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I Think Maybe The Shoes Are Helping My Pots

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Amazingly enough, the last 2 months, I have had hardly any POTS symptoms. And tonight I shopped in a mall and tried on clothes for almost an hour! I have also recently had one 30 minute symptomless walk and did a short stint in the grocery store.

I think my POTS is improved because of my MBT shoes and also the physical therapy exercises I have been doing.

About 3 months ago, I had knee pain so bad that it hurt to walk. I went to a physical medicine doctor who said my joints are loose (my hypermobility EDS thing) and the knee pain was because the knee and leg bones did not line up correctly. He sent me to physical therapy. The therapist gave me a program of exercises to do specifically to build all the leg muscles, but in particular those that can give stability to the knees. I have been doing these regularly for about 3 months now and the knee pains are gone. I plan to continue this set of exercises 3 times a week forever.

The physical therapist also told me to get very stable shoes (I was wearing Reeboks and he said they were not stable enough for me.) I went to 2 different orthopedic shoe stores and tried on dozens of shoes but none really fit me because I need a 4A heel, a B in the front and a square toe box. Where on earth am I going to find that? I became intrigued with the MBT (Massai Barefoot Technology) shoes and found I could fit a pair of the sandals because they were very adjustable. I have worn those sandals every day since and I love them.

When I stand up in them, I stand up straight. All my life I have been slumped with shoulders rounded forward and I think my hunching was partly due to wanting to keep my head down to help stave off lightheadedness. Now I stand straight without wanting to drop my head.

When wearing my MBT sandals I am more energized. They are somewhat springy. The footbed is absolutely flat--no arch support--and the soles are convex under the arch. The rounded bottoms have a "sweet spot" that you balance on when standing still. The sweet spot is located behind the arch and in front of the heel. When standing on the sweet spot neither heels nor toes are in contact with the ground and I have to balance to stay there and this makes my leg muscles constantly fire and thus increase circulation. Just walking and even standing still helps build leg muscles.

The shoes are strange to stand up on the first time. They rock front to back. The physical therapist told me to buy the most stable shoes I could find. Instead I bought the most unstable shoes possible! When I showed them to him, he examined them and then said they were a great idea. He wanted a pair for himself.

Now here's the downside: They are very expensive and not many stores carry them. My sandals cost $240.00. I am hoping my funny feet will fit the new MBT styles coming out this month which are supposed to run a bit narrower, so that I can have at least one closed pair.

Also, 2 POTS friends visited me last month, and both tried on my shoes. One felt unbalanced and dizzy on the shoes. One thought they were interesting.

If you want to learn more about the MBT shoes here is the web address for MBT UK page.


Folloiwing are brief descriptions of my physical therapy exercises. I asked the physical therapist to design a mostly lying down program for me, so as to be doable with POTS.

#1 Lying down on my back, legs straight. Press the backs of the knees to the floor--this should tighten the muscles along the sides of the knees. Hold for 10 seconds, release. Repeat for 4 minutes.

#2 Lying on my back, bolster placed under knees. Raise both legs from the feet to the knees off the floor and hold 10 seconds. Repeat for 4 minutes.

#3 Lying on my back. Bend one knee, other leg straight on the floor. Raise the straight leg to the level of the bend in the knee and take it back to the floor. Do 3 sets of 20 raises on each leg.

#4. Sitting on a hard chair with feet on floor, bent at knees. Lift legs out straight and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat for 4 minutes.

#5. I stand with my back against the fridge door because it is smooth. I do a shallow squat and hold for 15 seconds. Repeat 20 times.

#6. I stand with one foot on a 4 inch block of wood, the other foot hanging free with flexed heel. I bend the leg that is supported by the block enough to allow the heel of the free foot to touch the ground, then straighten back up. Repeat each leg 30 times.

These take time to do and they are not easy. They really give my leg muscles a workout!

I have no idea if the above will help anyone else with POTS, but I think they have helped me quite a bit, especially with my hypermobile knees.

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Hi Jan,

Thanks for posting the exercises. Although I cannot afford the shoes right now I am going to try the exercises. I find that the worst part of clothes shopping for me is trying the clothes on...that is when I become the most symptomatic. If the store isn't busy I usually use the handicapped changing room since it is usually bigger and there is somewhere to sit (more room to sit as well).

Glad to hear that the exercises and the shoes are helpful!! :angry:

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That's really cool, Jan! I suppose that their claim to improve circulation (thereby reducing the appearance of cellulite), might also help those of us with blood pooling... that'd definitely be a nice way of non pharmacological treatment.

Now if they'd only make some that weren't real leather...


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If they do really turn out to be a help for a number of POTS patients, wouldn't it be nice if medical insurance would pay for them! :( HA - fat chance I'm sure. However, i'm intrigued so I'm going to start saving my pennies and give them a try! :blink:

Thanks for the exercise tips too! Glad to hear you're feeling so much better.


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That's great Jan. I've had the shoes for a few months and I really think they help me too. I have been trying to exercise often too, so it's hard to pinpoint exactly what is helping. My POTS seems to keep improving, although I am post-viral and it was alread improving before I had the shoes. But I think that I can walk longer and feel less tired when I wear the shoes. I didn't realize they were coming out with new styles, and look forward to seeing what they come out with!

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