SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Some amusement park rides can make you dizzy but for millions of us no ride is necessary to feel that way. The whirling sensation and loss of balance they’re experiencing is vertigo. 

Most cases of vertigo are caused by a problem within the inner ear. A Colorado doctor discovered an at-home way to treat vertigo. Eyewitness News Healthbeat Reporter Mark Hiller decided to see just how effective that treatment really is.

An online tutorial on curing the most common kind of vertigo, benign positional vertigo, has gained much popularity in recent years. The technique is called the Foster Half Somersault Maneuver. Allied Services Physical Therapist Sondra Morgan said, “It can be a great treatment and a quick, easy fix to it and for others not so much.”

That’s because not all positional vertigo is the same. With the help of an aide, Ms. Morgan demonstrated the half somersault maneuver. It requires kneeling and moving your head and body in various positions. The technique aims to reposition inner ear crystals causing the vertigo. “For some reason, those calcium crystals in the inner ear can break away from the membrane that they’re sitting on, move into the semi-circular canals of the inner ear,” said Ms. Morgan.  

With those crystals out of place from their base, you can experience mild to severe dizziness and imbalance by tipping your head back, bending forward, lying down or sitting up, or simply rolling over in bed. Ms. Morgan has treated countless patients for positional vertigo including some who tried the at-home treatment technique. “They come in and say I’m so much worse and it’s only because they may have treated the wrong ear.”

Ms. Morgan is trained to detect the vertigo disorder and treat it based on a one-on-one personal evaluation. She recommends before trying to treat your dizziness on your own, discuss it with your doctor. “Make sure that the dizziness is actually coming from an inner ear problem because dizziness can come from heart problems or from a stroke so you always want to clear that with a physician first.”

A few things about positional vertigo. It primarily affects people over 40, and for unknown reasons, more women than men. A blow to the head can be to blame for vertigo but for others the cause can remain a mystery. Even after it’s treated, positional vertigo can return over time and require further treatment.