After a traumatic experience like a car accident, the body can react in a variety of ways. This may include injuries that are visible to you, but often it can also have an impact on internal systems and functions. One of the reasons it’s important to seek medical care after a car accident is so that you can identify any of these invisible yet serious conditions. Once you’re aware of what’s happening inside your body, chiropractors can help address any problems. One such condition that you may notice is high blood pressure, which can be indicative of a number of injuries. It is important to understand how high blood pressure may be related to your car accident injuries.
About Blood Pressure
All the tissues and organs in your body rely on oxygenated blood being carried throughout your body by the circulatory system. When the heart beats, it creates a pressure that pushes blood through your blood vessels- this pressure is your blood pressure and it can be measured to ensure it is in the normal range.
If this blood pressure is too high, the heart and blood vessels have to work harder and less efficiently. Over time, this can damage the delicate tissues inside arteries. The arteries then become clogged with plaque and other damage, raising blood pressure further.
Maintaining a normal blood pressure is vital to your health and your body’s functions, so if it is elevated after an accident, it should be treated quickly.
Causes of High Blood Pressure After an Accident
Blood pressure that is unusually high after an accident can have a range of causes and does not necessarily point to one specific injury or condition.
If you seek care immediately after an accident or are seen by first responders at the scene, it is not unusual to see a temporary spike in blood pressure. In response to stress or trauma, your body will release stress hormones into the bloodstream, including adrenaline. This can initiate a “fight or flight” response in us. Adrenaline also causes a temporary spike in blood pressure as your heart beats faster and blood vessels begin to narrow. This spike can go away after a short period of time, or may last for a few days, but will likely not create a chronic issue.
Injuries to the organs, particularly the kidney, can also be indicated by high blood pressure. Traumatic brain injuries and chest injuries may have similar symptoms.
If high blood pressure persists after some time without any injuries found, it is also possible that it is being brought on by stress or mental health issues like PTSD and anxiety. These can lead to hypertension and anxiety. Any lifestyle changes brought on by injury can also lead to high blood pressure as a result of depression or a sedentary lifestyle.
Worsening Hypertension After an Accident
Some people will suffer from hypertension before an accident for a variety of other reasons, but this does not mean their blood pressure can’t be impacted. The same factors that increase blood pressure from normal to high can raise high blood pressure even more, putting the victim at risk for further heart damage or stroke if their blood pressure is not managed properly.
Anti-inflammatory medications, which many over the counter options are, can also elevate blood pressure. If you already suffer from hypertension, it is important to be cautious in the use of these medications.
Treating High Blood Pressure
If the identified high blood pressure is a result of hormonal and mental factors, it may resolve on its own. When chiropractors treat some injuries, this may also help to return blood pressure to normal as the body returns to alignment. But in some cases, high blood pressure can persist long after the accident and needs to be treated independently.
While many doctors may prescribe medication for high blood pressure, chiropractors will seek to use natural remedies to stabilize blood pressure. In addition to alignments that can help your body’s systems work properly, chiropractors will use a combination of exercises and dietary advice to help improve blood pressure. Regular movement and low salt intake are common methods of treatment.
As a part of your medical care after a car accident, you should make sure your vitals are checked regularly to identify any problems like high blood pressure. As a part of your comprehensive care at AICA Orthopedics, your blood pressure will be monitored as chiropractors search for your hidden injuries. If you have recently been in an accident, contact AICA Orthopedics quickly to begin treatment.