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Colorado Doctor Becomes YouTube Sensation For Simple Vertigo Fix

By Kathy Walsh

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – A doctor at the University of Colorado Hospital has become a YouTube sensation. That’s because she has developed a simple maneuver to treat vertigo at home.

CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh first explained the treatment in a story in 2012. Since then, it’s gotten 2.6 million views on cbsdenver.com.

Dr. Carol Foster instructs how to properly do the Half Somersault Maneuver (credit: CBS)

Dr. Carol Foster instructs how to properly do the Half Somersault Maneuver (credit: CBS)

Sue Ricker says that’s because it works. Vertigo sent Ricker’s world spinning.

“It was just debilitating. Everything about you will move, will spin. I couldn’t drive. I couldn’t walk. I had to hold onto the wall and it was very, very scary,” Ricker told CBS4’s Walsh.

The retired teacher from Aurora had her first vertigo episode 10 years ago.

“Eventually it wore off after a few days, but it would come back,” said Ricker.

CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh interviews vertigo sufferer Sue Ricker (credit: CBS)

CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh interviews vertigo sufferer Sue Ricker (credit: CBS)

It wasn’t until four years later that a YouTube video changed Ricker’s life.

“It worked, it worked the very first time,” she said.

“It” was Dr. Carol Foster’s spin on how to treat positional vertigo, the most common form. In 2012, Dr. Foster of the University of Colorado Hospital showed us the half somersault maneuver.

Using her daughter to demonstrate she explained, “Tip your head up to look at the ceiling.”

You then put your head upside down like you’re going to do a somersault.

Dr. Carol Foster (credit: CBS)

Dr. Carol Foster (credit: CBS)

“In that position, I want you to turn to face your left elbow,” Foster said.

You wait for any dizziness to end then raise your head to back level. Wait again for dizziness to end, then sit back quickly.

The half somersault maneuver has been a huge hit with nearly 2 million views on YouTube.

“I don’t think I’ve gotten up to the level of a cat video yet,” Foster laughed.

But Foster, Associate Professor and Director of the Balance Lab at the University of Colorado School of Medicine on the Anschutz Medical Campus, is revered among vertigo sufferers.

“I hear from people in Poland and in Saudi Arabia and in Paris,” she said. “It’s so gratifying to get their feedback and have them say, ‘Hey, I was so ill and now I’m well.'”

Foster jokes that she hopes to dispel all dizziness in the world. Her half somersault maneuver may take her the whole way.

Kathy Walsh is CBS4’s Weekend Anchor and Health Specialist. She has been with CBS4 for more than 30 years. She is always open to story ideas. Follow Kathy on Twitter @WalshCBS4.

Comments

One Comment

  1. I WENT TO A DOCTOR WHO HAD AN ASSISTANT DO THE VERY SAME THING TO ME AND IT ABSOLUTELY WORKED…..THIS WAS ABOUT 5 YEARS AGO…NO VERTIGO YET!

  2. Ear nose and throat doc did this to me 20 yrs ago. I do a couple of this type if exercise every morning. Still get a little vertigo once in a great while, usually after a viral infection. BUT this really does work.

  3. This is nothing more than a version of the Canilith procedure. I was given this procedure at Carolina Hearing Institute over 15 years ago by Dr John McElveen.

    1. My thoughts exactly. I had BPPV about ten years ago and they did the Epley maneuver in the office right then. Cleared it up immediately. I still get vertigo frequently (affiliated almost always with sinus congestion/cold) and I just do a home version of the procedure to clear it up.

      1. Lola Jordan says:

        I, too had BPPV once (believe me, once was enough!) I, too, did the Epley method which I found on Youtube. It worked instantly and never recurred.

  4. Lisa Ornduff says:

    I do this but in no time it comes back. I wish there was a cure for vertigo. It leaves you completely drained.

    1. Mary Culp says:

      Mary Culp I was a patient of Dr.John Eply, the Eply movement would help for a while but to get the relief that i have now with no vertigo he put me on certs or generic betahistine and even with Meneires i have relief if a bad ear infection I have had one or two attacks in the last 20 years. Dr. Eply received a two million grant to develope the Eply table but he passed and is daughter finished it and they are in use I understand. I would not want to live with vertigo without Betahistine. Your Dr. can send a prescription to the Canadian Pharmacy and they will mail it to you or it can be compounded at a local compounding pharmacy.

  5. I also have BPPV. Have had it for years. Something I don’t believe you ever really get over. I haven’t tried this yet. They do something similar at the rehab I go to. I usually am good to go after 2 or 3 treatments for a year or so then it starts all over again. I will give this a try!

  6. does anyone know if it works with vertigo caused directly by Multiple Sclerosis?

  7. Ree Marion says:

    Will this work on any vertigo , or JUST positional ? My husband just had his first episode @ the age of 51 , we think it’s Meneire’s vertigo , his father had it…..

