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Any way to moderate POTS while sitting upright at a desk?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by November Girl, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. November Girl

    November Girl Senior Member

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    As I've paid more attention to what aggravates my symptoms, I've realized that I don't tolerate sitting at a desk for much more than 1/2 hour before I start feeling potsy - not like standing for 10 minutes, but still symptomatic. I suspect that on some days I'll find I can extend that time. Meanwhile I'd love to find something to allow me to sit up for long periods of time. As far as POTS, I do pretty well in a good recliner, but even the best supporting recliner weakens the low back.

    We are in the very slow process of getting my bead room / office functional. I'd love to be able to work in there. Worst case, I can alternate between the desk and my bed, but I really hate doing that.

    Any idea how long I need to lie down just to stop the POTS enough to sit for another half hour?
  2. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    Can you put a small reclining chair there? Feet up makes all the difference without needing to lie down.
    ahimsa and Tito like this.
  3. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    No one would be able to tell you how long you need to lay down for to stop or delay the POTS when you sit for another half an hour cause that would depend on the individual. All I can say is that you need to lay down longer then just till the POTS symptoms subside. I find if I get up as soon as they stop.. they will very quickly come back in then if I'd layed longer. (I myself usually lay for a couple of hours after POTS flare up.. longer if it was a bad one).

    If I sit with legs down.. I dont last long at all before I have my head affected by POTS. I always have to sit with my legs up cause 10-15mins sitting on a chair with legs on floor will often give me POTS issues, that's even with my to thigh medical compression stockings on. (Im sitting right now, sitting on one leg..got to move in a moment before it goes to sleep and with the other leg bent so my knee is the height of my belly button level.. with that foot resting up on something which is almost butt height).
  4. Sparrow

    Sparrow Senior Member

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    I agree that legs up is WAY easier than legs hanging down. I need big chairs so that I can tuck my legs up with me, or sit cross-legged.

    Still do all my computer use lying down with my laptop beside me, though. :)
  5. Old Salt

    Old Salt Rowing the boat

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    6 fish oil caps and 3 magnesium citrate caps a day, got my pots well under control.
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  6. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    My type of OI is NMH, not POTS. (Hmm, do I win a prize for the highest ratio of abbreviations to words? :rolleyes: )

    (for the newcomers, OI = Orthostatic Intolerance, NMH = Neurally Mediated Hypotension, POTS = Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome)

    But I think my experience might still be relevant since the issue of sitting upright vs. reclining is still the same.

    I think it's very hard to predict how long you would have to rest to recover from time sitting upright. Back when I was still working there were days when I could sit at a desk for several hours without feeling problems. Then there were other days when I'd start to feel wiped out and get waves of nausea after only 20 minutes (I'd put my head on my desk and wait for it to pass). There are so many other variables going on (how well you slept, time of the month, etc.) that I think you just have to play it by ear.

    The best solution would be to find a way to work on the computer that does not wear you out as much. Ever since I got a laptop, for example, I can work on the computer longer. I sit in the recliner with my legs up, leaning slightly back, with the laptop in my lap (where else?). I still have to be careful that I don't get too worn out. I take breaks where I rest my arms, lean my head back (neck gets tired), and so on. But this position is much better than sitting in a normal chair at a desktop computer.

    You mentioned potential back problems from being in a recliner. One suggestion is to do a few very minor stretches and strengthening exercises for the back. One exercise I like is to lie flat on the floor with your knees bent and then push your lower back to the floor and hold it. You only need to do a couple of repetitions of that one.

    Another suggestion is to take breaks. Get up and move around every couple of hours. I end up doing this without even trying because I break up tasks into smaller bits - put a few dishes in the dishwasher, lie down in the recliner, get up and start a load of laundry, lie down in the recliner, etc.

    I've been resting in the recliner, for many hours a day, for at least 10 years. And yet I don't have low back problems. I don't know whether I'm just lucky (good genes? stronger core muscles?) or there's some other factor that has kept me from having any back problems. I'm just happy that it works for me.

    I wonder whether the connection between recliners and back problems only applies to certain people? Do you have a history of low back problems and that's why you mentioned it?
  7. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    I forgot to mention, some people have luck with a foot rest under the desk. I think the idea is that when your legs push against the foot rest there is a small amount of muscle movement. That helps keep the blood pumping instead of pooling in the feet/legs.

    Here's one link I found just to show the idea (I'm not recommending any product):

    http://computershopper.com/peripherals/howto/create-an-ergonomic-workstation2

    I got a foot rest years ago but noticed no difference. But I think others have had some luck with them. (can't remember where I read this)
  8. Old Salt

    Old Salt Rowing the boat

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    I apologize, I should have been more specific, I take my fish oil and magnesium citrate in 3 divided doses during the day. Even after my heart attack 15 years ago, I take no coumadin or aspirin, as the fish oil prevents red blood cell aggregation that cause heart attack and stroke.
  9. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    Keep your legs up as much as possible. Crossing one leg on top of the other can help a bit, but isn't ideal.

    I only use a laptop now, because sitting at desks became impossible. But sitting cross-legged on the couch works fine for much longer.

    Also, your problem sound more like NMH that POTS. As far as I know, POTS hits almost immediately after getting upright. NMH tends to be more delayed. There are drugs that might help with either problem.
    ahimsa likes this.

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