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Epley Maneuver

THE EPLEY MANEUVER TO TREAT BPPV DIZZINESS

BPPV, Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, is caused by excessive debris in one of the canals of the inner ear. 

In healthy inner ears, without blockage, when you turn your head to the right, both ears agree that you are turning your head right.  If one ear is blocked, it cannot sense this motion, so your brain is told by one ear you are turning, and the other ear you are not. 

With this aberrant input, your poor brain incorrectly concludes that you must be spinning, and moves the eyes accordingly.  Since you are not spinning, when your brain reflexively move your eyes like it should if you are spinning, it makes the world look like it is spinning around you.  Hence, you experience vertigo, which is very nauseating.

The good news is this blockage can work its way out of the canal, and dump into the big sac of the inner ear.

If this debris dumps into the big sac of the inner ear, it is asymptomatic as they are no longer in the way of the pressure sensitive canal that tells us if we are moving in a direction. What does this mean? The symptoms are gone?  It should take a long time before the material finds its way into the canal again.

It may take a while for the debris to work its way out of the canal naturally.  To encourage the debris out of the canal and into the sac, Dr. Epley developed the Epley Maneuver. To see how to do the Epley Maneuver, watch the video or see the description of the Epley Maneuver below:


To perform this maneuver, you need a flat surface (like your bed or floor), and a pillow to lay on, so that when you lay down your head will extend back.

epley first position for dizziness and vertigo

Sit with your head turned to the right.

epley second position for dizziness and vertigo

Then lay back with your head over the bed/table:

epley third position for dizziness and vertigo

Keep your head turned to the right as you lay back.

If you are doing the correct side (affected ear down), you will experience dizziness, as your eyes will flicker back and forth (nystagmus).  Hold for 1-2 minutes (I say just hold until you are no longer dizzy)

 Then, turn your head to the left:

epley fifth position for dizziness and vertigo

Again, hold this position until you are no longer dizzy.

Then turn over onto your left side:

epley sixth position for dizziness and vertigo

Take your legs off the table and use your arms to push yourself up. 

epley seventh position for dizziness and vertigo

Keep your head turned to the left with your chin tucked in.

epley eight position for dizziness and vertigo

Hold this position until you are no longer dizzy.

Then look straight ahead and see how you feel. 

epley final position for dizziness and vertigo

If this did not make you very dizzy, repeat on the other side, this time first turning your head to the left and ending with your head turned to the right.

Repeat the side that makes you feel the dizziest.  Perform the Epley Maneuver on that side up to three times, three times a day.  You should notice an improvement within a day or two.  If not, or if your condition worsens in any way, see your health care provider.

Being a supporter of movement, I modified the Epley maneuver, and found it to be successful in most cases.

Visit my YouTube channel www.youtube.com if you would like to see the Epley maneuver and/or my modified version. 

The fact that BPPV is caused by debris slowing the flow of fluid in one canal, I figured, once the debris is back in the sac, you should be asymptomatic.  So, I advise people to do the Epley maneuver several times in a row, until they are no longer symptomatic. 

Often times, my patients report they no longer are dizzy after doing the Epley maneuver three times in a row, several times a day, for a couple of days. 

If they continue to be dizzy for over a week of attempting this, then I advise them to try the classical version.

Again, you do not have to suffer 

with dizziness or vertigo.

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Drummond Chiropractic, LLC
Your vertigo and dizziness experts
565 N Walnut St
Bloomington, IN 47404


(812) 336 - 2423

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