Cawthorne cooksey exercises

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These exercises are a useful form of physiotherapy for vestibular conditions such as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. They progress from simple head movements to complex activities. The patient should progress as far as is comfortable, and should aim to complete each session on a regular, preferably daily basis. The patient should have at least one helper. These adapted exercises are described by Hain (2006)[1].

In bed or sitting

  • Eye movements -- at first slow, then quick
    • up and down
    • from side to side
    • focusing on finger moving from 3 feet to 1 foot away from face
  • Head movements at first slow, then quick, later with eyes closed
    • bending forward and backward
    • turning from side to side


  • Eye movements and head movements as above
  • Shoulder shrugging and circling
  • Bending forward and picking up objects from the ground


  • Eye, head and shoulder movements as before
  • Changing form sitting to standing position with eyes open and shut
  • Throwing a small ball from hand to hand (above eye level)
  • Throwing a ball from hand to hand under knee
  • Changing from sitting to standing and turning around in between

Moving about

  • Circle around center person who will throw a large ball and to whom it will be returned
  • Walk across room with eyes open and then closed
  • Walk up and down slope with eyes open and then closed
  • Walk up and down steps with eyes open and then closed
  • Any game involving stooping and stretching and aiming such as bowling and basketball