Treating Hypertension With Physical Therapy

Hypertension is the medical term used to describe high blood pressure. It is a common but very serious condition; one-third of American adults and two-thirds of American seniors (those over the age of 65) are affected by hypertension.

The human body requires a certain level of blood pressure in order to pump blood throughout the arteries. When the arteries become narrowed, the heart must pump faster in order to carry out the necessary functions of the body.

Hypertension is typically asymptomatic and always dangerous. It increases the risk of some of the leading causes of mortality in this country, including stroke and heart disease. Because hypertension can be treated with lifestyle changes and holistic practices, it is inadvisable to rely on anti-hypertensive medications. In fact, studies show that there is no correlation between anti-hypertensive medications and longer lifespan.

Some common anti-hypertensive medications include diuretics, beta blockers, and calcium channel blockers. Diuretics deprive the body of potassium and can increase blood glucose levels. Beta blockers decrease the body’s response to impulses from the nervous system, which can lead to insomnia, depression, and cold extremities. Beta blockers may also affect blood glucose levels. Calcium channel blockers can cause heart palpitations, swollen ankles, and headaches.

For patients with hypertension, treating the underlying cause of hypertension (rather than masking the problem with drugs) is often the best option. This can be accomplished with changes in diet and lifestyle (quitting smoking, for example), as well as with healthy, drug free techniques such as chiropractic care and physical therapy.

Physical Therapy for Hypertension

There are a number of physical therapy techniques that can help to lower blood pressure in conjunction with healthy, positive lifestyle changes. Many hypertension patients struggle with weight-related issues or injuries such as neck pain or back pain. Physical therapy can help patients with a wide range of medical conditions to begin an exercise regimen that is safe and effective.

Stress relief is another major factor in reducing hypertension. For hypertensive patients who are suffering from anxiety, massage can be a powerful weapon in lowering blood pressure readings. One reason massage is so helpful is that is works to reduce steroid hormones, a good indicator of stress levels.

Excerpted From: https://www.monmouthspine.com/hypertension-physicaltherapy/