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The Epley maneuver is a simple sequence of positions that helps treat one of the most common causes of vertigo. Dr. John Epley created the procedure in 1979, and published his first report on its effectiveness in 1992. Though the Epley maneuver has since received a few adjustments, it remains the primary treatment for this type of vertigo.

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1. Background Information

The goal of the Epley maneuver is to restore equilibrium to the semicircular canals, treating the symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). Within the inner ear are collections of calcium crystals called otoliths. BPPV occurs when these otoliths become dislodged and float freely in the inner ear and into the semicircular canals. As the head moves, the otoliths stimulate the cupula, causing the brain to think the head is moving in ways that it is not.

doctor explaining patient ear monkeybusinessimages / Getty Images
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