Definition of Valsalva maneuver in US English:

Valsalva maneuver


  • The action of attempting to exhale with the nostrils and mouth, or the glottis, closed. This increases pressure in the middle ear and the chest, as when bracing to lift heavy objects, and is used as a means of equalizing pressure in the ears.

    • ‘We tried some Valsalva manoeuvres, followed by carotid sinus massage, each with no effect.’
    • ‘Patients may be able to force food through the esophagus by performing a Valsalva maneuver, or they may regurgitate undigested food.’
    • ‘Finally, the examiner should ask the patient to stand, sit, squat and perform Valsalva's maneuvers to be sure that the device will not become dislodged.’
    • ‘A sudden and forceful Valsalva maneuver can result in the lack of coordination of different muscles of expiration.’
    • ‘When performing strengthening exercises, patients should be instructed not to perform the Valsalva maneuver during the activity, as this can cause hypotension.’


Late 19th century: named after Antonio M. Valsalva (1666–1723), Italian anatomist.


Valsalva maneuver

/valˈsalvə məˌno͞ovər/