What to Avoid after BPPV treatment
Believe it or not, when I first started treating BPPV in 2006, we used to have our patients sleep upright and wear a soft cervical collar for a few days after treatment.
Yes, it is true! Things have changed since then.
The research has evolved at this point, so we have new instructions on what to avoid after BPPV treatment.
In this blog, I will give you the official evidence-based precautions of what to avoid after BPPV treatment.
I hope this information helps you maximize your recovery from BPPV!
Evidence-Based Precautions after BPPV Treatment
The only precautions that are now supported by research after BPPV treatment are these:
- Sit up for 20 minutes after treatment is completed. What to avoid after BPPV treatment includes bending forward to put on your shoes, leaning back to recline, and tipping your chin down to check your phone. It is important that you just sit upright with your head level for a 20 minute rest break, on a chair or the couch.
- Avoid vigorous head shaking for one week.
Do I Need to Sleep Upright?
For some very difficult or extremely stubborn cases, I may suggest for my patient to sleep propped up until treatment is all completed. But most people do not need to take that precaution.
Sleeping upright is considered an old recommendation and I rarely recommend it.
In my experience, sleeping upright causes people to develop neck pain.
The most important thing is get a good night’s sleep after BPPV treatment so your brain can reset.
How to Avoid Vigorous Head Shaking
If my patient feels the recurrence of BPPV within the first week after I had completed their treatments, I have always asked them what they were doing.
With the information I have gathered from my patients over the years, I learned that a lot has to do with head shaking/movement. I have made a list for you of specifically what to avoid after BPPV treatment for the first week.
Research indicates that returning to your normal activities as soon as possible after an episode of BPPV is associated with better outcomes.
That is true, but I still caution you to avoid the following activities that can jar or shake your head to possibly dislodge the crystals again during the first week of your recovery.
What To Avoid after BPPV treatment (for one week):
- Using an electric toothbrush (Tip: You can use it without the vibration for the first week.)
- Enthusiastic dancing, such as headbanging or bobbing your head in the car
- Shaking your head around vigorously while exercising, including bouncing and jumping jacks
- High impact exercises such as running, burpees, or jump squats
- Jumping on a trampoline
- Using a handheld blender, or mixer with beaters, such as to make cake batter or guacamole
- Putting your hand on a blender to stabilize the base or the lid, while you’re making a smoothie
- Blowing raspberries on the belly of a baby
- Bouncing a baby on your lap vigorously
- Sitting or lying on a vibrating mat for a back massage
- Sitting on a vibrating massage chair at the nail salon, such as during a pedicure
- Holding any kind of vibrating massager or activator tool near your head, neck, or arms
- Using handheld power tools, such as a sander, drill, or dremel – This is especially true for certain profession like dentists, jewelers, mechanics, and building contractors.
- Listening to extremely loud music or audio, especially through headphones or earbuds
- Riding in a bouncy or bumpy vehicle, like a jeep, truck, or tractor – Also avoid riding in any vehicle on a bumpy road or rough terrain.
- Gymnastics and tumbling
- Diving off a springboard, high dive, or cliff
- Cliff jumping – You may want to consider avoiding this type of activity longer than one week for safety reasons! 🙂
Pro Tip: Make sure you tell any provider that works on you, like a chiropractor or massage therapist, to avoid using any vibrating tool near your head or neck for at least a week after BPPV treatment.
What if BPPV Recurs?
The key is to get BPPV treated right away, so you can move on with your life!
If you find that you are getting “recurrent idiopathic BPPV,” which means no known cause of recurrences, then you may want to adopt a lifestyle of less vigorous head motions. This may help reduce how often the BPPV crystals are dislodging. However, this precaution is only necessary in persistent cases.
Returning to your normal activity as soon as possible after recovering from BPPV is important to avoid getting out of shape!
This blog is provided for informational purposes only. The content and any comments by Dr. Kim Bell, DPT are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The details of any case mentioned in this post represent a typical patient that Dr. Bell might see and do not describe the circumstances of a specific individual.