VESTIBULAR EXERCISE PROGRAM TO OVERCOME DIZZINESS
AIM OF EXERCISES:
To loosen up the muscles of the neck and shoulders, to overcome the protective muscular spasm.
* To train movement of the eyes, independent of the head.
* To practice balancing in every day situations with special attention to developing the use of
* To practice head movements that cause dizziness and thus gradually overcome the
* To become accustomed to moving about naturally in daylight and in the dark.
* To encourage the restoration of self-confidence and easy spontaneous movement.
# All exercises are started in exaggerated slow time and gradually progress to more rapid time. The rate
of progression from the bed to sitting and then to standing exercises depends upon the severity of dizziness in
each individual. Repeat these exercises three times a day.
SITTING POSITION – Without arm rests.
1. Eye exercises – at first slow, then quickly.
* a. Up and Down
* b. Side to Side
* c. Repeat (a) and (b), focus on finger at arms length.
2. Head exercises – head movements at first slow, then quickly.
3. Shrug shoulders and rotate, 20 times.
4. Bend forward and pick up objects from ground, 20 times.
5. Rotate head and shoulders slowly, then quickly, 20 times.
6. Rotate head, shoulders and trunk with eyes opened, then closed, 20 times.
7. Change from sitting to lying position with the head turned to the side with tendency to produce dizziness 5
* Repeat #1
* Repeat #2
* Repeat #5
* Change from a sitting position, with eyes opened, then shut.
* Throw ball from hand to hand (above eye level).
* Throw ball from hand to hand (under knees).
* Change from sitting to standing and turn around in between.
* Repeat #6
* Walk across room with eyes opened, then closed, 10 times.
* Walk up and down slope with eyes opened, then closed, 10 times.
* Do any games involving stooping or stretching and aiming; such as bowling, shuffleboard,
* Stand on one foot in front of the other with eyes opened, then closed.
If your unsteadiness or dizziness is brought on by quick changes in position or head movements, the exercises
listed below could be practiced.
The rationale for the use of these exercises is best explained by an example. You are familiar with the
figure skater who is able to spin rapidly, stop suddenly, and skate without difficulty. He is able to do this
because he trains or conditions his balance mechanism not to become dizzy. These exercises can help you in a
Stated simply, you must seek out to overcome those positions or situations which cause your
dizziness. Avoiding them only prolongs your convalescence.
CAWTHORNES HEAD EXERCISES
Exercises to be carried out for 15 minutes, twice a day, increasing to 30 minutes.
1. Eye Exercises: Looking up then down – first slowly then quickly – 20 times. Focus on finger at arms
length, moving one foot and back again – 2 times.
2. Head Exercises: Bend head forward then backward with eyes open – slowly, later quickly – 20 times. Turn
head from one side to the other – slowly, then quickly – 20 times. As dizziness improves, these head exercises
should be done with eyes closed.
3. Sitting: While sitting, shrug shoulders 20 times. Turn shoulders to right then to left – 20
times. Bend forward and pick up objects from ground and sit up – 20 times.
4. Standing: Change from sitting to standing and back again – 20 times with eyes open. Repeat with eyes
closed. Throw a small rubber ball from hand to hand above eye level. Throw ball from hand to hand under
5. Moving about: Walk across room with eyes open, then closed – 10 times. Walk up and down a slope with eyes
open, then closed – 10 times. Any game involving stooping or turning is good.