Your health is precious, and that’s a main reason that recently more and more people have started taking steps to improve their health and wellbeing through things like exercise and diet. But sometimes, you may need to go beyond what you eat and how you work out.
One health problem that many in Downtown Vancouver may end up facing is hypotension – low blood pressure. There are numerous types of this problem, but one that deserves more attention is known as postural hypotension.
Also known as orthostatic hypotension, postural hypotension can begin as a minor issue but quickly grow into a major one. There are numerous treatment options depending on the specific cause, and seeing a chiropractor who provides chiropractic biophysics care like Dr. Stuart Kilian could be one answer.
Before setting up your appointment, it’s worth taking a time to learn more about this condition, what it involves, what might cause it, and what kind of treatment options exist for you. This can help you get a clearer picture as to what you should do and what you should expect as a patient.
What Is Postural Hypotension?
Postural hypotension is a type of low blood pressure that occurs when you change position. In particular, it happens when going from a sitting to standing position or vice versa. The medical definition states that systolic blood pressure must be reduced by 20mmHg or more after a patient stands for a minimum of one minute.
During postural hypotension, a temporary reduction in the blood flow heading to the brain occurs. This is caused by the change in position, and when it occurs it can lead to a number of symptoms that range from mildly annoying to outright dangerous.
It most commonly occurs in older patients, with about 10 to 33 percent of older people experiencing it to one degree or another. In many instances it is a minor problem that doesn’t need direct intervention, but in other cases it could be a sign that you need to seek medical care.
Main Symptoms Of Postural Hypotension
As mentioned above, the symptoms that occur during cases of postural hypotension range from mild to severe. Usually, the reduction in oxygen in the brain creates lightheadedness and dizziness. But in severe cases, the patient may faint or lose consciousness for a period of time.
Along with these most common symptoms, rarer ones may exist as well. These include things like:
- Blurred vision
- Lower back pain
These may or may not be present, and in some cases the patient may have no symptoms at all aside from the dizziness that occurs when standing up.
Chiropractic And Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is generally thought of as a heart and circulatory system problem, and for the most part it is. But it’s important to understand that blood pressure itself is regulated by the nervous system, and nervous system problems could have a direct impact on one’s blood pressure including the problem of postural hypotension.
As a result, chiropractic care could help alleviate some of the issues that come from this medical problem. Subluxation in the spine occurs when a vertebra shifts to one side or the other and applies pressure on the nerves, muscles, and blood vessels around it. When this occurs and presses against a nerve, it can reduce the functionality of that nerve and the information that it is taking to the circulatory system.
Chiropractors use manipulation and manual adjustments to realign the spine and correct these issues. By moving the vertebra back to its proper location and alleviating the pressure placed on nerves, a chiropractor can help improve hypotension of this nature.
Self-Care Steps Can Help
Another thing to understand about postural hypotension is that some self-care steps may be able to help you reduce the symptoms of it. Things like your diet and exercise routine could impact your health dramatically, and talking to your medical care provider and your chiropractor could help you understand more about the different ways to go about doing this. Combine it with medical care as needed, and you can make a big difference in the way that postural hypotension is impacting your life.
Additionally, something as simple as more slowly changing positions will help as well. Doctors will suggest gradually standing, sitting, or lying down in order to reduce the problem. This works by giving the body more time to adjust to the new position and to allow the blood flow to continue normally, and is one of the keys to controlling the problems.
Since postural hypotension is so common and since the risk of falling injuries are the primary concern, most medical doctors will use a patient education focus combined with other basic self-care steps to help their patients get control of the symptoms that occur when suffering from postural hypotension.
The leading risk associated with postural hypotension is actually the dangers of a fall when consciousness is lost or dizziness occurs. Because of this, most primary care physicians will only treat the problem through the self-care steps mentioned above and perhaps the use of medications to manage blood pressure. Most medical professionals focus on managing the symptoms rather than any potential cause, and patient education is one of the fundamentals that will be used to help the patient deal with their hypotension.
If this isn’t enough to help, seeking assistance from a chiropractor may be a good idea. They have a history of being able to perform adjustments within the spine that could help improve blood flow throughout the body and to the brain, and in bringing the body’s natural alignment back to where it should be.
All in all, it’s important that patients talk to health care providers and consider all of their options. While postural hypotension may not be a severe problem for most, there are some who find that it’s a constant struggle. Overcoming it is thus something that will matter greatly to them. Luckily, it’s something that is very possible to do as well.