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Cawthorne Head Exercises

last modified on: Mon, 09/11/2023 - 11:41

return to: BPPV Patient Handout

These exercises are to be carried out for 15 minutes twice a day, increasing to 30 minutes.

  1. Eye Exercises:
    1. Look up, then down - at first slowly, then quickly - 20 times
    2. Look from one side to the other - at first slowly, then quickly - 20 times
    3. Focus on finger at arm's length moving one foot closer and back again - 20 times
  2. Head Exercises:
    1. Bend head forward, then backward with eyes open - slowly, later quickly - 20 times
    2. Turn head from one side to other side - slowly, then quickly - 20 times
    3. As dizziness decreases, these exercises should be done with eyes closed.
  3. Sitting:
    1. While sitting shrug shoulders - 20 times
    2. Turn shoulders to right, then to left - 20 times
    3. Bend forward and pick up objects from ground and sit up - 20 times
  4. Standing:
    1. Change from sitting to standing and back again - 20 times with eyes open
    2. Repeat with eyes closed
    3. Throw a small rubber ball from hand to hand above eye level.
    4. Throw ball from hand to hand under one knee
  5. Moving About:
    1. Walk across room with eyes open, then closed - 10 times
    2. Walk up and down a slope with eyes open, then closed - 10 times
    3. Walk up and down steps with eyes open, then closed - 10 times
    4. Any game involving stooping, stretching, and turning (ex: bowling, basketball) is good

Note: The earlier and more regularly these exercises are practiced, the faster and more likely complete the recovery.

References

Dix MR.  The rationale and technique of head exercises in the treatment of vertigo. Acta Otorhinolaryngol Belg. 1979;3(3):370-84.

Herdman SJ. Canalith repositioning maneuver. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1994;111(5):691-692.