Standing up can cause dizziness. To avoid this, raise your knees and clench your lower limbs.
It can cause a low blood pressure condition that causes us to feel lightheaded or woozy if we suddenly stand up from seated or lying down. Orthostatic hypotension is a more uncommon form of this common phenomenon.
Orthostatic hypotension is usually harmless and temporary. However, it can cause some people to feel dizzy and it can also affect their daily functioning. The dizziness can be a sign that you have an underlying condition.
Satish Raj is a heart rhythm specialist at the University of Calgary. He sees severe cases of orthostatic hypertension almost every day at his clinic. He could only tell patients to drink more water and to switch to medication. But, he was unable to help the patients with severe orthostatic hypotension. So he began to wonder if he could find a better way to treat them.
After sitting down or lying down for a while blood rushes towards the legs when we stand up. The body must also push blood up to provide oxygen to the brain. In order to counter the sudden activation of leg muscles, blood vessels open wide for a few seconds to allow for an increase in demand. This can lead to a drop in blood pressure that can be accompanied by dizziness.
Raj and his colleagues believed that orthostatic hypotension could easily be avoided if the muscle reaction was activated earlier. This idea was tested in an experiment that involved 22 patients with severe orthostatic hypotension, who performed two types of movements.
The first involved elevating the knees for up to 30 seconds while sitting down. Another method was to clench the butt and thighs while tightening the lower limbs.
The volunteers who used the two methods had better blood circulation than those who did not intervene.
The trial had a very small sample of participants, with only two dozen participating. All of them were women. The volunteers were selected on a first-come-first-served basis and the fact that women jumped on the opportunity so quickly may suggest they are disproportionately affected by orthostatic hypotension.
The researchers are keen to run large-scale clinical trials in order to prove the effectiveness of the new therapy and to encourage the government and other health-related agencies to endorse it. Raj introduced the techniques to his patients in the clinic. Most of them have reported similar success to those who participated in the study.
These findings were published in Heart Rhythm.
[h/t]: ZME Science
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