Home remedy for vertigo is to stop your world spinning on the wrong axis.
Simply one of the very worst of conditions can sometimes be well managed with Brandt Daroff exercises.
So, what causes vertigo? It's a disturbance of the flow of fluid in two small organs in the inner ear. When calcium crystals block one canal, say in the right ear, then one organ gives divergent information to the brain, compared to the left; the result is nausea and sometimes vomiting, not unlike sea sickness and a world that spins.
The standard treatment is known as the Epley manoeuvres; a series of exercises done by a skilled practitioner. There are six canals and determining which is the offending beast is vital to the success of the treatment. But once the acute phase is over a simple exercise may help prevent it returning.
Don't take stugeron; it doesn't help and in fact one of its side effects is nausea in ten percent of cases. It may actually won't make things worse.
Eighty percent of the time, vertigo is caused by this inner ear condition known as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo; the treatment of choice is the Epley manoeuvres.
The other twenty percent is caused by an inner ear infection, multiple sclerosis, Meniere's disease or a stroke; serious diseases so a diagnosis is paramount.
So a careful history and examination is vital before starting the treatment. Your chiropractor will take your blood pressure, examine the cranial nerves and reflexes, ask about progressive deafness and look for signs of an upper respiratory infection.
Two features give the diagnosis; it's paroxysmal. There is sudden onset for no obvious reason and a strange flicking of the eyes known as nystagmus begins. It's this uncontrolled movements of the eyes that make the world appear to spin.
A very clever neurologist called Dr Epley worked out a complex treatment procedure to displace the naughty crystals from where they are blocking one canal, and shifting them to a sort of rubbish bin called the utricle.
Don't lie in bed despite the awfulness of getting up and moving about; just lying down worsens the problem. Do be careful because you may fall; you'll look like a drunken sailor as you make your way to the bathroom. A recent patient came in with umpteen thorns in her body; walking in the garden she'd fallen into a rose bush. Use a stick and balance with your hands against the wall and on furniture.
Vertigo usually affects the older person; someone who also may be suffering from brittle bone disease. A fall can mean a broken hip.
Keep a bucket near you; nausea is common, and you may vomit too.
This home remedy for vertigo that I will describe shortly is not for you when you're in the acute phase, throwing up and falling about. Then it's time for a consultation with a skilled practitioner who has learnt the Epley manoeuvres; often doctors and chiropractors may not have a clue unless they have been on a specialised course on the management of vertigo.
Medical doctors will want to prescribe Stugeron which doesn't help and may worsen the condition; nausea is one of the side effect in ten percent of people.
And your chiropractor may want to adjust your neck; in my book it's absolutely contraindicated until the acute phase is completely over; even if you have a sore neck. Investigations by two esteemed chiropractic researchers found that dizziness is one of the conditions where chiropractors need to tread very carefully.
Confusingly, in a small group of people, the vertigo may actually be caused by a subluxation in the neck affecting the blood flow to the brain. In this group, a very careful adjustment of the neck may be the only treatment that will fix your vertigo; however I personally would only do that once all other avenues have been exhausted.
I do occasionally adjust the cervical spine of the patient with vertigo, but never in conjunction with the Epleys; an acute episode of vomiting may occur. Stroke chiropractic is a very rare phenomenon, but the dizzy patient is one of those considered at risk.
Start these home remedy for vertigo exercises slowly in the beginning. In the acute phase they may cause a real upset; don't be concerned.
Another home remedy for vertigo
Routinely, when you stand up, wait a moment and then slowly turn around in a circle.
Then take a step to the side, and back to the other side.
You can also do this with your head slightly tilted to the side.
A caution when doing this home remedy for vertigo
During the Brandt Daroff exercises your head tends to flop around as you drop to the side and your neck goes into lateral flexion. If you suffer from neck problems, and particularly a cervical facet syndrome, then this routine can increase your neck pain.
Ask your chiropractor for advice.
Likewise if you have a lower back problem; ask someone to raise your legs as you flop on your side, trying to keep your body straight. Otherwise, next thing you may be needing chiropractic help for sciatica pain!
Chiropractic help might be for you, but manipulation is to be used last after the other exercises like Brandt Daroff and Epleys have been exhausted unsuccessfully.
Small doses of vertigo are not uncommon as we get older; a sudden spinning of the world as we turn our heads in odd positions, or turning in bed. It usually passes in a few seconds.
But if it turns into vertigo, it's a horrible, nasty condition. Don't panic, this too will pass. If it's bad, don't start these home remedy for vertigo exercises, but get professional help. My advice is not to take pills, and not let your chiropractor adjust your neck initially. Find someone who can do the Epley exercises with you. They are safer and more effective.
For years sometimes, if you don't follow the right treatment and these home remedy for vertigo exercises.
I'm in the midst of treating a 60 year old lady with a particularly nasty episode of vertigo dizziness. You can get a lot more detailed information about the disease at this page. She's the inspiration for this blog. Yesterday I gave her this home remedy for vertigo; in a week's time I'll give an update on how she's progressing.
But, back to the question you may be asking; how long does vertigo last? Her vertigo started two weeks ago. For a day she did nothing, not liking doctors of any ilk, but when she fell into a rosebush in the garden and started vomiting, her husband insisted.
They went to a medical doctor who examined her and ruled out a stroke, diagnosing, correctly I believe, Benign Positional Paroxysmal Vertigo, commonly called BPPV. But obviously not familiar with the research about vertigo, she prescribed Stugeron; it didn't help in the slightest. So, that's one week with no improvement; in fact if anything slightly worse.
Then, desperate, she consulted her local chiropractor since she also had a sore neck and had heard the problem might be in her neck. Me! Fortunately this chiropractor has been around the block, and I didn't adjust her neck. I once had colleague, now long deceased who adjusted a dizzy patient who then had a stroke. Once bitten, twice shy!
Stroke chiropractic is rare, about one in six million manipulations of the neck, but it's the dizzy patient who is at risk. It's always safer to start with the Epley exercises and this home remedy for vertigo until there is no longer any nystagmus; then if the neck is still painful, one might consider adjusting the cervical spine. Cautiously, and not in the direction of the positive Hallpike Dix test. That's the test your chiropractor will use for diagnosing BPPV.
Having given probably several hundred thousand cervical manipulations with any serious incident, I'll never forget the dizzy patient who I adjusted and gave the Epley exercises at the same consultation. She vomited continuously for three hours; it wasn't pleasant and fortunately the episode passed when I was about to call in the help of a neurologist. She recovered completely but never consulted me again for obvious reasons. In her book I screwed up, and she's right. I never do the Epleys and adjust the neck on the same consultation. Never.
Interesting questions from readers