Physiotherapy for Orthostatic Hypotension

Physiotherapy for Orthostatic Hypotension

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Orthostasis means ‘upright posture’ and hypotension means low blood pressure. Thus, orthostatic hypotension – also called postural hypotension, is a condition that occurs when people stand up after long hours of being seated. Patients who suffer from orthostatic hypotension are also commonly seen complaining of dizziness, faintness and lightheadedness.

Although orthostatic hypotension is a mild condition that occurs inconsistently for a few minutes or seconds, there are cases of long-lasting orthostatic hypotension. When a person experiences orthostatic hypotension frequently, it is often an indication of a more serious problem. Hence, it shouldn’t be ignored or taken lightly.

Treatments

The treatment methods adopted for orthostatic hypotension depend on the underlying cause. But based on occurrences, here are some of the most commonly used treatment methods:

  • Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy advocates the use of orthostatic training to treat patients suffering from orthostatic hypotension. Orthostatic training or tilt training usually works by gradually increasing the upright stance.

In this treatment method, patients under the supervision of physiotherapists are made to stand leaning against the wall with their upper back in contact with the wall. Then their feet, without moving the back, is placed 15 cm away from the wall.

This exercise, if practiced effectively, helps in reducing the occurrence of fainting episodes and also improves the toning of the lower extremity.

  • Compression stockings

Compression stockings and other such abdominal binders can also be used to reduce pooling of blood in legs and to lower the impact of symptoms.

  • Increase salt intak

Take in extra amounts of salt. This can either be done by consciously adding salt into everything you eat or by increasing the intake of salt based beverages like Gatorade. Here, it is important to note that the salt intake shouldn’t be more than 10gm/day. If the salt intake exceeds that level, it can lead to hypertension.

  • Sleep in the right positio

Altering your sleeping position is also an effective treatment method. The ideal way to sleep for an orthostatic patient is by elevating the head of the bed to about 15-20 degrees. This elevation helps in increasing the blood flow both in volume and speed.

  • Eat more frequent meal

Instead of eating till the stomach is filled, opt for small frequent meals. This will not only keep your stomach filled but will also help in lowering the blood pressure.

Occasional dizziness due to orthostatic hypotension is relatively minor. However, if the frequency of symptoms increase, it is necessary to consult a professional who can give you relevant advice.