Physical Therapy for High Blood Pressure
What causes high blood pressure?
The exact causes of high blood pressure are not known. However, several factors and conditions may play a role in its development. These include:
- Obese or overweight
- Lack of physical activity
- High intake of salt
- History of high blood pressure in the family
- Chronic kidney disease
- Thyroid disorders
What is “normal” blood pressure?
There are two important components in blood pressure readings. These include the systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number). Here is a list of what each level indicates:
- Normal – Less than 120 over 80
- Prehypertension – 120-139 over 80-89
- Stage 1 (high blood pressure) – 140-159 over 90-99
- Stage 2 (high blood pressure) – 160 and above over 100 and above
- What physical therapy can do for high blood pressure
The main aim of physical therapy is to minimize the effect of symptoms in the body. This is most commonly done through exercises. When a patient exercises regularly, the pressure on the heart is reduced due to reduction in the pressure exerted on arteries. This significantly contributes in reducing blood pressure.
The exercises prescribed by physiotherapists are patient specific i.e. different combinations are used for each patient. Physical therapists also help you stay motivated and healthy, as a long-term solution. Sometimes exercises are also prescribed to reduce weight of patients.
Other methods used for reducing high blood pressure include stress relief and massages. For patients who suffer from high blood pressure mainly due to anxiety and stress, massages can be a powerful weapon in lowering blood pressure readings. This is because massages work by reducing steroid hormones, a good indicator of stress levels.
Physical therapy at HCR
The physical therapy techniques used at HCR are always the latest with cutting edge practices and technology. At HCR, we believe in the use of a combination of techniques such as electrotherapy, ultrasound, ice, heat and massages to achieve the desired results.