The Epley and Semont maneuvers are
exercises used to treat
benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). They are
done with the assistance of a doctor or physical therapist. A single 10- to
15-minute session usually is all that is needed.
When your head
is firmly moved into different positions, the
calcium crystal (canalith) debris causing vertigo will slip out of the
semicircular canal into an area of the inner ear where it will no longer cause
symptoms. Two maneuvers have been used successfully: the Epley maneuver and
the Semont maneuver.
The Epley maneuver is performed as follows:
Semont maneuver is performed as follows:
Sometimes these maneuvers are done while you wear a
vibrating headband. But the vibration may not help any more than the maneuver alone.1
In some cases, your
doctor or physical therapist may have you do a modified Epley procedure at
home. If your doctor has shown you how and you feel confident, you can try this
at home to get rid of your vertigo.
The Epley and Semont
maneuvers may improve or cure
benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) with only
one treatment. Some people need multiple treatments.
Epley and Semont maneuvers
are used to treat BPPV.
The Epley procedure is
safe and works well to treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
The Semont maneuver may work to
stop symptoms of BPPV. But the evidence is not as good as it is for the
These maneuvers should not be done on people with back or spine injuries or problems.
Sometimes the maneuver can move the debris from one inner ear canal to another. This can cause a different kind of vertigo.
The Epley and Semont
maneuvers are more effective than other treatments for BPPV, such as exercises
(for example, the Brandt-Daroff exercise).1 Exercises
do not treat the cause of BPPV. They help speed up
compensation by the brain. When the Epley and Semont maneuvers work, they can relieve symptoms of vertigo
If the Epley and Semont maneuvers don't work to relieve your symptoms of vertigo, you may not have the most common type of BPPV. Or you may not have BPPV at all.
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CitationsFife TD, et al. (2008). Practice parameter: Therapies
for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (an evidence-based review). Report of
the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology.
Neurology, 70(22): 2067–2074.
December 16, 2010
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Barrie J. Hurwitz, MD, MD - Neurology
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