Definition: Orthostatic or Postural Hypotension

Orthostatic Hypotension or Postural Hypotension

Orthostatic Hypotension is the somewhat uncomfortable dizziness or 'head rush' sensations some people experience upon standing up.

When we move into an upright position too quickly, our blood can remain pooled in the lower part of the body, so there is not enough blood being pumped up to the brain, making us experience dizziness and other symptoms, usually on a temporary basis. 

Mild symptoms of Postural Hypotension often happen when people stand up abruptly and this is caused by a temporary drop in their blood pressure. It is more common in the elderly, in someone with low blood pressure, or possibly as a side effect of drugs but it can also be present in certain illnesses and physiological conditions that may need treatment.

If you experience symptoms of Postural Hypotension on a regular basis, this indicates that you need to visit a doctor in order to have your blood pressure checked and to see if there is an underlying condition which may be contributing to the problem. 

Postural Hypotension Symptoms are variable : 

Dizziness; Faintness; Nausia; Visual disturbances.

Shock

Similar symptoms may be experienced with shock, so it may be necessary to diagnose the cause of the symptoms if they are experienced strongly or frequently. Physiological shock can be life threatening and needs immediate treatment.  Profound psychological shock can leave us with symptoms that are experienced for some years, for instance in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 

Light-headedness

Less worrying and more common is the light-headedness and occasional other temporary symptoms, that can sometimes happen if people get up too quickly, for instance after practising the AT lying down procedure - so it is important to remember not to end gain and rush into getting up but to bring yourself back up to standing in a measured and thoughtful manner. If you are concerned about frequent dizziness or other symptoms, do visit your doctor.

Go to the main Glossary index

If you are interested in finding out more about my Alexander Technique lessons and workshops, please contact me via my enquiry form.