Can Pain Cause High Blood Pressure in Your Body?


High blood pressure, known medically as hypertension, is a common health condition that affects an estimated 47% — or nearly half — of adults in the United States1. It’s so common, that many adults are unaware of the fact they may be living with elevated blood pressure, which is why it is called a “silent killer.” What causes this and how can you become more aware of your potential risk? You may be surprised to learn that it may be pain causing high blood pressure.

How can pain cause high blood pressure, you wonder? Today we’re answering that question as we discuss the correlation between pain and hypertension, what types of pain cause high blood pressure, and ways to prevent it naturally with simple lifestyle adjustments. Continue reading and see how you can become more aware of your health and lower your risk for complications due to high blood pressure.

Can Pain Cause High Blood Pressure?

The simple answer to the question, “Can pain cause high blood pressure?” is a resounding yes. This is especially true when pain becomes chronic.

The relationship between pain and high blood pressure creates a self-feeding negative cycle. Chronic pain can lead to a constant state of stress on your body, which in turn can contribute to high blood pressure over time and potentially even more pain. This is because pain activates your body's stress response, triggering the release of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline which can elevate your blood pressure.

The correlation between pain and high blood pressure is further compounded by the fact that chronic pain often coexists with other risk factors for high blood pressure, such as obesity, a more sedentary lifestyle, and poor sleep quality. This means having a fuller understanding of the root cause is vital to properly addressing the condition and determining which natural ways to reduce blood pressure will work best for you. 

Specifically, Can Back Pain Cause High Blood Pressure?

Back pain, especially chronic back pain, can certainly contribute to high blood pressure when left unchecked. Just like with other acute and chronic injuries, stress and discomfort associated with ongoing back pain can lead to increased levels of stress hormones like cortisol and raise your blood pressure. Furthermore, back pain can result in a sedentary lifestyle, which can add to your risk factor for high blood pressure.

It's important to find effective chronic back pain relief as quickly as possible to minimize its impact on your blood pressure levels. Proper posture, regular movement, and exercises to strengthen the back muscles can all help reduce the risk of back pain-related high blood pressure.

Additional Info: Many people have turned to using a zero gravity chair for back pain relief. Learn more about it later in this article, then check out our guide next.

Types of Pain Causing High Blood Pressure Short-Term

You may find yourself now wondering, “Does pain cause high blood pressure only when it’s chronic?” The answer is no. There are many types of pain causing high blood pressure levels for people in the short term, too.

These types of pain can cause a temporary spike in blood pressure, particularly while you’re newly experiencing the pain. This short-term increase in blood pressure is often a result of your body's natural response to pain, including the release of stress hormones, and activation of your sympathetic nervous system. The increase in blood pressure from acute injuries or pain is usually temporary but could become chronic if left untreated or unmanaged.

Some short-term sources of pain causing high blood pressure may include:

  • Dental pain
  • Migraine headaches
  • Kidney stones
  • Labor pain
  • Bone fractures

1. Dental Pain

Severe dental pain, like having a tooth extraction or root canal, can lead to a temporary increase in your blood pressure levels. The stress and pain associated with dental procedures kick off your body's stress response. Proper pain management and relaxation techniques during dental procedures can help lessen this effect for some people.

2. Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches often result in a spike in blood pressure. The intense pain experienced during migraines triggers the release of stress hormones. Learning how to avoid migraine triggers and alleviating symptoms if you’re having one can help prevent blood pressure spikes during a migraine attack.

Are you experiencing a migraine or a cluster headache? Learn the difference between the two and how to treat cluster headaches if that’s what’s occurring.

3. Kidney Stones

The sudden and intense pain caused by kidney stones can lead to a spike in blood pressure, as well. As you’re learning, this elevation in blood pressure is a direct response to pain. Proper hydration and pain management strategies can help reduce the risk of kidney stones. In turn, this lessens their potential impact on your blood pressure.

4. Labor Pain

What about labor? Can pain cause high blood pressure while giving birth? Absolutely. The pain experienced during labor and childbirth will most likely result in a temporary spike in blood pressure, which is monitored closely by your medical team to ensure the health of you and your baby.

The physical stress of labor, especially when considered in tandem with the emotional and hormonal changes during pregnancy, may elevate your blood pressure during the delivery, but you’ll want to keep an eye on this during the entire pregnancy journey. Learning how to lower blood pressure during pregnancy can help circumvent other serious health conditions like preeclampsia.

5. Bone Fractures

The acute pain from a bone fracture is also likely to raise your blood pressure in the moment. It’s part of your body's response to the injury alongside inflammation and spiked adrenaline. Proper immobilization of the fracture and pain management strategies can help reduce the impact of bone fractures on blood pressure so that it’ll go back to normal relatively quickly.

Can Chronic Pain Cause High Blood Pressure Long-Term?

