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Author Topic: Spirals/Lunges and lightheadedness?  (Read 961 times)

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Offline Feebee

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Spirals/Lunges and lightheadedness?
« on: September 28, 2016, 03:22:17 PM »
Has anyone else experienced this: When practicing spirals, especially in combination with lunges, I come out of the spiral and I get this whoosh of dizziness, like you do when standing up too quickly. I've never had it before, it just started happening in the last month or so.

I know that I have low blood pressure, and I recently started taking iron (I'm not anemic, but I did notice that my running speeds slowed down considerably and running at my old pace was suddenly exhausting, so I upped my iron intake and it helped immensely, placebo effect?).

It's not dizziness from low blood sugar, as I've tried eating before v.s. not eating before (I skate early in the am, before I've worked up an appetite), so I think the low BP is the culprit, but I've started avoiding spirals as a result, which isn't a great long term strategy.


Offline fsk8r

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Re: Spirals/Lunges and lightheadedness?
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2016, 12:55:22 AM »
Where are you looking when doing your spirals?
I'd try to concentrate on looking at the end of the rink while you're doing it (and not the ice). This will help you keep your head up. You also need to arch the back. These will help to keep your head higher relative to the rest of your body (so there's a lesser change of position when you come out of the spiral).
I would also focus on changing position slowly as you go in and come out of the spiral. If you're a regular fainter, you'll know that standing up quickly is a trigger and standing up from a spiral is obviously causing you the same problem, so standing up slowly from the spiral is likely to help.

But I would also go see a doctor to make sure something else isn't amiss. 

Offline Matsumoto

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Re: Spirals/Lunges and lightheadedness?
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2016, 06:34:34 AM »
I agree with fsk8r.  One other thing that I thought of:  are you holding your breath (maybe without realizing) during the spiral?  Sometimes I find myself doing that when I'm focused on keeping my arms, legs, torso, head in the right position.  I have to remind myself to breathe.

Offline Feebee

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Re: Spirals/Lunges and lightheadedness?
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2016, 11:51:34 AM »
@fsk8r - I won't be able to skate between now and next Thursday, but I'll try both of those things when I do - I did think of the breathing thing that Matsumoto mentioned and tried to focus on that the last time I skated; it's surprisingly tough to do, think about breathing while doing a spiral, haha - I'm so focused on everything else (raising the leg higher, straightening my skating leg, etc.)

Offline fsk8r

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Re: Spirals/Lunges and lightheadedness?
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2016, 02:28:37 PM »
@fsk8r - I won't be able to skate between now and next Thursday, but I'll try both of those things when I do - I did think of the breathing thing that Matsumoto mentioned and tried to focus on that the last time I skated; it's surprisingly tough to do, think about breathing while doing a spiral, haha - I'm so focused on everything else (raising the leg higher, straightening my skating leg, etc.)

Don't focus on the breathing in, focus on the breathing out. Breathing in will happen anyway. And breathing out will help you relax and get the leg higher.
My ballet teacher emphasises to keep moving through out. So he wants the leg to be continually lifting throughout the spiral and for the back to be continually arching, but it helps emphasise continuing slow movement on the way up and on the way down.

Offline rd350

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Re: Spirals/Lunges and lightheadedness?
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2016, 04:55:46 PM »
I get lightheaded too if I come out of my spiral too quickly.  I do try and look at the end of the rink and have some neck/upper back extension too but the speed coming back to vertical seems to play the biggest role for me.
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Offline Query

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Re: Spirals/Lunges and lightheadedness?
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2016, 01:02:43 PM »
If you pass out in spiral position, you could hit your head on the ice, break it open, and maybe die. I've seen people fracture their skulls skating. It's one of the most dangerous injuries you can have on the ice.

But I'm confused. Shouldn't raising your leg, and lowering your head, increase the blood pressure to your brain? AFAICT, that is recommended treatment for low blood pressure events. Could this just be an unaccustomed orientation effect?

OTOH, spinning would probably drop blood pressure to the brain, and might be a problem.

Perhaps ask your doctor whether compression stockings might help?

If you or your doctor can't find a fix, I wonder if this is a sufficiently safe sport for you... Were I you, I would discuss that with your doctor, though I admit you might not like the answer.


Offline Doubletoe

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Re: Spirals/Lunges and lightheadedness?
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2016, 02:30:43 PM »
I have never experienced anything like that on spirals but I often see stars right after I come out of my first camel spin of the day.  I'm pretty sure it's the centrifugal force making a lot of blood flow to my eyeballs.  I don't get it on sit spins or upright spins because my head is not parallel to the ice and also not held so far away from my axis of rotation.

Offline Neverdull44

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Re: Spirals/Lunges and lightheadedness?
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2016, 08:58:04 PM »
Spirals have given me heartburn.

Offline Ethereal Ice

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Re: Spirals/Lunges and lightheadedness?
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2016, 02:03:50 AM »
Sorry to reply late.  I am an RN, if you have a history of low blood pressure you may be looking at a drop in pressure when you change position,  a more extreme example of standing up too quickly.  Ofentimes if we are talking about postural changes of blood pressure,  sometimes called orthostatic  hypotension, it is due to the blood leaving the brain area too quickly.

Minor treatments include. ..changing position more slowly and carefully,  drinking plenty of fluids before your practice, and possibly even eating some salty foods along with your fluids prior to practice. In some people the extra sodium in the bloodstream can help the fluid stay in the bloodstream,  keeping your "blood volume" up.  Kind of the reverse of why we tell people with high blood pressure to avoid salt. 

Please do not take this advice if it is contrary to what a physician has told you or something that might interfere with any medications you are on.  If things do not improve with some minor changes such as those I mentioned or if things are getting worse,  for instance you start noticing it other times,  check with your doctor right away.