The management of horizontal-canal paroxysmal positional vertigo

Acta Otolaryngol. 1998 Jul;118(4):455-60. doi: 10.1080/00016489850154559.


Horizontal-canal paroxysmal positional vertigo (HC-PPV) is a vestibular syndrome due to canalolithiasis of the horizontal canal. The more common posterior-canal paroxysmal positional vertigo has a well defined and effective therapy, while there have been few reports on physical therapy for HC-PPV, and these have been tried in relatively few patients. We report the results of two different types of treatment of HC-PPV in 92 patients. A group of 21 untreated patients acted as a control group. One method, known as forced prolonged position (FPP), proposes liberating the affected canal by gravitation, and involves having the patient lie on the healthy side for many hours. The other method (the barbecue rotation) is a liberatory manoeuvre which proposes to expel the otoconia from the canal by rotating the patient 270 degrees around the longitudinal axis of the body in rapid steps of 90 degrees. FPP was successful in more than 70% of our patients; the barbecue rotation had slightly less successful but more immediate results. Both methods enable otoconial debris to migrate into the posterior canal. We suggest treating all patients with the two methods in succession.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Therapy Modalities* / methods
  • Posture
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rotation
  • Semicircular Canals / physiopathology
  • Vertigo / physiopathology
  • Vertigo / rehabilitation*