Many people experience
vertigo. If you have
Ménière's disease or
benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), you may
have to deal with vertigo throughout your life. The spinning sensation it
causes puts you at risk for falling and can also affect your quality of life if
it interferes with your level of activity. You can do exercises at home to help
your body get used to the confusing signals that cause your vertigo. Doing
these exercises may help you cope with your vertigo.
Exercises for vertigo often sound very simple. But depending on how bad your vertigo is, you may find them difficult to do. They generally
consist of exercises that practice:
People who have vertigo may get help from an exercise
program that includes practicing maintaining balance while standing still,
turning, swaying, and walking.
People who have vertigo may get help from
exercises that help maintain balance while standing still, turning, swaying,
and walking. Your body can learn to keep its balance while moving. This may
help reduce the frequency of vertigo attacks.
Continue to Why?
experience ongoing bouts of vertigo, no matter what the cause, you have a
greater risk of losing your balance and falling. The benefits of doing balance
exercises may include:
Within a few days to weeks of consistently doing balance
exercises, you may notice a decline in vertigo symptoms.
Having better balance improves your
If you suffer from vertigo, you may have little
confidence in moving around on your own. Balance exercises help improve your
balance, which can lead to increased confidence in your ability to function
Continue to How?
Exercises can help you improve and safeguard your balance. Level 1 exercises include the Romberg exercise, standing sway exercises, and marching in place. These are "beginner" exercises. Over time you may try level 2 exercises, such as turning in place and doing head movements while standing. These are a little harder than level 1 exercises. Your vertigo symptoms may
improve within a few days to a few weeks.
With each exercise,
start out slowly. Over time, you can gradually try to do the exercise for a
longer time or do more repetitions. When you first begin, it is important to
have someone with you in case you feel you are going to fall. As you progress,
you may be able to do some of the exercises on your own.
If you are concerned about falling, always have someone with you.
You can track your progress for these exercises. Prepare a list that shows the date, the time
you spent exercising, how often your eyes were open or closed, and how you felt
during each exercise.
You can track your progress for walking exercises. Prepare a list that shows the distance you walked, how often you
walked, and how you felt while you were walking.
You never need help with any of the exercises for
Although you may be able to do these exercises
on your own, if there is any risk of falling or if you do not feel confident,
you should ask someone to help you with them. You should consider having
someone with you when you begin the exercise program.
Continue to Where?
Exercise can be a valuable tool in dealing with vertigo
and imbalance. The exercises in this topic are a start. It is also
possible to target exercises to your condition. Talk to your doctor about how
to do this.
The National Institute on Deafness and Other
Communication Disorders, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health,
advances research in all aspects of human communication and helps people who
have communication disorders. The website has information about hearing,
balance, smell, taste, voice, speech, and language.
This organization provides information and support for
people with dizziness, balance disorders, and related hearing problems. A
quarterly newsletter, fact sheets, booklets, videotapes, a list of other
members in your area, and information about centers and doctors specializing in
balance disorders are all available to members.
To learn more about vertigo, see:
Return to topic:
December 19, 2012
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
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