What is Hypertension Headache?
Headache has always been associated with high blood pressure, or hypertension, but the exact mechanism and its prognostic use is largely unknown. While the most current research would suggest that in most cases that headache is not associated with hypertension, unless in ‘hypertensive crisis’, it is still suggested that health practitioners ask about headaches in order to establish a history when assessing for hypertension .
A blood pressure reading has a top number (systolic) and bottom number (diastolic). Normal blood pressure is less than 120 over 80 (120/80).
Mild-Hypertension is classified as having a diastolic blood-pressure measuring 140 to 159mmHg and a systolic blood pressure measuring 90 to 99 mmHg  , and patients diagnosed with this have been linked with a higher prevalence of headache symptoms . It has been reported that 1-in-10 people in the Gold Coast area have reported having hypertension, and the prevalence increases with age with 45% of people over the age of 75 experiencing it .
What are the symptoms of Hypertension Headache?
Hypertension Headache is described as a ‘pulsating, throbbing’ headache that is often experienced early in the morning. However, hypertension has also been liked to Tension-Type Headache and Migraine .
|Symptoms of Hypertension||Potential Symptoms of Hypertension headache|
|Headaches||Pulsating, throbbing early morning headache|
|Shortness of breath||Unilateral or Bilateral Headache|
|Nosebleeds||Nausea and or Vomiting|
|Flushing of the skin||Visual disturbances|
What Causes Hypertension Headache?
The exact cause of hypertensive headache is unknown, however there is some thought that the distension of arterial blood vessels may be the cause. There has been no research that has shown any correlation regarding this though. Current research suggests that sudden rises in blood pressure, and severe hypertension (>180/110 mmHg) may have causal relation to hypertension headache. Also, 80% of pheochromocytoma (rare tumour in the adrenal glands) patients who experience sudden increases in BP, also experience episodic headache .
The sufferers of Hypertension Headache that we see at Gold Coast Headache & Migraine Clinic often do not experience any of these signs. In these cases, dysfunction in the upper cervical spine and a sensitised brainstem may be the true cause. The most modern headache research suggests this sensitised brainstem, specifically the Trigeminal-cervical Nucleus, will detect changes or elevations in blood pressure and can refer pain into the head or face, as well as other associated symptoms of headache and migraine.
Dizziness and Hypertension Headache
Dizziness, as with hypertension, increases in prevalence with age. One study has found that there is a significant relation in those who experience systemic hypertension and the symptom of dizziness, as well as dizziness being highly prevalent in female participants (aged over 60). As with headaches suffered from hypertension, the pathophysiology of this link is unclear .
I’ve Tried it all, is there anything that can fix my Hypertension Headache?
Many of the patients that we see, who suffer from Hypertension headache have tried everything in order to relieve their symptoms. Many have tried changes in their blood-pressure medication and changes to their diet. They have also tried physiotherapy, massage and chiropractic care with very limited results. At the Gold Coast Headache & Migraine Clinic, we specialise at assessing your upper cervical spine and your brainstem, to determine if they are the true cause of your Hypertension Headaches.
If we can prove that this is the case for you, then we can start treatment right away and we expect to see significant change within the first 6 sessions, as we do with 85-90% of our patients. The best part is, that our treatment is safe, gentle, medication-free and non-invasive.
Imagine living a life free from headaches and migraines and saying goodbye to medications!
To gain your recovery today contact us on 1800 HEADACHE (toll free)
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