Things to know about Brandt-Daroff exercises

Exercises by Brandt-Daroff are movements that can relieve vertigo symptoms. These involve moving from a sitting position to a lying down position, so that people can do these exercises at home without equipment.

Vertigo can make people feel like they’re spinning. This can be attributed to an underlying condition, such as issues with the inner ear. Another possible cause of this is to stand up or move the head too quickly.

Keep reading for more detail on how, and how to do, Brandt-Daroff exercises can help with vertigo.

What are Brandt-Daroff exercises?

Brandt-Daroff movements are a series of moves that can help people quickly recover from the vertigo. We involve moving from being lying down to sitting.

While people sometimes do Brandt-Daroff exercises in a clinical setting, most people with vertigo do Brandt-Daroff exercises at home.

How to do them

Brandt-Daroff exercises can be done without any special gear. Any soft surface, such as a floor mat or the edge of a bed or sofa, may be used.

Brandt-Daroff exercises perform:

  1. Sit on the edge of a mat, couch, or bed.
  2. Turn the head about 45 degrees to the right.
  3. Lower down onto the left side of the body, keeping the head in the same position.
  4. Tuck the legs in so that they are resting on the couch, bed, or mat.
  5. Lie on the side for 30 seconds. If vertigo symptoms are present, stay there until the dizziness stops, and then wait for another 30 seconds.
  6. Slowly raise back up to a sitting position.
  7. Turn the head back to the center.
  8. Repeat these steps on the other side.

How do they work?

Some evidence suggests that exercises by Brandt-Daroff are effective as they are a form of therapy for exposure.

Exposure therapy involves placing people in safe, but typically uncomfortable, environments. This sometimes helps to lower the symptoms more generally.

Brandt-Daroff works out by continuously exposing people to dizziness, according to a 2018 study. Repeated exposure can help people recover more quickly from the vertigo as the body learns to cope with it.

How effective are they? 

There’s some evidence that exercises by Brandt-Daroff are effective in treating vertigo. Some exercises may be better for some people though.

A study carried out in 2012 showed that exercises by Brandt-Daroff were less effective than another exercise called the strategy to reposition particles. Another study found that for the treatment of vertigo, the Epley and roll-over techniques were safer.

The authors of this study consider using the Epley procedure for symptoms in an office setting and the at-home care roll-over maneuver.

Side effects and risks

Brandt-Daroff exercises can induce the feeling of vertigo, which can cause a loss of balance so lightheadedness.

That risk is highest when a person starts exercises at Brandt-Daroff first. With time, the side effects should go away, and some benefits from the exercise should be noticed by the individual.

It’s necessary to plan for the potential loss of balance when doing the exercises at home. Citizens can do this by making sure the surrounding area is smooth, and there are no sharp objects nearby. It is also best to keep walls or doors a good distance away.

People should use a comfortable mat on the floor where possible. It is also beneficial to have someone else present for the first few occasions that a person tries Brandt-Daroff exercises. This will help ensure that the person keeps good shape when doing the exercises and prevents injuries.

Brandt-Daroff vs. Epley maneuver

The main difference is the difficulty between the Brandt-Daroff procedure and the Epley strategy. The maneuver at Epley is more challenging than the exercise at Brandt-Daroff.

Executing the Epley maneuver is safer only in a clinical setting with a physician or another health care provider. When symptoms arise at home this exercise may not always be practical.

However, Brandt-Daroff exercises are easy to execute at home.

Both strategies may be useful for the treatment of vertigo. People who are uncertain about the most suitable way should talk to a doctor.

Other tips for managing vertigo symptoms

If vertigo becomes a regular experience it is best to see a doctor. A health care provider may help identify what causes the symptoms.

Therapy may be sufficient in some cases for treating an underlying condition. Antibiotics, for example, can treat an ear infection which can lead to vertigo. Treating the underlying cause often reduces or eliminates the sensation of vertigo.

A doctor may also have a look at what medications may cause vertigo. I may prescribe an alternative treatment that does not lead to vertigo.

A doctor can prescribe vestibular rehabilitation therapy if a person’s symptoms are due to benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. This therapy uses exercises to improve the vestibular system, which helps to control the movements of balance and eyes.

Vestibular therapy for healing helps to relieve vertigo symptoms.

Exercises with Brandt-Daroff can alleviate the vertigo symptoms. Benign paroxysmal positional vértigo is a common cause of vertigo.

For some people, Brandt-Daroff exercises are successful, but others could gain more from various methods, such as the Epley maneuver.

Talk with a doctor about what method to use to treat vertigo is best. They may also prescribe more interventions, such as vestibular rehabilitation.

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