Sudden rise in blood pressure. What are likely causes?

Posted , 6 users are following.

Two weeks ago I strained the left side of my chest slightly (or so I thought) taking the weight of a boiler being lowered on a winch.  It didn't bother me at the time but over the weekend the pain grew so I couldn't lie comfortably in bed so I went to the doctors.  He said I had strained my ribs and it was typical that the pain got worse over a few days and it could take weeks to get fully better.  However, he said I had high blood pressure and was concerned and sent me for an ECG, told me to cut salt out of my diet for 2 days and then go back for another blood pressure check.  I did this - the blood pressure was still high and the nurse got me straight in to see a doctor who put me on 1.25mg of Rampril once a day and was told to go back in 2 weeks unless I experienced pains in my chest (which I pointed out may be difficult to spot with the current rib strain).  I borrowed a blood pressure monitor and have been monitoring the blood pressure morning and night and it hasn't lowered.  Two days ago my doctor rang and said that he had my blood sample results back and they were fine but he also had my ECG and though I shouldn't be concerned he wanted me to have an ultrasound on my heart which would take a few weeks.  As my blood pressure was unchanged I should double the dose of Rampril.  I have done this and so far nothing has changed though I have only been on double for 2 nights.

Now - all my life I have had no issue with blood pressure.  I had a medical last September and 2 incidents in A&E this year for minor head injuries, the latest being 2 months ago all of which included a blood pressure test... so I know it was fine very recently.  I am certainly not overweight,  eat quite healthily, have never smoked, go off hiking most weekends and as mentioned my bloods are fine.  Naturally I am a bit of a worrier but actually I am less stressed this last year than I have been in my life (in my view).

I am a bit concerned that given I know I was 'fine' 2 months ago I do wonder what other things it could be.  The only external factor I can see is this rib strain I have which has improved a lot in the last week.  The ECG seems to have shown something up though but I could be waiting weeks for this ultrasound.  Can strains cause damage to the heart?

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  • Posted

    Hi, Mark97362,

    One of the main things I notice is that this started when you sprained your ribs. Pain is one of the causes of blood pressure going up, so it makes sense that the rib sprain would affect it. Something else that could be at play is the worry that you've got going on. I'm sure that is causing a bit of stress, which can push the blood pressure numbers up also.

    If I was you, I would talk to the doctor about that, and make absolutely sure you need the blood pressure meds. I hate to say it, but some doctors go to prescribing medicine without looking at other this could be a temporary thing caused by the rib injury. You might want to consider getting a second opinion to confirm you need the medicine.

    Did you happen to read the side effects of ramipril? One of them is chest that may be playing in with all this also.

    You said the doctor had your ECG, but you didn't actually say the doctor told you it was fine..just that you shouldn't be concerned. Considering your other results and what the doctor has said so far and your history, you're probably good to relax a bit and give your body a chance to heal your rib.

    One thing you might try to possibly speed healing is soaking in an epsom salts bath. The magnesium absorbs into your body and helps lower blood pressure. Also, have some foods that are anti-inflammatory. Something I've found that helped me is turmeric with a touch of black pepper to help it absorb. I put it in oatmeal along with raisins and cinnamon. This could help both your blood pressure and maybe inflammation in your ribs. You can buy it in the spice section of your grocery store. I actually used it when I had a cavity and toothache during a weekend, and put turmeric mixed with natural toothpaste on my tooth. It totally took the pain away. It's HUGE at helping get rid of inflammation.

    Hope this helps a bit. Sorry if this is a bit long! eek  Hope you feel better FAST!

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the detailed response.  I have seen 2 doctors (the second was an 'emergency' one as the BP was high and I was about to go on holiday) and having read a bit on the internet I asked the second one if the raised blood pressure could be a result of the sprain as I had read that pain could cause the increase.  She seemed to dismiss this and said my age (51) was likely!  I expressed surprise since I knew my blood pressure was fine 2 months ago and it seemed a big change in 2 months.

      As for side effects of Rampril I didn't know chest pain was one of them but I only get a dull ache on the left side of my chest near my arm which is where the injury was.  I wouldn't class it as a serious pain and it doesn't trouble me - apart from me wondering if it is my heart!  I half wondered if I could have a blood clot as a result of the incident but I am far from medical to know if that is possible even.

      I also don't want to be on meds if I don't have to be... and want to know why rather than throwing meds at it.  Your response is encouraging and helpful.  Thanks.

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  • Posted

    As already said, pain alone can explain a moderately raised BP, what kind of numbers were you getting?  Whether it is then good medical practice to give a patient BP meds while the pain lasts - I have no idea.
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    • Posted

      If it is specifically pain rather than trauma to chest then I don't think it could be it because I have almost no pain now compared to when I went to the doctors yet the BP figures remain pretty much the same.

      Date & Tme  Pulse/Sys/Dia Arm reading taken from (L/R)

      31 May 18:00 57/166/107 L

      31 May 18:02 59/179/111 L

      4 June 06:43 55/151/103 L

      4 June 06:51 60/152/110 L

      4 June 07:03 60/158/115 L

      4 June 18:23 70/167/113 L

      4 June 22:34 75/166/114 L

      4 June 22:44 77/158/107 L

      4 June 22:48 76/155/111 L

      5 June 06:14 60/154/113 L

      5 June 06:21 53/176/101 R

      5 June 06:23 56/165/117 R

      5 June 06:27 53/163/114 L

      5 June 19:13 80/172/113 L

      5 June 20:49 71/168/111 L

      5 June 22:00 69/156/110 L

      5 June 22:04 70/156/114 L

      6 June 07:36 76/168/117 L

      6 June 16:40 69/176/109 L

      6 June 21:27 62/164/107 L

      7 June 06:19 54/168/108 R

      7 June 06:23 51/161/106 L

      7 June 07:37 60/161/105 L

      7 June 17:15 74/167/117 L 

      7 June 17:35 72/164/107 L

      7 June 21:31 76/162/106 L

      8 June 07:11 56/166/103 L


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  • Posted

    I understand that it takes up to 2-3weeks for medication like yours to come into effect. I have had high blood pressure for 30yrs. and would not worry until a month has passed and you have had your echocardiogram done which will tell them what the structurally condition of your heart is
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