Back in 2013, I recall my mother complaining of dizziness when getting out of bed in the morning. Being in her late 70s, it was cause for concern but while it sounded frightening, it wasn’t serious at all based on her doctor’s positional vertigo diagnosis. Her physical therapist performed a simple maneuver that only took minutes to perform and it cured itself instantly!
There are actually 4 types of maneuvers to treat positional vertigo: Epley, Semont, Half-Somersault or Foster, and the Brandt-Daroff maneuver. In this article, we’ll look at the Foster or Half-Somersault maneuver.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is the most common cause of vertigo. It is benign so it is not life-threatening. It is paroxysmal and positional meaning that dizziness occurs for only brief periods and is triggered by certain head movements or positions. Vertigo or dizziness, in this case, is not dangerous but the danger lies with the possibility of falling and injuring yourself.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo Symptoms
BPPV symptoms are very brief and can last for a minute or less. Symptoms for BPPV can include:
- The sense that you are moving or spinning.
- Blurred vision
- Unsteadiness or loss your balance
- Nausea and/or Vomiting
These symptoms happen because as the calcium crystals in the inner ear break loose, they can accumulate in the ear canal. According to Mayo Clinic, “When they become dislodged, they can move into one of the semicircular canals – especially while you’re lying down. This causes the semicircular canal to become sensitive to head position changes it would normally not respond to, which is what makes you feel dizzy.”
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo Treatment
Perhaps the most surprising thing about BPPV is that it can be cured with a simple maneuver you can do at home. Dr. Carol Foster from the University of Colorado Hospital pioneered a vertigo treatment that worked for her and her patients.
To determine which ear is causing the issue, lie in bed and turn to the left and then to the right. If you are dizziest when you turn to the right, you would treat your right ear and vice versa. Please watch the video below for a full explanation of the Half Somersault Maneuver vertigo treatment developed by Dr. Foster before attempting this maneuver.
Note: If you don’t feel confident doing this vertigo treatment maneuver yourself, please see your doctor or physical therapist which can treat BPPV.
Step 1: Start on your knees and sit on your heels.
Step 2: Tip your head straight up and look at the ceiling.
Dr. Foster recommends holding this position for a few seconds and it is normal if spinning or dizziness occurs.
Step 3: Place your head completely upside down with your chin tucked under slightly towards your knees.
Step 4: Turn your head 45-degrees towards your right or left elbow depending on which ear you are treating.
In this position, the crystals will begin to dislodge. You’ll want to stay in this position until the spinning or dizziness stops or for 30 seconds, whichever comes first.
5) Very quickly raise your head and try to keep your head level with your back.
Keep your head turned at a 45-degree angle while holding this position. You’ll want to stay in this position until spinning or dizziness stops or for 15-30 seconds.
6) Next, bring your head fully upright while keeping your head in the same 45-degree position.
That’s it! According to Dr. Foster, it may need to perform this maneuver several times.
Watch how to treat vertigo with this at-home treatment by Dr. Carol Foster of the University of Colorado Hospital…
The video has received millions of views and has gone viral because it works. Many people around the world have written to Dr. Foster to express their gratitude. “I hear from people in Poland, Saudi Arabia, and Paris,” she said. “It is so gratifying to get their feedback and have them say, ‘Hey, I was so ill and now I’m well!'”
So many people live with this condition for so many years and it is incredible that Dr. Foster’s simple maneuver can wipe away weeks, months, or years of vertigo problems in only a few minutes.
Please share this simple method for treating vertigo or BPPV at home with your friends and family.