How Back Pain Can Impact Your Blood Pressure
According to studies, back pain will impact about 80 percent of us at some point in our lives. While many associate back pain with obesity or lack of exercise, have you ever wondered how back pain can affect blood pressure?
When dealing with back pain, all aspects of your health should be considered as a potential piece, rather than individual ailments. Furthermore, back pain can have a cascading effect that triggers other symptoms that can affect your health long-term.
Today, we'll take a look at the relationship between back pain and high blood pressure. We'll look at symptoms, if back pain can truly affect blood pressure, and how you can treat back pain. Are you ready? Let's get started!
What is High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, means the force of blood flowing through your veins stays too high. When your heart beats, your blood pressure rises.
For example, when you are exercising, your heart rate and blood pressure will both rise. When your heart slows between beats, your blood pressure should fall.
This is why when your doctor measures your blood pressure, there are two numbers. The first number measures the pressure when your heart beats, while the second number measures the pressure when your heart rests.
So if your blood pressure remains too high, it can cause your heart to pump harder and work doubly as hard for the same amount of efficiency. Almost 50% of individuals have high blood pressure without being aware, since there are physical characteristics and lifestyle choices that may put you at more risk.
Many are diagnosed with high blood pressure during routine doctor visits, and iIf high blood pressure is left untreated, its presence can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and other threatening ailments, such as a stroke.
High Blood Pressure Symptoms
High blood pressure can manifest itself in many different ways. One of the most common high blood pressure symptoms is fatigue. Since your heart is working extra hard, fatigue can set in more quickly.
Fatigue can also be indicated by difficulty breathing, or an irregular heartbeat. If your heart starts beating much faster than normal, this can mean your blood pressure is spiking.
While rare instances of breathing difficulties or an irregular heartbeat may not be anything to worry about, if these occurrences are happening regularly, it would be in your best interest to consult with your doctor.
Since stress can often be a precursor to high blood pressure, there are several additional symptoms that are revealed by stress induced high blood pressure.
As a result, you may exhibit signs of dizziness, headaches, sleep deprivation, or excessive sweating. These physical characteristics that are revealed by the psychological stress component are often consistent in those who deal with high blood pressure.
While you may not experience all the aforementioned symptoms, or may only experience them sporadically, the presence of the symptoms is indicative of your need to assess your health.
Can Back Pain Cause High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure can have many different causes, but back pain may be one of the least talked about. Many of us can agree that back pain is one of the most debilitating injuries, so it’s only natural for back pain to cause stress, anxiety, and/or restlessness.
Pain puts you under a constant state of stress, and studies have shown that your brain’s cognitive function can be clouded by the amount of stress hormones your body creates.
A decrease in cognitive function only reinforces your back pain, instigating a nasty cycle of stress and pain. It’s easy to see how quickly individuals can develop high blood pressure when dealing with intense stress and/or pain, which is in addition to their physical treatment to help treat their back pain.
How to Treat Your Back Pain Today
Treating back pain can require several different interventions. When dealing with back pain, it’s best to use a holistic approach that treats the body as a whole, instead of just simply looking at the health of the spine.
Every individual is unique — and so is their level of pain and the severity of their back pain. As a result, there isn’t a standard treatment option for everyone.
However, If dealing with severe back pain, you may first want to consult with a doctor or physical therapist that can prescribe modalities (such as electric stimulation, laser therapy) to help with pain relief.
Once the severity has been reduced, or only dealing with moderate pain or discomfort, regular (and modified) exercise is important.
Diving straight back into playing tennis or lifting heavy weights may not be the best idea, but it is important to move your body within modified ranges that protect and strengthen your spine.
Yoga for Back Pain
Yoga is a fantastic option to accomplish this, as many of the yoga poses will mobilize your spine in all directions (forward/backward, side/side, and rotation). Specific yoga poses, such as Crescent and Warrior 1 can be especially beneficial, as the poses push your spine into extension, which is a natural decompression.
If the Crescent and Warrior 1 standing poses are too challenging on your leg strength or balance, floor-bound yoga poses, such as Upward Facing Dog will also push you into spinal extension, which you may see direct pain relief from.
Foam rolling, also known as self myofascial release, is also a proven method to help reduce back pain. Foam rolling your surrounding muscles, such as the Glutes and Quads, with the Yoga Strong Roller can relieve tension in your spine by allowing more freedom for your body to move efficiently.
Since back pain can often stem from hip tightness, this approach is part of the holistic approach to treating the whole body as a single unit, where everything can positively or negatively affect something else.
If you decide you are capable of engaging in more physical activities such as sports, running, or spinning, your pre and post workout routine should include stretching and muscle activation.
Before your workout, use your Yoga Strong Strap and Mini Workout Bands to make sure your muscles are loose, engaged, and ready for your workout. After your workout, use your Yoga Strong Strap to calm your nervous system, prevent any delayed onset muscle soreness and ensure you do not have a setback with your back pain.