Vertigo is a common symptom of a variety of balance disorders, including Meniere’s disease and benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). This can not only affect your quality of life, but also be dangerous. Fortunately, there are exercises you can practice at home to help your body get used to the confusing, incorrect messages your brain receives during an episode.
With each new exercise, start out slowly. Over time, you can try the exercise for a longer period of time or do more repetitions. Be sure to have someone with you the first time you try an exercise in case you feel like you’re going to fall. Eventually, you may be able to do the exercises on your own.
There are two exercises we’ll review: the Romberg exercise and the standing sway exercises.
Stand in front of a wall and place a chair in front of you; use either for support if you feel like you might fall. Put your feet together and stand with your arms to your sides. Aim to hold the position for 30 seconds. Try this exercise twice a day with the goal of eventually doing it with your eyes closed.
Standing Sway Exercises
To practice front-to-back, stand with a chair in front of you and a wall behind you. Place your feet shoulder-width and put your arms at your sides. Gently sway forward then backward, shifting your weight from your toes to your heels without lifting them. Make sure your shoulders and hips move together, and do not bend at the hips. Slowly increase how far you can sway each direction without taking a step.
To practice right-to-left, stand again with a chair in front of you and a wall behind you with your feet shoulder-width and arms at your sides. Gently sway to the right, then to the left, moving your weight from foot to foot. Do not lift any part of your feet or bend your hips. Slowly increase how far you sway without stepping.
Try these exercises twice a day. Start with a goal of 20 repetitions, working toward 30 repetitions, and eventually until you can do it with your eyes closed.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Topeka ENT today.