Efficacy of postural restriction in treating benign paroxysmal positional vertigo

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006 May;132(5):501-5. doi: 10.1001/archotol.132.5.501.


Objective: To investigate the efficacy of postural restriction after canalith repositioning in treating benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).

Design: Prospective trial of patients with postural restriction vs those without postural restriction after treatment.

Patients: Patients with classic BPPV and with BPPV without nystagmus were treated using the modified Epley canalith repositioning procedure. Patients were randomly separated into 2 groups. The first group was instructed to wear a cervical collar and to maintain an upright head position for 2 days. The second group had no motion restriction. After 5 days, the patients were followed up and evaluated using the Dix-Hallpike test.

Results: In the first group, 56 of 62 ears healed after the first maneuver, and the remaining ears healed after the second. In the second group, 45 of 57 ears healed after the first maneuver, 6 after the second, and 5 (with subsequent postural restriction) after the third (1 ear did not improve). Five patients in the first group and 3 patients in the second group had BPPV without nystagmus; all of these patients healed after a single maneuver. The difference between the 2 groups in the number of maneuvers required for treatment was statistically significant (P<.05). The number of patients who required a third maneuver was significantly higher in the second group (P<.05).

Conclusions: Postural restriction enhances the therapeutic effect of canalith repositioning in the treatment of posterior semicircular canal BPPV. The long-term efficacy of postural restriction in preventing BPPV recurrence has not been demonstrated.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Braces*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck
  • Nystagmus, Pathologic / physiopathology
  • Nystagmus, Pathologic / rehabilitation
  • Otolithic Membrane / physiopathology*
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retreatment
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Vertigo / physiopathology
  • Vertigo / rehabilitation*