In this blog, I discuss the Epley Maneuver for vertigo. The Epley maneuver was first published in 1992 by the late Dr. John Epley, M.D.
This BPPV treatment maneuver is specifically for free floating BPPV crystals in the posterior canal.
Free floating BPPV particles in the posterior canal is the most common type of BPPV by far.
Therefore, a very high percentage of patients with BPPV may benefit from an Epley maneuver for vertigo.
Caution: Self-Treatment with Epley Maneuver
Although many patients are instructed to do the Epley Maneuver for vertigo treatment on themselves, I do not generally recommend it.
I wrote this article to share more details about why I generally do not recommend treating yourself for BPPV crystals.
The only time I advise to perform an Epley maneuver for vertigo on your own is if all three of the following criteria are present. I also share my reasoning for each of my three criteria.
Criteria 1: Evaluation by a Vestibular Professional
Before you attempt the Epley maneuver for vertigo on your own, I recommend that you should be evaluated by a vestibular professional.
The Epley maneuver may help dizzy patients who are diagnosed with posterior canal BPPV with crystals that are free-floating.
For patients with that specific diagnosis, the Epley maneuver will likely be part of their vertigo treatment plan.
You should be aware that there are other types of BPPV that will not improve with an Epley maneuver. There are also other health problems, besides BPPV, that cause cause positional vertigo.
That is why a professional evaluation is important.
If the Epley maneuver is not the correct treatment for you, then that maneuver can make you very sick without providing any benefit.
Criteria 2: Instruction by a Professional
You should be trained by that vestibular professional in how to properly perform an Epley maneuver for vertigo.
If you just look up Epley maneuvers online, you may find incorrect instructions.
The vestibular professional is trustworthy and will train you properly to do an Epley maneuver. They will decide if they think it is safe for you to do on your own or not.
The reason for my caution here is because if you do the Epley maneuver incorrectly, you may feel worse afterward.
Your vestibular professional may advise that it is not safe or appropriate for you to perform an Epley maneuver on your own.
Depending on your situation, the best plan may be to have the Epley maneuver performed by your vestibular health care provider.
Criteria 3: Help is Available at Home
You must have someone available to stand by to assist you and supervise the procedure.
The reason for this is because it is very difficult to tell where your head is in space while you are spinning or feeling disoriented during the maneuver.
Also, you will mess up the procedure if you need to sit up to review written instructions half way through.
I believe that you need someone to stand by and supervise. That person can ensure that your head is in the correct position throughout the maneuver.
The head must be in precisely the correct position and transition to the next position correctly, in order for the maneuver to be effective.
Your helper can coach you through each transition and observe your head in each position. That increases your chances to perform the Epley maneuver correctly.
Recommendation: Get Professional Help with the Epley Maneuver for Vertigo
I suggest that you search for a professional who offers “particle repositioning maneuvers.”
These are the types of treatment used to resolve BPPV, so the Epley is one example of a particle repositioning maneuver.
You can use this page to search for a local vestibular provider to help with the Epley Maneuver for vertigo treatment.
The following blog has a list of Five Reasons why the Epley Maneuver for vertigo may not help you.
This article discusses a few reasons that it is important to treat BPPV.
I have a helpful article about Vertigo Home Remedies that Help.
I also wrote an article to teach you How to Track and Report Symptoms.
This blog is provided for informational purposes only. The content and any comments by Dr. Kim Bell, DPT are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The details of any case mentioned in this post represent a typical patient that Dr. Bell might see and do not describe the circumstances of a specific individual.