If you have high blood pressure and are also suffering any kind of chronic pain (such as arthritis, neck pain, back pain, fibromyalgia, migraine or just unexplainable pain), you may not be aware of the connection between the two conditions. Chronic pain can cause hypertension and hypertension can cause many types of chronic pain. The good news is that if you work on the underlying cause of EITHER the pain or high blood pressure, you will improve both.
I’ll explain this all in detail in today’s feature article as well as revealing the real underlying cause for most types of chronic pain and high blood pressure.
When I talk about chronic pain, I’m referring to a long lasting pain or pain that comes and goes again and again. Although the original cause may have been injury, most injuries heal in a few weeks or months – what’s left is unexplainable chronic pain.
Many doctors dislike having to deal with chronic pain because often there is no obvious cause for it. That’s why they give out painkillers but really believe it’s all in your head.
So what’s the reason for chronic pain?
There are several reasons; here are three:
1) Inflammation – you may have noticed that any kind of pain flares up when you have the flu. That’s because the flu triggers inflammation all over the body. But inflammation also causes chronic pain on daily basis. Inflammation in joints causes arthritis such as what you’d find with neck and back pain, for example. Inflammation in muscles causes muscle pain (normal the day after exercising but not every day). Inflammation in the nerve system can cause unexplainable pain all over the body.
There are many things you can do to fight inflammation, including eating an antioxidant-rich diet such as colorful vegetables and berries. Omega 3 fatty acids are among the most powerful tools to fight inflammation.
For more information on how to fight inflammation, check out our type 2 diabetes guide and step-by-step arthritis guide.
2) Oxygen Deprivation – Oxygen is the most important elements you need. You can live without food for weeks and water for days but you won’t survive without oxygen more than a few minutes.
More and more studies are linking all kinds of chronic diseases to oxygen deprivation. Diseases such as migraine and fibromyalgia are caused by oxygen deprivation to various parts of the body. Even obesity is linked to lack of oxygen.
Most people only inhale 20% of their lungs’ capacity. There are two reasons why this has become so common: a) The air we breathe has much less oxygen than it did a century ago – especially in cities; and b) we breathe less effectively due to too much sitting down and leaning over computers, which constrains and weakens the muscles controlling the lungs.
To learn to relieve pain and other health issues caused by oxygen deprivation, check out….
3) Brain/Neural Memory – Like a river running down its path, our brains tend to create and run in “neural paths.” That’s how we create and continue both positive and negative habits. That’s how we can drive a car without thinking about each step. That’s how we talk; that’s how we walk.
The problem is when long lasting pain has created deep “pain-neural-pathways” in our systems. The nerves frankly become used to sending out pain signals up to the brain. So even if there really isn’t any injury anymore, the pain signals are still fired.
A friend of mine lost his left leg below his knee in a car accident. For years he woke up every night screaming in pain. His doctors thought he was just imagining things. However, advance tests revealed that the nerves that would have lead to the injured areas were still shooting out pain signals.
How Does This All Connect to High Blood Pressure?
As we’ve often talked about on this site, high blood pressure is always caused by some kind of stress. It can be emotional stress, mental stress, sensory stress or physical stress. Stress then adds up until it causes high blood pressure. For example, you may not develop high blood pressure even if you’re under a lot of mental stress alone. But then if you’re also burdened with physical and sensory stress for a period of time, hypertension can begin to develop.
If you struggle with it, you know better than anyone how stressful chronic pain is. When suffering neck pain after having a car accident, I was so irritable that every little thing got on my nerves. The stress of chronic pain is, of course physical, but also emotional and sensory.
Learn exactly how I got over my chronic neck pain here…
No wonder so many people suffering chronic pain develop high blood pressure as well.
But High Blood Pressure Can Also Cause Chronic Pain
When you have high blood pressure, blood courses through your blood vessels and creates pressure within them, banging on the arterial walls. Consequently, it causes inflammation all over the body. And inflammation is one of the causes of chronic pain as discussed before.
Not only that, but high blood pressure also causes hardening of the arteries. Less oxygen-filled blood can therefore flow throughout the body causing a slight or major oxygen deprivation. And again, oxygen deprivation is another cause for chronic pain.
As you take the steps to work on the underlying causes for your chronic pain (inflammation, oxygen deprivation, neural memory), the stress levels in your body go down and the blood pressure with it.
In the same way, when you begin working on lowering high blood pressure, inflammation goes down and more oxygen flows throughout the body. This cures the underlying causes for the chronic pain and therefore makes it better.
Medications only deal with the symptoms of pain or force the blood pressure down without addressing what’s really wrong. They will therefore never cure you. Just ask your doctor if he has ever CURED anyone of chronic pain or high blood pressure. I think the answer will be NO.
The best, most natural and permanent solution to lower blood pressure are simple exercises that “reboot” your system. This helps lower blood pressure and it also helps with pain related “neural memory.”