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.
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.
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.
“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.