What Is Epley Maneuver and Is It Effective For Vertigo?

Dizziness, vertigo, and other balance-related conditions are among the most common health problems in adults.  Characterized by sudden light-headedness and a sensation that your head is spinning, vertigo affects almost 40% of the adult population, with increased prevalence among older people.

While occasional dizziness is not a serious issue, for chronic sufferers, vertigo can become a source of nuisance, affecting their quality of life. The sudden onset of an attack means that one can get dizzy at any place, while standing in line at the cinema or driving a car. Therefore, understanding the condition and the ways to control is important for a person to live more independently.

In this article, we listed the common causes of vertigo and how Epley Maneuver can help people with balance-related conditions.


What Causes Vertigo?

Vertigo, which is also known as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BBPV), can be caused due to two reasons:

  1. Disturbance in the balance organs of the inner ear
  2. Disturbance in parts of the brain or sensory nerve pathways

Vertigo caused due to disturbance in the balance organs of the inner ear is known as Peripheral vertigo and it’s more common than the vertigo caused due to damage to the nervous system.

Vertigo or light-headedness is experienced by an individual when small particles of debris lining the channels in the inner ear enter the fluid-filled canals of the ear. While the particles remain settled at the bottom when the head is still, upon movement, these particles may move along the canals, sending confusing messages to the brain, causing vertigo.

What is Epley Maneuver?

Also known as a particle positioning technique, Epley Maneuver is named after its inventor, Dr. John Epley. The technique involves sequential movements of the head into four different positions. At each position, the head is kept still for roughly 30 seconds. Since the technique involves rapid head movements, it must be performed under the supervision of an experienced North York physiotherapist.

In addition to taking certain precautionary measures during the physiotherapy session, the patient is advised to follow some instructions in order to attain maximum benefit from the therapy, such as, the patient should sleep in semi-recumbent position for a day or two and avoid positioning their head at an angle that may provoke a vertigo attack for at least a week.

Can Epley Maneuver Treat Vertigo?

Epley Maneuver is one of the very few effective treatments for vertigo. Research suggests that Epley Maneuver has a success rate of almost 80 percent after only a single treatment and 100 percent upon repeated treatments. The reoccurrence rate in patients who have undergone Epley Maneuver is as low as about 15 percent per year.

Considering these statistics, one can suggest that Epley Maneuver is an effective way to control the symptoms of vertigo. However, to attain the benefits and avoid the side effects, it is important that you consult with an experienced Toronto physiotherapist who can suggest you the right treatments based on your health condition.

To know more about how Epley Maneuver can help improve the quality of life of patients with vertigo, please contact Physiomobility at 416 444 4800 for a free consultation or to book your appointment.

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Virtual appointments are available and encouraged for those who are at a heightened risk of illness.

We remain focused on our quality of care & our continued commitment to helping our patients feel their best. For further assistance, you can contact us at 416-444-4800 during our opening hours. 

The Physiomobility Team