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Positional Vertigo or Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

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Positional Vertigo or Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

Head injuries and neck injuries are common and can lead to various types of post-traumatic vertigo. This is an explanation of Positional Vertigo or Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV).

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Post-traumatic positional vertigo is a common consequence of head injury and the most common type of severe dizziness. Also known as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, or BPPV, it is easily diagnosed by the pattern of dizziness that is brought on only when the head is placed in certain positions. Other causes of positional vertigo include utricular injury, vestibular atelectasis, and various forms of central vertigo caused by cerebellar or brainstem disturbances.

There are several good treatments for BPPV and the prognosis for this syndrome, when properly treated, is often excellent.

Benign Positional Vertigo Treatment – Self-Care at Home

  • Lie down and rest. Take precautions to prevent or minimize falls.
  • Do not drive, work at heights, or operate dangerous machinery.
  • Avoid sudden head movements and body position changes, particularly looking up.
  • Home therapy exercises that are meant to disburse the inner ear particles that are causing the trouble or that are meant to desensitize the inner ear nerves being stimulated are available and can be explained to you more fully by your physician.
  • The following are called the positional exercises of Brandt and Daroff. You will likely feel vertigo while doing these exercises but over time and with repetition, the severity and duration of your symptoms should decrease:
    1. Sit on the edge of the bed near the middle, with legs hanging down.
    2. Turn head 45° to right side.
    3. Quickly lie down on left side, with head still turned, and touch the bed with the portion of the head behind the ear.
    4. Maintain this position and every subsequent position for about 30 seconds.
    5. Sit up again.
    6. Quickly lie down to right side after turning head 45° toward the left side.
    7. Sit up again.
    8. Do 6-10 repetitions, three times per day.

Medical Treatment

Some doctors know how to perform certain maneuvers of your head and torso that often relieve or cure the problem without medication:

  • These maneuvers are called canalith repositioning procedures, or “the Epley maneuver,” and require special knowledge and skill.
  • Their goal is to move the loose particles out of the semicircular canals of the inner ear to where they will no longer cause trouble.
  • After they are performed, you may need to keep your head upright for 24 hours.
  • This may require that you wear a soft neck collar for support and sleep sitting upright for a night.


Several medications, including common motion sickness remedies, may help your symptoms of benign positional vertigo (BPV). See your physician for more information about medications that may assist you.

Free Consultation with Experienced Erie, PA Personal Injury Lawyers

The experienced Erie inner ear injury lawyers at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. have successfully litigated or settled numerous cases for our clients. Often, these cases result from car accidents, truck accidents, or slip and falls. As skilled Erie injury lawyers who have helped injured clients and their families for decades, we understand how to evaluate and prove these cases, and we can help you obtain fair compensation to fix what can be fixed.

Call Erie PA personal injury law firm Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. now at 814-273-2010 or 814-273-2010 for your free and confidential consultation.