Hypertension is the event of elevated blood pressure. According to the World Health Organisation, 1.13 billion people worldwide suffer from hypertension.
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the force exerted by circulating blood against the arteries walls. Arteries are a major blood vessel all over the body responsible for transporting blood. Blood pressure is measured and represented by two numbers, the systolic and the diastolic.
Systolic = pressure in the blood when the heart first contracts
Diastolic = pressure in the blood when the heart muscle is at rest (not contracting/between beats)
Normal range = 120/80. Hypotension (low blood pressure) = <90/60. Hypertension = 140/90.
What is the link between Hypertension and Headaches?
It can be difficult to differentiate between symptomatic hypertension and hypertension headaches, as there is an overlap of some of the symptoms you may experience.
Symptoms of hypertension include:
- shortness of breath
- nose bleeding
- flushing of skin
- chest pain
Symptoms include all over pressure, which is most severe in the morning and generally improves throughout the day, may be described as a “hair band” type pain. Some people may experience feelings of depression and general ill wellbeing. Pain may also be described as throbbing or pulsating. Whilst hypertension headaches can occur in any age, the prevalence increases with age. There may also be other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, visual disturbances and even dizziness.
Often, it is a sudden increase of blood pressure, that results in a hypertensive headache. But the exact cause is still largely unknown, due to limited research in this area. There is some thought that either the distention of blood vessels in the neck and head, or potentially sensitisation of the trigeminal nucleus in the brainstem may result in hypertension headaches.
At Home Treatment and Prevention
- Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption
- Increase activity levels
- Reduce stress levels
- Reduce salt intake
- Reduce fat intake
- Increase fruit and vegetable intake
Watch the video below to hear Bertrand, our director clinician, explain the treatment solution for hypertension headaches!
Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any further questions about headaches and migraines!