Just Two Simple Muscle Exercises Can Help Reduce Dizziness When Standing Up

Feeling dizzy or lightheaded when standing up is a common experience caused by a drop in blood pressure. When this drop in blood pressure is very brief and rapid and is not related to any other health problem, it is called initial orthostatic hypotension or IOH.

New research suggests that some simple muscle exercises before or after standing could limit the effects of IOH, bringing relief to those who experience it, with no cost or medication involved. The key, it seems, is to activate your lower body muscles before or after you stand up.

While the researchers tested the idea of ​​tensing the muscles before – after people already stood up – with some success, this new study looked at whether it could work as a preventative measure.

The effects of two exercises on IOH. (Heart rate)

“These are simple, effective, and free interventions that patients can use to prevent symptoms of HIO,” the researchers write in their published article.

The study involved 22 young women with a history of HIO and two exercises were tested: repeatedly raising the knees while sitting for 30 seconds before standing and crossing the legs for 30 seconds after standing.

The researchers monitored the participants’ heart rate and blood pressure during the experiments, with intervals between each. Participants were also asked to report symptoms of OIO, including feeling dizzy.

Compared with no intervention measures, just standing up as usual, both exercises made a significant difference in limiting the temporary drop in blood pressure and relieving symptoms of OHH.

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“Because it’s a physical maneuver, it simply requires the lower extremities of the body, which patients can use anytime, anywhere to combat their symptoms.” says clinical researcher Nasia Sheikh from the University of Calgary in Canada.

HOI is thought to be caused by an opening of the blood vessels, triggered by the process of standing up. So what these exercises could be doing is counteracting that response, and the researchers say the two exercises could also be used in conjunction.

At this time, those who experience IOH, believed to be up to 40 percent of the general population in the US, do not have any specific treatment available. Until now, the best advice has been to try to stand up as slowly and gradually as possible.

Although the sample size in this study was small and only involved women, these exercises could potentially change that. A little dizziness may not seem like a big deal, but it affects daily life and can, in some cases, lead to fainting and loss of consciousness. awareness.

“Almost everyone has probably experienced some dizziness at some point after standing up,” Satish Raj says, cardiologist at the University of Calgary. “For some people, this happens frequently and can happen several times a day, which can be very frightening and negatively impact their quality of life.”

The research has been published in Heart rate.

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