With so many potential ways for acute injuries to impact your blood pressure, does pain cause high blood pressure in the long term, as well? When left unchecked, it definitely can. Chronic pain, unlike short-term or acute pain, can have a sustained impact on your blood pressure levels over time. This non stop barrage to your sympathetic nervous system can result in sustained hypertension long-term.

Additionally, chronic pain often coexists with other risk factors for hypertension, such as obesity and a more sedentary lifestyle caused by limited mobility, further increasing your risk of developing high blood pressure over time.

Some common examples of chronic pain causing high blood pressure include:

  • Arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other age-related diseases
  • Chronic back pain
  • Chronic migraines or headaches
  • Endometriosis
  • Neuropathic pain

Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, and Other Age-Related Diseases

Chronic pain from conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis, and fibromyalgia can contribute to high blood pressure in the long term. For example, the ongoing inflammation and pain associated with arthritis can lead to increased physical and mental stress on your body which continues the cycle of elevated blood pressure.

People with fibromyalgia often experience chronic widespread pain, which can contribute to high blood pressure in the long term, too. The constant pain and fatigue associated with this condition mean reducing fibromyalgia pain is a top priority, as a chronically heightened state of stress makes managing blood pressure levels challenging.

Chronic Back Pain

Chronic back pain, especially when untreated or poorly managed, is another example of pain causing high blood pressure in many individuals. This kind of back pain also contributes to impeded mobility, making it less likely that you’ll be able to get around and get your blood circulating as easily. Furthermore, chronic back pain can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns that may trigger your body’s response yielding higher blood pressure.

Chronic Migraines or Headaches

Conditions like chronic migraines or chronic headaches can also contribute to high blood pressure in the long term. These are not uncommon conditions, with an estimated 39 million people in the United States living with chronic headaches as part of their regular routine2. The persistent pain and associated symptoms can lead to increased stress on the body, potentially impacting blood pressure regulation over time.

Finding chronic migraine treatment and chronic headache relief methods that work for you is vital to alleviating these conditions as well as reducing your risk of high blood pressure as a result of the pain and discomfort they bring.


For women, chronic pelvic pain from conditions like endometriosis may also have a long-term negative impact on your blood pressure levels. The ongoing pain and inflammation associated with endometriosis can lead to increased stress on your body and the natural bodily responses that come with that. Consult your doctor for the most effective treatment options that may be available for your condition.

Neuropathic Pain

Last, but not least, on our list of chronic pain causing high blood pressure comes neuropathic pain experienced most commonly by diabetics. Conditions like diabetic neuropathy or post-herpetic neuralgia can cause chronic neuropathic pain whose symptoms can include a chronic prickling, tingling, or burning you may feel all day.

This discomfort negatively impacts your physical and mental well-being, resulting in high blood pressure and a higher risk for the complications associated with it.

How to Prevent Pain Causing High Blood Pressure

Can pain cause high blood pressure? Yes. The good news is there are methods to help reduce or prevent this from happening for you and many others. Preventing high blood pressure caused by pain may require a combination of lifestyle changes, health practices, and holistic wellness ideas.

Some effective ways to prevent pain-related high blood pressure include:

  • Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight can worsen pain and increase the risk of high blood pressure. Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise can help reduce both pain and blood pressure levels.
  • Stay active: Regular physical activity can help manage pain and lower blood pressure at the same time. Low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, and yoga improve circulation, reduce stiffness, and promote overall well-being.
  • Manage stress: Stress can exacerbate pain and raise blood pressure. Stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, breathing exercises, and mindfulness can help alleviate pain and stress.
  • Use pain management tools: Tools like zero gravity recliners can help alleviate pain by reducing excess pressure on the spine and promoting better posture. The zero gravity position serves as an effective catalyst for better blood circulation and pain relief while potentially lowering blood pressure naturally. 
  • Practice good posture: Maintaining good posture can help prevent and reduce back pain, lowering your risk of developing high blood pressure. Using ergonomic furniture like zero gravity chairs at home or the office plus taking breaks to stretch can help improve posture.
  • Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water is important for overall health and can help prevent dehydration, which can make pain worse, leading to an increase in your blood pressure.
  • Get enough sleep: Getting more restorative sleep is paramount to circumventing high blood pressure levels. Poor sleep or sleep deprivation exacerbates pain and increases the risk of hypertension. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to help manage pain and promote overall health.

Can pain cause high blood pressure? Yes, it can. While pain can contribute to high blood pressure, especially in chronic conditions, it is possible to lower your risk through lifestyle changes, pain management strategies, and professional medical guidance from your doctor. By properly addressing the source of your pain, you can improve your overall health and well-being.

Disclaimer: This content is not medical advice. Please consult with your healthcare professional when considering implementing changes to your health or workout routines to ensure it’s compatible with your needs.

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