How to Perform the Epley Maneuver
The Epley maneuver is an exercise that relieves symptoms of vertigo. Vertigo is the feeling that you or your surroundings are moving when they are not. When you feel vertigo, you may feel like the room is spinning and have trouble walking.
Dizziness is a little different than vertigo. When you are dizzy, you may feel unsteady or light-headed.
You can do this maneuver at home whenever you have symptoms of vertigo. You can do it up to 3 times a day until your symptoms go away.
Even though the Epley maneuver may relieve your vertigo for a few weeks, it is possible that your symptoms will return. This maneuver relieves vertigo, but it does not relieve dizziness.
What are the risks?
If it is done correctly, the Epley maneuver is considered safe. Sometimes it can lead to dizziness or nausea that goes away after a short time. If you develop other symptoms, such as changes in vision, weakness, or numbness, stop doing the maneuver and call your health care provider.
How to perform the Epley maneuver
- Sit on the edge of a bed or table with your back straight and your legs extended or hanging over the edge of the bed or table.
- Turn your head halfway toward the affected ear or side.
- Lie backward quickly with your head turned until you are lying flat on your back. You may want to position a pillow under your shoulders.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds. You may experience an attack of vertigo. This is normal.
- Turn your head to the opposite direction until your unaffected ear is facing the floor.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds. You may experience an attack of vertigo. This is normal. Hold this position until the vertigo stops.
- Turn your whole body to the same side as your head. Hold for another 30 seconds.
- Sit back up.
You can repeat this exercise up to 3 times a day.
Follow these instructions at home:
- After doing the Epley maneuver, you can return to your normal activities.
- Ask your health care provider if there is anything you should do
at home to prevent vertigo. He or she may recommend that you:
- Keep your head raised (elevated) with two or more pillows while you sleep.
- Do not sleep on the side of your affected ear.
- Get up slowly from bed.
- Avoid sudden movements during the day.
- Avoid extreme head movement, like looking up or bending over.
Contact a health care provider if:
- Your vertigo gets worse.
- You have other symptoms, including:
Get help right away if:
- You have vision changes.
- You have a severe or worsening headache or neck pain.
- You cannot stop vomiting.
- You have new numbness or weakness in any part of your body.
- Vertigo is the feeling that you or your surroundings are moving when they are not.
- The Epley maneuver is an exercise that relieves symptoms of vertigo.
- If the Epley maneuver is done correctly, it is considered safe. You can do it up to 3 times a day.