Dysautonomia Physiotherapy Treatment

Dysautonomia refers a collections of symptoms that can occur with a disturbance or dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), with relation to a positional narrowing of the spinal canal, irritating the ANS.


At Vitalis Physiotherapy, our dysautonomia treatment aims to:

What is dysautonomia?

Dysautonomia is a term which covers a range of conditions. We are interested in the irritation of the sympathetic trunk, due to positional narrowing of the area.

The ANS is responsible for many involuntary bodily processes – those which you cannot consciously control – with dysautonomia affecting blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, breathing, kidney function, body/skin temperature regulation, sexual function, etc.

Autonomic dysfunction can occur after a direct or indirect trauma to the area, such as rotational injury during a motor vehicle accident. Due to the proximity of the ANS to the thoracic vertebrae and costovertebral joints, resultant irritation and symptoms can occur.

CTP Physiotherapy

Types of Dysautonomia

Some other, common forms of dysautonomia include:

  • Neurocardiogenic syncope (NCS) – Most common, usually characterised by fainting spells rarely in one’s lifetime to multiple occurences daily. Also known as situational syncope or vasovagal syncope.
  • Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) – A disorder involving circulatory problems (blood flow) which can cause abnormal/high heart rate, fainting, chest pain and breathlessness
  • Familial dysautonomia (FD) – Occurs from a genetic predisposition, often resulting in decreased pain sensitivity, poor temperature regulation and inability to produce tears (crying).
  • Autonomic dysreflexia – A life-threatening condition characterised by an abnormal increase in systolic blood pressure in response to spinal signals sent up the spine triggered from a stimuls in the lower back (e.g., bladder infection, pressure, sudden/violent hip movement, extreme heat). These signals are blocked at the spinal injury which stimulates an excessive and dangerous ANS response. Also known as autonomic hyperreflexia.
  • Multiple system atrophy (MSA) – A rare but debilitating condition, usually diagnosed in people over 40, with severe ANS dysfunction symptoms
  • Pure autonomic failure – Typically felt as a drop in blood pressure after standing up and feeling dizzy/tired/in pain, usually relieved by lying down

What are the causes?

Dysautonomia can have a variety of causes and be either primary or secondary in nature.

  • Primary dysautonomia – related to degenerative or a genetic predisposition to brain or nervous system dysfunction, occurring as its own disorder
  • Secondary dysautonomia – occurs as a result of direct or indirect trauma to the thoracic spine or other conditions (e.g. diabetes, Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, muscular sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, lupus etc.)

Diagnosis affects millions across the world and can occur at any age.

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What are the symptoms?

  • Poor standing ability/balance
  • Dizziness/fainting/feeling lightheaded
  • Low blood pressure
  • Irregular/abnormal heart rate
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nausea/other GI problems
  • Migraines
  • Poor blood sugar regulation
  • Visual disturbances


  • Fatigue
  • Weakness/intolerance to movement
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Urination problems
  • Mood swings/dysregulation
  • Brain fog/memory issues
  • Poor body temperature regulation
  • Decreased sweat production
  • Sensory sensitivity (sounds/light)

Treatment for dysautonomia

As the type, cause and symptoms of autonomic dysfunction vary, it is important to see a medical professional if you notice any signs of the condition. You may be referred for scans to detect and accurately determine diagnosis. Physical therapy can help to manage and reduce symptoms related to postural narrowing of the spine.

At Vitalis Physiotherapy, we tailor a unique treatment plan to aid in your recovery through:

  • Soft tissue mobilisations (massage)
  • Stretching exercises
  • Restoring range of movement
  • Postural improvement
  • Pilates using Movement Based Classification and Treatment
  • Dry needling
  • Taping
  • A unique home exercise program
  • Graded Exposure to load program

Your physiotherapist may also advise heat or ice application, rest and if necessary, pain medication. Additionally, they might recommend for you to use neck or back support (braces), or a suitable pillow.


How to book an appointment?

If you think that you are suffering from dysautonomia, or you’re looking for a ‘physiotherapist near me’, our team at Vitalis Physiotherapy can assess and diagnose the condition. They will then tailor your treatment plan to aid in your pain relief and recovery.

All you need to do is just give us a call on 0410 559 856 and request an initial appointment. Please let our friendly reception staff know the background and severity of your condition.

You can visit our FAQs for more information about appointments at Vitalis Physiotherapy.

Need Help?

Are you in discomfort caused by dysautonomia? Contact Vitalis Physiotherapy now to book in your treatment.

Call our friendly team on 0410 559 856. We’d love to help.

Contact us for more information on treatment

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Sinnamon Park Village

3/58 Oldfield Road, Sinnamon Park Qld 4073


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