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Epley Manoeuvre

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Last Updated 19/02/24

 

The Epley manoeuvre is named after its creator, Dr John Epley, and is a repositioning technique used by a vestibular audiologist to treat dizziness caused BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo).

Because the canals in our inner ears are responsible for our feeling of balance, a disruption in the fluid in them can cause debilitating dizziness and even nausea. The Epley Manoeuvre is a canalith repositioning manoeuvre which directs free-floating crystals (“otoconia”) in the fluid of affected canal of the inner ear to move away from the area of the spatial orientation (balance) part of the inner ear, and therefore to stop disrupting the balance sensation of the client.

It involves moving the client’s head, shoulders and neck in a very specific sequence, on order to allow the inner ear fluid to move in a very particular way to disperse the problematic otoconia, which can then be re-absorbed naturally by the body in the correct place.

NICE (the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, which tells NHS doctors which treatments to use for diseases and conditions) recommends the Epley Manoeuvre for BPPV [NG127; 1.2.6.]

References:

Suspected neurological conditions: recognition and referral
NICE guideline [NG127]Published: 01 May 2019 Last updated: 04 July 2019

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