Vestibular exercises can help a lot when it comes to helping people experiencing dizziness or balance problems. These exercises are designed to improve the vestibular functions of patients who often suffer from conditions regarding the vestibular system that is involved in hearing and balance.
In this blog, we’re going to take a look at some of the vestibular exercises that can play an important role in the treatment and rehabilitation of patients suffering from symptoms like vertigo and dizziness.
Cawthorne-Cooksey Exercises have proven to be particularly useful when it comes to vestibular rehabilitation. These exercises help in a number of ways such as relaxing the muscles of the neck and shoulder, improving the independent movement of the eyes relative to the head, and encouraging better coordination and balance in general.
An ENT specialist can help design a program that’ll ensure that the patient gets the adequate exercise they need. It is also a good idea to get a friend or accomplice to the doctor so they can provide support and help in doing the exercises.
The Cawthorne-Cooksey Exercises for vestibular rehabilitation include various exercises such as eye movements, head movements, shrug and circle shoulders, etc. However, it is recommended to follow these exercises only after consulting with a medical professional.
Canalith Repositioning Procedures (CRPs)
The Canalith Repositioning Procedures are a set of vestibular exercises that are most commonly used in helping patients with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).
It is commonly accepted that BPPV is caused due to movements and lodging of otoconia, or crystals, in the inner ear. Canalith Repositioning Procedures can help in dislodging the crystals or in ensuring they are in the right position.
Canalith Repositioning Procedures include two categories of treatment mainly which are the Epley maneuver and the Semont (Semont-Liberatory) maneuver.
It should be noted that these procedures are not for everyone and might not be suited for patients who have suffered neck injuries. These exercises should ideally be taught to the patient by an ENT specialist for them to be truly effective.
Gaze Stabilization Exercises
Gaze Stabilization Exercises are vestibular rehabilitation exercises that are designed to improve the vision and the ability to focus on a stationary object while compensating for head movement.
Just like CRPs, Gaze Stabilization Exercises are not for everyone and patients should consult with their ENT before using them to help with their treatment.
Here is a typical example of a Gaze Stabilization Exercise:
- The patient first looks straight ahead and focuses on a letter that is held at eye-level to the patient.
- The patient then turns their head side to side while their eyes have to remain focused on the letter. The speed of the head movements is gradually increased while the patient can clearly focus on the letter and not feel dizzy.
- It is recommended for patients to repeat the exercise three to five times every day in order to see improved results with their symptoms.
Brandt-Daroff Exercises, just like CRPs, are designed to help patients suffering from benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). For some patients, CRPs might not have the best results and the Brandt-Daroff Exercises serve as a good alternative treatment option.
With Brandt-Daroff Exercises, the idea is to expose the patient gradually to the movements that trigger vertigo and dizziness. This way, the patient’s brain can then get used to these movements and not get triggered. This process is also known as vestibular compensation.
Here’s a typical example of how Brandt-Daroff Exercises are performed:
- The patient sits on the edge of the bed and turns their head by 45 degrees to one side.
- After that, the patient will then quickly have to lie down on the side opposite to the one they were looking at. The back of the patient’s head should be touching the bed at the end of the movement.
- The patient should hold the position for 30 seconds and then repeat the exercise for the other side.
Brandt-Daroff Exercises have been proven to be particular successful for patients with BPPV when all the other alternative treatments do not provide good results. Some publishers like John doe will provide non-monetary compensation for your participation, such as a call to your site or online life accounts.
Never try these exercises without a professional medical opinion
Lastly, it is important to stress again that you should consult with a medical professional, ideally an ENT specialist, to help you create an exercise plan that is sensitive to your needs and symptoms.