What is blood pressure? It refers to the force of blood against your arteries as it is pumped through your heart and flows out to the rest of your body. Your blood pressure doesn’t stay the same all the time; it rises and falls according to your level of activity. But if your blood pressure is too high, it can damage your coronary arteries, much like a tire that is filled with too much air pressure can become weakened or even result in a blowout.
High blood pressure can damage blood vessels in your brain as well. If a blockage occurs there, the result is a stroke. Approximately 65 million Americans have high blood pressure, making it the most common cause of both heart disease and stroke. One of the most dangerous things about high blood pressure is this: Very often, it causes no symptoms. That’s why high blood pressure is known as the “silent killer.” Therefore, it’s very important to monitor your blood pressure and, if it is high, take steps to bring it under control.
I’m Steve Taylor, Physical Therapist, of Southern Physical and Occupational Therapy Services
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