Balance Disorder Exercises: Exercises for the Inner Ear
Keeping your balance is essential in life, and this can apply in many different ways. However, a person’s ability to stay balanced, physically, is often looked over. Until that is when they start to lose it, losing your balance can be quite an awful experience, and it usually takes a situation such as experiencing constant vertigo that you begin to value your ability to stand upright and remain balanced. The organs in your ears make up the vestibular system, which plays a significant role in your sense of balance, and they work in tandem with your vision and nervous system. Altogether, they have control over your ability to balance and operate fine motor skills. Unfortunately, disorders can occur that can make you feel dizzy, lightheaded, and unbalanced. Also, as you age, the inner ear tends to deteriorate over time, which results in losing your sense of balance, making you feel unsteady. Luckily, there are balance disorder exercises you can do to help mitigate this natural deterioration and counteract the effects of a health disorder.
If you are suffering from benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), vestibular hypofunction, or are going through the aging process and are looking to improve your balance, check out a few of the balance disorder exercises you can do at home!
Balance Disorder Exercises
1. Kneel on the floor on both knees and look up at the ceiling. Your chin should be up, pointing up towards the ceiling.
2. Lower your head to the floor and allow your head to touch the floor. Tuck your chin between your knees and count for 30 seconds.
3. With your head still on the floor, for another 30 seconds, turn your head in the direction of your affected ear. If you are dealing with both sides, try to pick the side that is mostly affected, or do one rep on one side and the next rep on the other.
4. While maintaining your head turn, quickly raise your head up and get back up onto your knees. Hold for another 30 seconds.
5. Turn your head back to the middle and slowly stand up.
Perform a few repetitions as you do this exercise daily. If both ears are affected, do one set focusing on one side and then on the other side. Wait 10-15 minutes between each set.
The Epley Maneuver
1. While sitting on the edge of a bed, have a pillow behind you and turn your head slightly towards the affected ear.
2. Lie down quickly onto your back while maintaining your slightly turned head. Your shoulders should be resting on the pillow behind you as you lay on your back, with your head reclined. Hold for 30 seconds.
3. For another 30 seconds, turn your head slightly in the opposite direction and hold.
4. While still turning your head in the same direction, turn your head as far as you can. Hold for 30 seconds, and then sit up on that side.
Perform this exercise three times a day until your vertigo symptoms resolve. Once your symptoms stay away for 24 hours, you should be set!
The Semont Maneuver
1. While seated in an upright position, turn your head 45 degrees to the affected side.
2. While keeping the head turned, quickly lie down on the opposite side of the affected ear. Hold this for 2-3 minutes.
3. Maintain the position of your head and quickly flip over and lie down on the other side. Hold for 30 seconds and then slowly return back up into a seated position.
Perform this exercise three times a day until your vertigo symptoms resolve. Once they are able to stay away for 24 hours, you should be set!
1. While lying down on your back, place your hands under your hips and lift your legs straight up in the air.
2. Raise your hips slightly off the mat, while pulling in with your stomach and pointing your toes.
3. Hold for two counts and then lower your hips back to the mat while keeping your legs perpendicular to you.
A challenging exercise that will help improve your balance, do this exercise for 2 to 4 sets of 8 reps.