The American Heart Association estimates that in the United States approximately 73 million people, age 20 years old and older have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. However, only about 71% of people who have blood pressure even know that they have it. This can be dangerous because high blood pressure can lead to other serious conditions such as stroke and coronary heart disease which can led to heart attack. Many people don’t understand the effects of this condition, particularly the effects of high blood pressure on tendons and joints as well as the kidneys and other organs. This can be dangerous and cause hypertension patients to suffer needlessly.
High blood pressure is the force that blood is pumped through the arteries when the heart beats. This is known as systolic pressure. Diastolic pressure is the force of the blood being pumped through the arteries when the heart is at rest. Hypertension occurs when and adult has a systolic pressure that is 140 mm Hg or greater or a diastolic pressure of 90 mm Hg or greater. Because blood pressure measures the force of the blood moving through the arteries, high blood pressure means that the heart must work extra hard to move the blood through the body. This can lead to pain in the legs as circulation is compromised.
Circulation in the extremities is also compromised due to effects of high blood pressure on tendons and joints stemming from narrowing of the arteries. Conditions such as atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases can cause the blood vessels to narrow which increases blood pressure. Because of this, cholesterol may accumulate in the tendons and joints which can cause inflammation. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon is a common condition that is linked to hypertension. It can cause inflammation and pain in the tendon that is in the back of the ankle.
High blood pressure has also been closely linked to kidney disease. Kidney disease can lead to the build up of excess uric acid in the body which can lead to gout. Because the kidneys are not functioning properly, the uric acid is not adequately expelled from the body. The uric acid then accumulates in the joints, leading to inflammation. Gout generally affects the hands and wrists as well as the knees, ankles, feet and the large joint of the big toe.
Diet, exercise and weight control can go a long way in alleviating the effects of high blood pressure on tendons and joints. It is also helpful to effectively manage high blood pressure and keep it under control. The effects of hypertension on tendons and joints can be painful and inhibit a your quality of life. It can make you a virtual prisoner in your own body, trapped by pain and immobility. It does not have to be that way, though. If you take the crucial steps to manage your high blood pressure, you can reverse the painful conditions that are associated with it. Hypertension can be managed and you don’t have to live with the pain that some of its effects can cause.