Orthostatic Hypotension

Hi Hohman Friends, this is my 10th week here at Hohman Rehab. I have about 2 weeks left. I’m still in awe of how quickly time has flown by. It has been such an enlightening and incredible experience given how much I’ve learned here. This week I am going to be discussing something called orthostatic hypotension.

Lets discuss what orthostatic hypotension is. Quite frequently I’m sure many of you have heard of hypertension or high blood pressure, so hypotension is the exact opposite. It is defined as a sudden drop in blood pressure, due to a positional change. For example, from laying down to sitting up or from sitting to standing. Someone is deemed orthostatic if their blood pressure has made a drop in either their systolic or diastolic blood pressure of 10 mmHg or greater.

So now that we know what orthostatic hypotension is, what are the symptoms? Very simple. A sudden onset of dizziness when you make any of those positional changes as mentioned above.

Why is it important for therapy and to you as a patient? During PT intervention or any exercise program BP is directly affected, so it is important to have a good handle on your blood pressure before initiating program that requires moderate to vigorous exercise intensity. If you experience dizziness during positional changes, mention it to your primary physician so they can perform more testing. There’s also some things you can do at home! Like investing in a digital BP monitor so you can be proactive at home. If you are also on BP medication for hyper or hypotension make sure you are consistent with your medication, and implementing the appropriate dietary and exercise interventions!

Hope you all have an amazing week!