This fact sheet provides information on vestibular rehabilitation exercises for The aims of the Cawthorne-Cooksey exercises include relaxing the neck and. Cawthorne-Cooksey Exercises. SUPPORTING If your vestibular system (inner ear balance system) is not working properly, you will feel dizzy and off balance. Cawthorne Cooksey Exercises (Vestibular Rehabiliation Excercises). 1. In bed or sitting. 1. Eye movements — at first slow, then quick. 1. up and down.

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If you have used any of our services in the last two years, we would really value your feedback to ensure that we can continue providing a high standard of information and support for people with neurological problems.

The whole survey should take between 5 and 15 minutes of your time, depending on the number of services you have used. All responses are completely confidential so no individual answers will be identifiable to any person. This fact sheet provides information on vestibular rehabilitation exercises for people with dizziness and balance problems.

Our fact sheets are designed as general introductions to each subject and are intended to be concise. Each person is affected differently by dizziness and balance problems and you should speak with your GP or specialist for individual advice.

You might be interested in reading our Dizziness and balance problems booklet for further information on the different causes of dizziness and the conditions that can be treated with vestibular rehabilitation exercises.

Our Helpline team are also here to answer your questions and provide practical and emotional support. Call Vestibular compensation is a process that allows the brain to regain balance control and minimise dizziness symptoms when there is damage to, or an imbalance between, the right and left vestibular organs balance organs in the inner ear.

Essentially, the brain copes with the disorientating signals coming from the inner ears by learning to rely more on alternative signals coming from the eyes, ankles, legs and neck to maintain balance.

Please note that you should not attempt any of these exercises without first seeing a specialist or physiotherapist for a comprehensive assessment, advice and guidance. Your GP can refer you.


Some of these exercises will not be suitable for everyone, and some are only suitable for certain conditions. The aims of the Cawthorne-Cooksey exercises include relaxing the neck and shoulder muscles, training the eyes to move independently of the head, practising good balance in everyday cawthorje, practising the head movements that cause dizziness to help the development of vestibular compensationimproving general co-ordination and encouraging natural unprompted movement.

Vestibular rehabilitation exercises

You should be assessed for an individual exercise programme to ensure you are doing the appropriate exercises. You could ask if it is possible for a friend or relative to be with you at the assessment.

It can be vestibuar if someone else learns the exercises and helps you with them. You will be given guidance on how many repetitions of each exercise to do and when to progress to the next set of exercises.

You might find that your dizziness problems get worse for a few vestibulr after you start the exercises, but you should persevere with vetsibular. For example, 0 through to 5 for the severity of your symptoms 0 being no symptoms and 5 being severe symptoms. It would be advisable to start each exercise at a level that you would rate as a 2 or 3 on the rating scale i. Please be aware that it may take a few days cawthodne you to get used to the exercises.

It may be advised not to undertake exercises that you would rate a 4 or 5 on the scale. A diary such as the one below might help you to keep track of the exercises and help with knowing when to make each one harder. Make sure that you are in a safe environment before you start fooksey of the exercises to reduce the risk of injury.

Do not complete any exercises if you feel that you are risk of falling without safety measures in place to stop this. It is also important to note that you may experience mild dizziness whilst doing these vestibulqr.

This is completely normal. It is advised not to complete more than 10 of each of the exercises below. They should be completed slowly at first. Vesribular the exercise becomes easier over time you can start to do them more quickly.

Cawthorne-Cooksey Exercises for Dizziness

The aim of gaze stabilisation exercises is to improve vision and the ability to focus on a stationary object while the head is moving. Progressions with this exercise can include placing the target letter on a busy background. You should start the exercise whilst seated and then move on to standing.


It is thought that BPPV may be caused by crystals also known as otoconia becoming dislodged from their normal place inside the inner ear, and moving into another area within the ear that is responsible for sensing rotation the semicircular canals.

When the crystals move around in this part of the ear it causes dizziness. Canalith repositioning procedures involve a sequence of specific head and upper exerccises movements that may be able to move the crystals back to their correct place in exervises ear.

It is important that these manoeuvres are only performed by a trained specialist to prevent the risk of neck and back injuries. The manoeuvres are not appropriate for everyone. In particular, the manoeuvres will not be suitable if you have pain or stiffness in your neck or if you have had a neck injury.

Brain & Spine Foundation | Vestibular rehabilitation exercises

You may feel dizzy for the first 48 hours after the treatment. If the treatment has worked successfully for you, your symptoms should improve within a couple of weeks. If your dizziness persists or comes back, it might be possible to have the treatment again. These exercises may also be advised if CRPs are not suitable.

Brandt-Daroff exercises are a treatment for BPPV that can be performed at home without the supervision of a specialist.

It is unclear exactly how these exercises work. The repeated head movements may work by moving the crystals back to their correct position inside the inner ear as with CRPs. Alternatively, it may be that repeated exposure to movements that provoke dizziness symptoms teaches your brain not to listen to the signals it is receiving from the ears as much vestibular compensation.

These exercises are likely to make you feel dizzy whilst you perform them, but exrcises is important to persevere in order to feel any benefit.