How to Treat Vertigo at Home

Research has shown that performing specific body-positioning movements at home could help alleviate the symptoms of a common contributor of dizziness that results from a build-up of crystals in the inner ear. Medical studies revealed that a technique referred to as the modified Epley procedure (MEP) works more effectively on "benign paroxysmal positional vertigo" than another technique known as Semont maneuver (MSM).

Based on the results from these studies, researchers are recommending MEP as the foremost self-treatment technique to achieving quick relief from vertigo.

Comparison Study Between MEP and MSM for Treatment of Vertigo

  • 70 subjects with vertigo were selected at random to try MEP or MSM to alleviate their symptoms

  • The subjects were asked to repeat the maneuvers of the treatments three times a day until their vertigo symptoms didn't last more than 24 hours

The MEP method

  • The patient begins by sitting on a bed with their head tilted slightly toward the affected ear

  • Using a pillow for shoulder support, the patient quickly reclines to their back

  • After 30 seconds pass, the patient then moves their head to the right 90 degrees for an additional 30 seconds

  • Finally, the head and body are turned another 90 degrees to the right for 30 more seconds before returning to a sitting position

The MSM Method

  • The patient begins by sitting on a bed and turning their head slightly in the direction of the unaffected ear

  • The patient then quickly drops to the side of the body with the affected ear for 30 seconds

  • The patient then quickly switches to the opposite side of the body, without stopping for another 30 seconds before returning to a sitting position

Results of the Study

  • After administering the treatment for one week, the participants following the MEP method no longer experienced symptoms of vertigo

  • The group using the MSM method were successful with their method the 58 percent of the time

  • The number one reason cited for failure of the MSM method was applying the method incorrectly

Neurology July 13, 2004;63(1):150-2

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Over 90 million Americans, age 17 and older, have experienced a dizziness or balance problem.

It affects an estimated 64 people in every 100,000.

It's encouraging to hear about a practical and effective treatment that doesn't involve medication or a visit to the doctor and could be taken care of right in the comforts of your own home

A video showing the maneuvers is available on the Neurology journal Web site,

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