Do you suffer from vertigo and looking for relief?
There are many home remedies for vertigo, but some of them aren't effective. In fact, they may even make the problem worse.
But there are options for vertigo treatment at home that work well and are safe. They're also inexpensive and easy to do.
In this article, I'll share with you my top vertigo exercises at home that you can start trying right away.
What Is Vertigo
Vertigo is usually a condition where your inner ear doesn't get enough information about gravity and if your body is off-balance in relation to it. This causes dizziness or spinning sensations.
Vertigo and dizziness affect 40% of the population. Women are 4 times more likely to have vertigo than men.
Symptoms of vertigo include:
- Spinning sensations - you will feel like the room is spinning or you are spinning
- Feeling like you might fall over and can't stand up straight
- Hearing loss or ringing in the ears
These symptoms can last anywhere from seconds to minutes to hours.
Whenever you feel dizziness and other symptoms appear, immediately find a place to sit down to prevent falling down or other accidents.
When you do start to experience vertigo or dizziness, there are some remedies to try at home.
What Are the Home Remedies for Vertigo?
There are a variety of natural remedies to try at home for vertigo. Some will be repositioning exercises that will attempt to move crystals affecting inner ears.
Other home remedies will involve adjusting foods and drinks to help reduce swelling or the buildup of fluids in the inner ear.
There are also herbs and supplements that can help calm nerves and relax muscles for underlying conditions to help with vertigo.
1. Epley Maneuver
The Epley Maneuver is also known as "Canalith Repositioning," so it's best for people with BPPV, showing an effectiveness of 90% of patients in one study. This remedy will remove the crystals from the inner ear.
To perform the Epley maneuver at home, follow these steps below. If the issue is with the right ear:
- Start by sitting upright on the edge of the bed. Place a pillow behind you as you will be lying down soon. It should be far enough behind you that your shoulders will be resting on the pillow, so your head can turn freely.
- Turn your head 45 degrees to the right.
- With your head still turned, quickly lean back onto the pillow. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
- Turn your head to the left 90 degrees (as-if you started by turning 45 degrees to the left from looking straight forward). Hold for 30 seconds.
- Turn your whole body and head to the left, while still holding your head in the same position. You should be looking at the floor in this position. Hold for 30 seconds.
- Slowly return to the upright position, looking straight forward. Hold there for about 30-60 seconds.
The Epley maneuver is best to do before going to bed. You perform it three times in a row. You may feel dizziness during the movements, because the crystals are moving around.
If your left ear is the issue, simply reverse the directions above. Here’s a good tutorial video about how to perform the Epley maneuver and why it helps.
2. Semont-Toupet Maneuver
The Semont-Toupet Maneuver is also a series of movements similar to the Epley and just as effective, but with less neck flexibility needed.
For the right ear, follow these steps:
- Start by sitting upright on the edge of the bed with a pillow behind you.
- Turn your head to the left 45 degrees and lie down on your right side. Hold for 30 seconds.
- While holding your head's position to the left, quickly turn to lie down on your left side. You should be looking down at the floor. Hold for 30 seconds.
- Slowly sit upright and hold your head level, looking straight forward for 5 minutes.
You can also perform the Semont-Toupet Maneuver three times per day.
If you want to do this for the left ear, simply reverse the directions for the head turn and the sides you lie down on.
Here is a good video displaying the movements for the left side and how to perform them.
Acupressure points are pressure points located along certain meridians in the body. They are used to treat various conditions such as dizziness, nausea, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, stress, and more.
There are many different acupressure points on the body that you can apply pressure to and massage yourself. Other points may need assistance from someone else.
Here are some acupressure points that may help vertigo symptoms:
- Bladder 60 Point - This is in the depression between the Achilles tendon and the outer ankle bone. It will help relieve dizziness and nausea symptoms, along with neck and back pain.
- Kidney 1 Point - This pressure point is in the center of the sole of your foot, about one-third of the way down from the toes. Applying pressure and gently massaging this point will help relax and calm your mind. It will help with your nausea and dizziness symptoms.
- Pericardium 6 Point - Found on the inner side of your wrist and forearm, this point will help with nausea and motion sickness.
- Stomach 36 Point - This point is four finger-widths under the bottom of the kneecap and one finger-width to the outside of the shinbone. Acupressure here will offer relief from stress and nausea.
- Liver 3 Point - Located in the gap between the big and second toes, this pressure point helps to relieve nausea, headaches, and pain around the eye.
If you're pregnant or have certain health conditions, be sure to speak with your doctor first before using any type of acupressure or massage therapy.
4. Half-Somersault or Foster Maneuver
The Half-Somersault Maneuver is a series of simple, quick movements that is performed on the ground on your knees.
- Kneel down on the floor with your back upright. Look up towards the ceiling and hold for a few seconds.
- Bend forward and touch the floor with your head. Tuck your head and chin in, toward the knees. Hold for 30 seconds or until vertigo subsides.
- Turn your head toward the ear that's affected. If it's your right ear, turn your head to the right 45 degrees. You should be facing your right elbow. Hold for 30 seconds.
- Staying on all fours, without turning your head back to the center, raise your head quickly to be level with your straightened back. Hold for 30 seconds.
- Raise your back and head up quickly so you're upright, but still on your knees. Keep your head turned the same 45 degrees throughout. Hold for 30 seconds.
- Slowly stand up.
You can perform this routine a few times throughout the day. Wait at least 15 minutes before each time to allow your body to rest.
Here is a good overview video of the half-somersault maneuver and why it works to treat vertigo.
5. Brandt-Daroff Exercise
The Brandt-Daroff exercise is another effective way to treat vertigo by repositioning crystals within the inner ear.
