In the last post, we discussed what makes up blood pressure and how high and low blood pressure happens. Now that we understand that, we can move on to what to do about low blood pressure.
Once again, I would like to emphasize that low blood pressure is a medical condition, and thus, MUST be treated medically. In addition to the physician’s recommendations, the following conservative management strategies may help too.
Since low blood pressure is caused by “loose hoses,” we need to add some pressure back into those babies by decreasing the area of the hose with your thumb… or we could add compression.
There are 2 ways to add compression: internal and external. Internal compression consists of using your muscles to compress the arteries. That’s right: EXERCISE! The most important muscles to move are the ones that surround larger arteries or whose actions compress large arteries. These include in following exercises:
There are 4 exercises. The leg exercises come in lying, sitting and standing options which you could pick from depending on how you’re feeling. (If you’re blood pressure is too low to get out of bed, do the lying down ones.) However, the more upright you are, the more the muscles are having to work; therefore, the better results (blood pressure increase) you’ll get for your effort. So for example, if you catch it early enough you can do these in standing, you may do 10 and feel better; whereas, if you did the same muscle lying down you may have to do 30 to feel the same level of better. Always pick the safest option; if you’re going to fall over trying to do an exercise, take it down a position. For example, you’re not comfortable doing the standing hamstring curl and think you may visit the floor trying it. Do the sitting long arc quad instead. Making friends with the floor is not on this to-do list. So that’s internal compression.
External compression involves wearing compression garments. To get super duper compression, you’ll need a prescription from a physician. Here are some medical version examples:
Luckily, compression is also very popular with athletes. So you can get low grade compression from your favorite active wear section! Here are some examples of what you’ll find there:
These are all very general recommendations and may not work for you. There are some other things that can be done, but you’d need to have a physical therapist evaluate you to see if you are a good candidate for those options. They could also give you more specific things that may work better for you in your particular case. If that is of interest to you, click here to find a physical therapist near you! Don’t forget to involve your physician in whatever options you choose, so your medicines can be adjusted as necessary.