Osteoarthritis and High Blood Pressure
Several years ago experts at a British arthritis organization claimed that osteoarthritis was related to high blood pressure, hypertension. In evaluating current research, it appears that the relationship between the two conditions appears to be due to both direct and indirect relationships between the two conditions. Neither osteoarthritis nor hypertension directly cause each other, but there is a clear relationship.
Osteoarthritis and Weight
It is a fact that osteoarthritis is more common among overweight people than among individuals who maintain their weight within a healthy range or are thin. Obesity puts more wear and tear on the entire body.
If you are overweight, your joints are more likely to become arthritic. In order to prevent osteoarthritis and limit its impact on your joints, maintain a healthy weight. If you already have osteoarthritis, you can slow down the rate of joint damage by losing weight if you are heavy, or by maintaining your current weight if you are not overweight.
Slowing down the progression of osteoarthritis will reduce discomfort, and help your joints to remain flexible. You will also be less likely to need joint replacement surgery. In the event that surgery is necessary, you will recuperate quicker, with fewer surgical complications. If you have had joint replacement surgery in the past, you can lengthen the time that your artificial joints remain in good condition by reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. This leads to less frequent future surgeries due to the wearing out of artificial joints.
Additionally, obesity causes hypertension. Therefore if you are overweight, you have a higher chance of being diagnosed with both osteoarthritis and high blood pressure. One does not cause the other; however both are at least partially caused by excess weight.
Exercise can help. Researchers have discovered that among people who have osteoarthritis, individuals who are most sedentary have the highest likelihood of having high blood pressure.
Check with your health care provider regarding exercise recommendations. Begin an exercise program he or she has approved, and start slowly. Perform exercises that are gentle and do not jar or inflame your joints.
The most commonly used over-the-counter and prescription medications used to treat the inflammation and pain caused by osteoarthritis are medications classified as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs.
Most NSAIDS have side effects that may cause your blood pressure to rise. NSAIDS sometimes cause salt and fluid retention, which may cause an elevation of your blood pressure. In this case, the link between osteoarthritis and high blood pressure is related to your medications.
If you are like most people, the slight rise in blood pressure that NSAIDS may cause is likely to be harmless. However, you may be at risk for cardiovascular damage; especially if you are on medication which are used to control hypertension, or if you have high blood pressure and do not know it.
Another concern is that some of the medications which are used to treat osteoarthritis may reduce the effectiveness of medications which are used to lower blood pressure. NSAIDS may impair the health of your cardiovascular system by other ways in addition to raising your blood pressure, according to some researchers.
Next page: pain and stress caused by a rise in blood pressure levels.