Epley’s manoeuvre is a technique performed by our Chiropractors when they need to retrain somebody’s semicircular canals or vestibular system. This is the dizziness centre in your inner ear that people talk about. People also talk about crystals in your inner ear becoming dislodged however that theory seems unlikely. What seems more likely is that when someone is undergoing vertigo or dizziness that comes from there inner ear. The canals inside your ear need to be retrained in a way that happens during the Epley’s manoeuvre.
For our Chiropractors to assess if you need an Epley’s manoeuvre, you will need to undergo a series of tests on your spine, nervous system, inner ear balance system and eyes. They will also need to talk to you about your history and when you feel dizzy. The Chiropractor is trying to determine whether your eyes are causing your dizziness, whether your neck is causing your dizziness or (most likely) if you’re any ear is causing the dizziness. In about 90% of cases of dizziness/vertigo the problem is from your vestibular system (inner ear balance system). This is known as a condition called benign paroxysmal positional Vertigo or BPPV. Epley’s manoeuvre has a high probability of helping with this condition after one or two treatments.
There is a standard test called a Dix Hallpike test for diagnosis of people that require the Epley’s manoeuvre. The Dix Hallpike test is a similar test to the beginning of the Epley’s manoeuvre where the patient is sitting up on a bench and turning their head to one side and then rapidly falling backwards so that their head is down below the flat part of the bench. If this manoeuvre causes symptoms, then it is a positive test, which means you may have BPPV.
For the Dix-Hallpike test the patient sits upright on the bench 70 to 80 centimetres from the end. To start the test the patient’s head is turned 45 degrees to the right (this would be a treatment for the right BPPV) then they are taken backwards so they’re lying on the bench. It is very important at this point that the head is extended to 30 degrees below the horizontal and as such needs to be off the end of the bench. Some people experience a latency of about 5 seconds before their symptoms start and they will have rapid beating eye movements associated.
In general like performing any treatment yourself it’s better to have an outside view of what you need in order to determine if you need a particular therapy and how to perform it correctly and the risks involved (not trusting Dr Google). Many people do not realise that they cannot drive after performing a, Epley’s manoeuvre on themselves or that they need to sit up when they try to sleep.
You can perform Epley’s manoeuvre by yourself at home however there is a specific way that you need to do it. If your problem is quite complicated doing treatment yourself at home might be too advanced to try. Therefore it is a good idea to get someone who is trained in Epley’s manoeuvre- like one of our Chiropractors- to perform it for you. Chiropractors can do the manoeuvre at the same time as assessing you and therefore change the amount of time you spend in different positions and determine if we have done the manoeuvre in the right way or for the right amount of time. The Chiropractor can also give advice for specific people in what activities to avoid, how to sleep and what foods/drinks to avoid in order to get a better result.
There are videos online and instructions on different websites to show you how to perform the Epley’s manoeuvre by yourself.
If you are worried about doing manoeuvre wrong, please do not try it. Symptoms of dizziness and Vertigo will generally resolve themselves after six weeks of time as your brain begins to adapt to the new way your vestibular system is set. Find us here to get more information about our services.