  8. Sue Petri says:

    Please, Please Please remove the vertigo inducing video portion on this piece. I was feeling fine, I closed my eyes so I wouldn’t see them, but just a second of it brought on dizzy spells. I find it horrible that you would put those in since most of the folks who will watch this suffer from vertigo.

  9. I will have an attack simply by going to hairdressers. I know when I will have an attack when I wake up and the room is spinning..Lie on back with shoulders almost off the bed and move head left to right and back repeat. brind

  10. It works!! I found this awhile ago! when all other exercises failed!! this is amazing!! and after doing this its been months without episodes!!! thank you sooooooo much!!! grateful
    !!!!

  11. the premise: to move the “debris” off the cilia hairs in the cochlear. does not work for me-the maneuver makes me more dizzy

  12. Steve Harunk says:

    So if I see someone with their head twisted left, and their ass in the air, they are not signaling for help…

  13. Warning!! DO NOT WATCH THIS VIDEO IF YOU HAVE VERTIGO OR OSCILLOPSIA!!! When I got to the part where the camera is trying to imitate how the patient with vertigo sees the world, even though I closed my eyes within 3-4 seconds (it took me that long to realize what the camera was doing), I immediately became nauseous, my vertigo got worse and my oscillopsia came back. I’ve had vertigo for 7 years, and had with it oscillopsia for 4 of those 7 until I went to PT. I will have to go back and do my eye exercises NOW to hopefully allieve this oscillopsia episode, which I have not had for years!!! How foolish of you to create this hazard for the very people you are attempting to help!! And on that note, this appears to be nothing more than a “self epley maneuver”, which anyone with vertigo has had done to them at least once. It is torture, and vertigo still comes back within 1-4 months. I gave up having it done to me, because if I just waited 7-14 days, the episode would go away on its own. Unfortunately, either way, it still comes back.

  14. Helga Burns says:

    Years ago I was plagued with positional vertigo.I did similar exercise wich helped,but then I took up yoga wich totally cured me.

  15. Laura Ours says:

    Somehow I think this is a version of the Epley maneuver that I used many years ago when I was on vacation and on a boat and the boat hit many tree roots and this made the boat shake horribly! This cause the salts that normally would be attached to the hairs in my ear to break free and then they “stimulated” those hairs and caused me to have such horrible dizziness! I could not drive home, I had to have someone else (my hubby) drive me home, after weeks of not being able to even walk in my home, without feeling disabled, I found the Epley maneuver and was able to guide those crystals back into an area of my inner ear that had no hairs. That stopped the stimulation and therefore the dizziness within such a short time!

  16. if you are ever exposed to spinning or dizzyness inducing camera effects like in this video, just close one eye (I typically close the left one) and what until the scene is over.

    i think this happens to people with really good depth perception. i love playing video games but i have to close one eye during certain cutscenes or menus (basically anytime i’m not in control of the camera).

  17. Kat Sides says:

    I had a virus Infection in right ear.Have always had ringing ears.worst thing have gone through. Lost hearing in the right ear.i can’t look up get off balance,shampoo bowl,dizzy.Tend to get off balance when waking.I couldn’t drive for three months.I can’t sleep on right side. Had all the crazy test done .You just learn to deal with it.I did try this idea and it did help me .Not a cure but I did find that it helped me.So if my rocks get in a wad upside down I go.

  18. Jerry Katz says:

    Some of you might have migraine associated vertigo, if you ever had migraines. Look it up.

  19. Anna Vogt says:

    Glad MD’s are getting smarter. Physical Therapists and Naturapaths have been doing this for YEARS. I had a friend who is a PT and she did this to me a year ago. Doctors are the last to know about anything except DRUGS!

  20. thats just the Epley maneuver… she didnt invent nothing. i have been doing that for 13 years

  21. i tried all the meds and all the manovers and none of them worked then I found the voodoo product that worked- you find them in the seasickness aisle at CVS and other stores- they are little bracelets that you put on your arm (wear mine during the day – off at night) and have not had a regular vertigo attack in several years they have a little thing that puts pressure on your wrist- like acupuncture-you wear them 3 fingers down from the edge of your hand and that’s it. Simple and cheap- they are made for seasickness, chemo and pregnancy!

  22. I found mine to be allergy related. Mold and mice or rat feces

  23. Beverly Long says:

    I would like to know if this works for people with meneires disease, does anyone know?

  24. Carol Ott says:

    Do you have a way of getting rid of tinitus the noise is so bad at nite day nothing they said ear aid but you have to take ear aids out at nite so no good thanks carol

  25. I think the funniest thing here is that the Dr. is Blonde!

  26. I would appreciate a video made to demonstrate the process..would be very helpful for non-English speakers..easy to follow a video..just a suggestion

  27. So do you only turn to the left, and not to the right? Do you do it only once, or until it goes away?

  28. Thank you soooo much … from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
    IT WORKS VERY WELL!!!

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