Procedure for Positional Vertigo

Positional vertigo is very common but unpleasant. It causes sudden episodes of vertigo, often lasting seconds, particularly on changing position. It is thought to be caused by debris in the semi-circular canals in the inner ear. This debris collects at the bottom of one of these canals. To get rid of it you first have to shake it up. Here is what to do:-

  1. Sit on the bed with your chin turned halfway to the left shoulder
  2. Keeping your chin facing the same way lie down with your head dangling over the edge of the bed – eyes should be looking down towards the floor (you may now feel dizzy and this is a good sign)
  3. After about 2 minutes turn your chin halfway to the right shoulder, keeping your head dangling over the edge of the bed
  4. After another two minutes keep you neck and head in the same position and bring your body upright and if necessary bring your legs over the edge of the bed in preparation to sit up.
  5. Sit up while you still keep your chin to your right shoulder then straighten up

That may be all you need to do, but it is a good idea to repeat it in reverse – that is starting sitting with your chin to your right shoulder, lie down, head over the edge with chin to right shoulder then chin to left shoulder and then sit up with chin to left shoulder.

Another variation: this can also make you dizzy but can speed up recovery.

Do Step 1 and 2 as before.

Then lie on your side and your head turned to the floor. Wait until any dizziness goes and then sit up. If it doesn’t work after one go, repeat a few times and usually it will get easier each time you do it and the dizziness will subside.

One week later repeat the procedure as before. With these two exercises about 8 out of 10 people get a good improvement of their symptoms.

At other times if any movements make you dizzy then move in that direction. The natural tendency is to avoid these movements but that allows the debris to settle. This is a case of do what makes you feel worse and you’ll soon be better.