a 45-degree angle. Again, this angle would be turning your head so that your chin halfway meets with your right shoulder. After you have turned your head to the right, lie down on your left side. Remember that your head should remain at a 45-degree angle during this exercise. You should be facing halfway between the flat surface you're lying on and the ceiling. Stay in this position for 30 seconds. If you are experiencing vertigo, continue this position for one minute or until vertigo subsides.

Return again to the sitting position on the edge of your bed. Stay sitting for 30 seconds. This exercise completes one set. Complete five repetitions in the morning, five repetitions at noon and five repetitions in the evening.

Tip

Brandt-Daroff exercises should be performed until you have reached 52 sets over a period of two to three weeks. Most people receive complete relief from dizzy symptoms after 30 sets. However, one-third of patients will have symptoms reoccur within a year. If this happens, perform one set daily until symptoms are relieved.

Warning

If you have been treated at the doctor’s office for the Epley or Semont maneuver, do not perform these exercises until a physician instructs you to do so.

Not every case of vertigo is caused by misplaced crystals. Therefore, not every case of vertigo can be treated with Brandt-Daroff exercises. Consult yor health care provider if you experience vertigo for more than two weeks.

References

About the Author

Cheryl Myers has has a master's degree from Saint Leo University and currently writes for several publications including Fit Pregnancy, Guideposts and Parent's Magazine.

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