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Chiropractic Care for POTS

Published Date: 
July 2, 2023
A woman is suffering from POTs.

POTS, short for postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, is a combination of simultaneously occurring symptoms. Treating POTS is challenging because there’s rarely a clear cause, and the disorder varies greatly from person to person. 

POTS affects how blood flows in the body. Things like blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, and digestion are controlled by the autonomic nervous system. POTS is a form of dysautonomia, a malfunction of the autonomic nervous system.

There are different types of POTS, including:

  • Neuropathic: Caused by a loss of nerve function that inhibits blood vessels from receiving the message to tighten if you change position
  • Hyperadrenergic: Caused by an overactive sympathetic nervous system that causes higher than normal levels of norepinephrine, accounting for up to 60 percent of POTS cases
  • Hypovolemic: Caused by low blood volume due to bleeding, anemia, or dehydration

POTS is diagnosed when someone experiences any of the following within ten minutes of going from a sitting or lying to a standing position:

  • Increase of at least 30 heartbeats per minute
  • Consistent heart rate of 120 beats per minute or more
  • Blood pressure fails to drop significantly when standing

People with POTS are often misdiagnosed as having anxiety, especially early on in the disorder. Many of the symptoms of these conditions are the same. Over time, as symptoms worsen and treatment for anxiety is ineffective, patients receive the proper diagnosis of POTS.

The Effects of Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome

POTS affects someone’s quality of life. It causes pain and a variety of other symptoms. In many cases, these symptoms intensify over time. Many of the symptoms of POTS are similar to those associated with anxiety. Additionally, POTS can cause or increase anxiety. If left untreated, the disorder severely affects a person’s daily life.

Causes & Risk Factors

Researchers are not sure of the exact cause of POTS. However, it might be related to:

  • Heredity
  • Diabetes
  • Amyloidosis
  • Cancer
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Viral illnesses
  • Traumatic events
  • Pregnancy
  • Poisoning
  • Heavy metal contamination

People have a higher risk of developing POTS when:

  • They are between 15 and 50 years of age
  • Have anemia
  • Have another family member with POTS

Common Symptoms

  • Dizziness
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Racing heart
  • Palpitations
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Nervous, jittery feeling
  • Chronic pain
  • Abdominal pain or bloating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tremors
  • Temperature dysregulation
  • Insomnia
  • Brain fog
  • Excessive or lack of sweating
  • Bladder dysfunction
  • Weakness
  • Exercise intolerance

The Role of Chiropractic Care in Managing POTS Symptoms

Chiropractic treatments are effective in reducing and alleviating POTS symptoms. It does so by:

Since POTS is linked to unhealthy toxic blood and a compromised nerve supply, chiropractic care uses various tools to alleviate stiffness, restore normal joint mobility, and decrease the intensity and frequency of pain and other symptoms of POTS.

Ways Chiropractors Help Individuals with POTS

There are several ways chiropractors help treat POTS. For example:

1. Posture Correction

Poor posture worsens POTS symptoms. Poor posture strains the nervous system and negatively impacts blood flow. Chiropractors help patients improve posture and improve blood flow throughout their bodies.

Poor posture caused by POTs.

2. Musculoskeletal Pain Relief

Chiropractors perform spinal adjustments to restore proper alignment in the body. This helps to reduce pain and inflammation. It also improves nerve function and blood flow and reduces common POTS symptoms such as fainting and dizziness. 

3. Mobility and Range of Motion

Massage and other soft tissue therapies help improve mobility and range of motion for people with POTS. It also helps with the pain caused by the condition.

A chiropractor works on the spine of a female patient to improve posture.

4. Education and Lifestyle Guidance

In addition to hands-on treatment, chiropractors work with patients to take control of their health and improve their overall well-being. Suggestions for lifestyle changes to help with POTS include:

  • Dietary changes
  • Exercise
  • Stress reduction

The critical thing to remember is that even if there is no cure for a disorder, you still have control over how you manage it. By reducing tension and improving spinal alignment with the help of a chiropractor, you can reduce or eliminate your POTS symptoms. 

A young woman mediates outside in front of a rock arch.

Chiropractic Care Benefits

Chiropractic care is safe and all-natural. It can be used alone or in conjunction with other treatments. It can also provide secondary benefits. And because it’s holistic – it treats the body as a whole – many other medical conditions can be prevented or relieved when using chiropractic care to treat POTS. Chiropractors focus on the alignment and function of the nervous system and the spine and, when treating POTS, work to improve blood flow and nerve function. All of these things enhance overall health and well-being. 

Dr. Darren Faherty D.C.

In 2004, Dr. Darren Faherty graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from UWEC - University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. Dr. Darren continued education at the highly esteemed University of Western States (formerly Western States Chiropractic College) where he obtained his chiropractic degree in 2007. He has been helping people recover from injuries and return to their normal lifestyles ever since.

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