Brandt-Daroff Exercise for Vertigo

Treatment Overview

The Brandt-Daroff exercise is one of several exercises intended to speed up the compensation process and end the symptoms of vertigo. It often is prescribed for people who have benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and sometimes for labyrinthitis. These exercises will not cure these conditions. But over time they can reduce symptoms of vertigo.

To do the Brandt-Daroff exercise:

  • Start in an upright, seated position.
  • Move into the lying position on one side with your nose pointed up at about a 45-degree angle.
  • Remain in this position for about 30 seconds (or until the vertigo subsides, whichever is longer). Then move back to the seated position.
  • Repeat on the other side.

People who use this exercise usually are instructed to do multiple repetitions of the exercise at least twice a day.

What To Expect After Treatment

Symptoms sometimes suddenly go away during an exercise period. More often, improvement occurs gradually over a period of weeks or months.

Why It Is Done

The Brandt-Daroff exercise and other similar exercises are used to treat BPPV. These exercises are sometimes used to treat labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis.

How Well It Works

These exercises can help your body get used to the confusing signals that are causing your vertigo. This may help you get over your vertigo sooner.

The Brandt-Daroff exercise does not help relieve the symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) as well as the Semont maneuver or the Epley maneuver.1

Risks

There are no risks in doing these exercises. To avoid hitting your head or developing minor neck injuries, be careful not to lie down too quickly.

What To Think About

The Brandt-Daroff exercise is effective in relieving symptoms of BPPV and possibly other conditions causing vertigo. But this exercise may cause vertigo and the nausea and vomiting that sometimes accompany it. This can discourage people from continuing the exercise, especially when the vertigo is severe enough to cause nausea and vomiting.

Vertigo often goes away without treatment. So it is hard to know just how effective this exercise really is.

Other similar exercises may also be recommended by your doctor to help resolve your vertigo symptoms.

Complete the special treatment information form (PDF) (What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this treatment.

References

Citations

  1. Fife TD, et al. (2008). Practice parameter: Therapies for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (an evidence-based review). Report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology, 70(22): 2067–2074.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Last Revised December 19, 2012

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