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 will also share with you additional precautions that I have learned from my patients who had a recurrence of BPPV shortly after I successfully treated them.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Avoid vigorous head shaking for one week.

These two evidence-based precautions will allow the BPPV crystals to settle in after treatment.

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.

One doctor that I work very closely with recommends for all of his patients with BPPV to sleep upright for the rest of their lives.

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.

I have been gathering information from my patients so I can learn more about what to avoid after BPPV treatment.

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.

These are some examples of activities that caused my patients to get BPPV again, within a week after we finished their care.

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):

  1. Using an electric toothbrush (Tip: You can use it without the vibration for the first week.)
  2. Enthusiastic dancing, such as headbanging or bobbing your head in the car
  3. Shaking your head around vigorously while exercising, including bouncing and jumping jacks
  4. High impact exercises such as running, burpees, or jump squats
  5. Jumping on a trampoline
  6. Using a handheld blender, or mixer with beaters, such as to make cake batter or guacamole
  7. Putting your hand on a blender to stabilize the base or the lid, while you’re making a smoothie
  8. Blowing raspberries on the belly of a baby
  9. Bouncing a baby on your lap vigorously
  10. Sitting or lying on a vibrating mat for a back massage
  11. Sitting on a vibrating massage chair at the nail salon, such as during a pedicure
  12. Holding any kind of vibrating massager or activator tool near your head, neck, or arms
  13. Listening to extremely loud music or audio, especially through headphones or earbuds
  14. Gymnastics and tumbling
  15. Diving off a springboard, high dive, or cliff
  16. 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.

I hope these tips on what to avoid after BPPV treatment are helpful.

For information about Driving after Vertigo Treatment, click here.


This blog is provided for informational purposes only. The content is 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 I might see and do not describe the circumstances of a specific individual.

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