Perform the following steps:
- Start by sitting upright again on the edge of your bed.
- Turn your head to the left 45 degrees, then lie down on the bed on your right side. Hold for 30 seconds or longer until the dizziness subsides.
- Sit up again with your head turned back to the center.
- Turn your head to the right 45 degrees, then lie back down on the bed on your left side. Hold for 30 seconds or longer until the dizziness subsides.
- Sit up with your head back to the center.
You can perform this exercise up to 3 times a day, with 5 repetitions each time.
Here’s a good video on the Brandt-Daroff exercise to help with your BPPV vertigo.
6. Ginkgo Biloba
The Chinese herb ginkgo biloba has been shown to reduce symptoms of vertigo. It will manage blood flow to the brain to help with balance and dizziness issues. The leaves of ginkgo have also long been used to improve memory and concentration.
Ginkgo is available in capsule and liquid form. Taking 120 to 240 milligrams daily can help lessen vertigo symptoms.
7. Stress Management
Stress and anxiety can trigger vertigo causes and increase the severity of the symptoms. Managing your stress levels can help relieve and prevent vertigo.
Stress management techniques such as meditation, deep-breathing techniques, and other relaxation methods can help ease the stress and anxiety.
Yoga has many benefits, including reducing stress and improving your balance and flexibility. Some of the simpler yoga poses can offer vertigo symptom relief, but there are certain movements that may make the symptoms worse.
It's best to avoid poses that need you to suddenly bend forward. Good poses to try include the Child's and Corpse Poses.
Getting enough sleep is important when managing vertigo. When you don't get enough sleep, your body doesn't produce enough serotonin, which helps regulate mood and feelings of well being. This can lead to more severe vertigo symptoms and more stress.
Drinking plenty of water can help keep your body hydrated. Your body needs water to function properly. Dehydration can increase vertigo episodes and symptoms, including headaches, fatigue, nausea, constipation, and dizziness.
11. Ginger Tea
Ginger root is known to reduce vertigo symptoms. Ginger tea has been found to be helpful for relieving nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness.
Almonds contain high amounts of vitamins A, B, and E, along with magnesium and fiber. They're also rich in antioxidants that protect against free radical damage. A handful of almonds each day can help relieve vertigo.
13. Essential Oils
Essential oils are natural compounds derived from plants and can be used to help manage vertigo symptoms. Infusers are usually used for the essential oils.
The best essential oil options for dizziness and nausea are ginger, peppermint, lemon, and lavender. Everyone may have slightly different reactions to certain oils, so you may need to experiment a little to see what oil works best for your symptoms.
14. Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, an antiseptic compound that can help fight off bacteria and viruses. Combined with honey, they can boost energy and help with the brain's blood flow to help manage vertigo symptoms.
What Causes Vertigo?
The cause of vertigo isn't always known. It could be due to an imbalance or buildup of fluid in the inner ear. It could be caused by damage to the nerves in your inner ear. Or it could be a symptom of another medical condition such as Meniere's disease or multiple sclerosis.
The most common cause of vertigo is inflammation or damage to the vestibular nerve that helps the body keep balance. That can lead to pressure in the inner ear that
Another cause for vertigo is BPPV, Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. BPPV is the collection of canaliths, tiny calcium particles, in your inner ear. Those canaliths are loosened from their regular location and cause your inner ear to send incorrect signals to your brain about gravity, leading to an imbalance.
When to See a Doctor
If you experience frequent bouts of vertigo, it is time to visit your doctor. If you've had vertigo for longer than two weeks, or if you think it's getting worse, then it's also time to seek care.
Your doctor can diagnose vertigo based on your symptoms and history. He or she will ask questions about how often you feel dizzy, whether it lasts only a few minutes or several hours, and whether it occurs while standing up or lying down.
The doctor might also ask about other symptoms you're experiencing, like tingling or numbness in your limbs, lightheadedness, feeling faint, or hearing problems. They will be able to diagnose if there are any underlying medical conditions causing your vertigo.
The doctor is able to prescribe medications or treatments that can help control vertigo, especially when home remedies are not helping.
Vertigo Treatment at Home FAQs
Does Chewing Gum Help Vertigo?
The act of chewing gum doesn't help vertigo directly, but the swallowing of saliva created from chewing is what actually helps with the pressure in the inner ear. One study showed 40% of participants who said repeated swallowing from chewing gum helped with their vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing.
Can Earwax Cause Vertigo?
Excess buildup of earwax has been shown to cause vertigo in some people. The earwax can cause blockages in the ear or push against the eardrum, leading to the person feeling unbalanced and dizzy.
Does Shaking Your Head Help Vertigo?
Shaking your head can potentially help relieve vertigo because canaliths (calcium particles) can be loosened and removed from the inner ear. Once those canaliths are removed, the dizziness and vertigo symptoms should disappear. But instead of wildly shaking your head, it's best to try the Epley, Semont-Toupet, or Half-Somersault maneuver.
What Foods Should You Avoid with Vertigo?
There are some foods that have been linked to triggering vertigo symptoms. These include caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, aged cheeses, and processed meats. High salt or sugar intake can also trigger dizziness and vertigo symptoms.
Does a Hot Bath Help Vertigo?
A hot bath or shower does not help vertigo symptoms and can actually worsen them. The hot water will raise your blood pressure and lead to dizziness. Taking a warm shower or bath is best as there's less risk of the water raising your blood pressure.
- Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/health/home-remedies-for-vertigo
- WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/brain/home-remedies-vertigo
- Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320492
- Everyday Health https://www.everydayhealth.com/home-remedies-alternative-treatments-vertigo/
- Neuroequilibrium: https://www.neuroequilibrium.in/vertigo-exercises-and-home-remedies/