The Connection Between High Blood Pressure and Foot Pain

The Connection Between High Blood Pressure and Foot Pain: What You Need to Know

Table of Contents

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a medical condition characterized by elevated blood pressure levels. While foot pain is not a direct symptom of high blood pressure, there can be certain indirect connections between the two. Here are a few possible explanations for foot pain in relation to high blood pressure:

  1. Peripheral artery disease (PAD): High blood pressure can contribute to the development of peripheral artery disease, a condition where the arteries that supply blood to the extremities, including the feet, become narrowed or blocked. Reduced blood flow to the feet can lead to pain, cramping, and discomfort.
  2. Diabetic neuropathy: People with high blood pressure often have an increased risk of developing diabetes. Over time, poorly managed diabetes can cause nerve damage known as diabetic neuropathy. This condition can result in foot pain, tingling, numbness, or a loss of sensation.
  3. Edema: Hypertension can cause fluid retention, resulting in swelling in various parts of the body, including the feet and ankles. Edema can lead to discomfort, pain, and a feeling of heaviness in the feet.
  4. Gout: Gout is a form of arthritis that occurs due to the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints. High blood pressure has been associated with an increased risk of gout. When gout affects the foot, it can cause intense pain, swelling, and redness.
  5. Poor circulation: Hypertension can contribute to compromised blood flow throughout the body, including the feet. Inadequate circulation can lead to foot pain, particularly during physical activity, and may delay the healing process for foot injuries.

It’s important to note that foot pain can have various causes, and while high blood pressure may indirectly contribute to certain foot conditions, it is not always the primary cause. If you’re experiencing persistent foot pain or discomfort, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Why Do You Get High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can occur due to various different reasons. It’s most commonly caused by unhealthy life choices, such as having bad dietary habits, smoking, or not getting enough exercise

Moreover, the risk of developing high blood pressure can be increased due to certain health conditions. Among these, the most common causes are obesity and diabetes. If you’re consistently getting higher numbers than 120/80 on your blood pressure readings, it’s probable that you’re suffering from this condition. 

How Does High Blood Pressure Affect Foot Pain?

As mentioned, having high blood pressure has a negative effect on blood circulation, and that means you might experience some problems in your feet as well. The fact that there’s considerable distance between the heart and feet is not helping the situation, as it significantly reduces the blood flow. And when the feet don’t get the necessary oxygen, serious health conditions could develop. 

Severe cases can develop a vascular condition known as peripheral arterial disease (PAD), where blood vessels leading to your feet become hardened and narrow. That means the blood flow is significantly reduced, which can lead to severe pain, leg cramps, and swelling of the foot, making it harder to get around

How Is It Diagnosed?

If you’re experiencing any foot pain that makes it difficult to get around, it’s important to visit your chosen podiatrist and get a consultation. If you already know that you have high blood pressure, it’s absolutely vital to inform the medical professional examining you. 

If you’re not sure that you have this health condition, your podiatrist will monitor your vital signs either way, and this includes examining your blood pressure. They will check for any signs that could indicate poor circulation, such as swelling and changes in temperature or color. It’s a good idea to also consult with your primary care physician, as they will be able to recommend specific treatment for your condition. 

When Should You See a Doctor?

If you have problems with high blood pressure, it’s important to visit your chosen podiatrist at least once a year for a general check-up of your feet. However, there are certain symptoms that should be taken seriously, as they require immediate medical attention. If you’re experiencing any of these problems, make an appointment as soon as possible:

  • Constant leg or feet cramps, 
  • Pain, even when you’re not walking,
  • Swelling of the legs or feet,
  • Numbness in the feet,
  • Weak pulse in the arteries of your feet,
  • Changes in the temperature of your feet, 
  • Feet are much colder than the rest of your body,
  • Changes in the color of the skin on your feet, 
  • Sores or ulcers on the feet that won’t heal, 
  • Loss of hair on the legs or feet.

What Are Treatments for High Blood Pressure That Causes Foot Pain?

Once you’ve consulted with your chosen podiatrist, you’ll get the proper medical treatment depending on how severe your condition is. Sometimes, it’s possible to slow down or completely stop the progression of this problem by making positive changes in your lifestyle. This includes losing weight, quitting smoking, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding large amounts of alcohol. 

Treatment options often include taking specific medications to lower blood pressure. You might be prescribed some depending on your condition and other medications you take. Aspirin is regularly used to stop the blood from clotting, and statins to lower cholesterol levels. However, angiotensin receptor blockers or ACE inhibitors are most commonly used for treating high blood pressure that causes foot pain. As a last resort, severe cases require surgery.

Consult Your Doctor in Miami About Your Condition

As mentioned above, certain symptoms require immediate medical attention. Even if you feel like your condition is not alarmingly severe, it’s still a good idea to contact us and make an appointment with one of our medical professionals at the Luxe Foot Surgery center in Miami. 

Our experienced podiatrists and specialists will know just the right course of action in treating your specific case. No matter if you need to make simple lifestyle changes or undergo a surgical procedure, our medical professionals will help you every step of the way. 

FAQ

Can High Blood Pressure Make Your Feet Hurt?

High blood pressure can indirectly cause foot pain by damaging blood vessels and nerves that have an important role in blood circulation, as they supply blood and sensation to the feet. This can cause pain or swelling, which makes it more difficult to get around. 

Can Heart Problems Cause Foot Pain?

Heart problems can cause foot pain when there is insufficient blood flow to the feet. Besides pain, this can also lead to numbness, tingling, and swelling. 

Can High Blood Pressure Cause Pain in Hands and Feet?

High blood pressure can cause pain in the hands and feet by restricting blood flow to these areas, leading to nerve damage and tissue damage. 

What Part of the Body Hurts When You Have High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure does not typically cause pain in a specific part of the body. However, uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to various health problems that may cause pain, such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. 

References

  1. Podiatry Group of Annapolis. (2020, January 21). High Blood Pressure and Your Feet: The Connection. Retrieved from https://www.podiatrygroup.us/blog/2020/1/21/high-blood-pressure-and-your-feet-the-connection
  2. Blood Pressure UK. (n.d.). Peripheral Arterial Disease and High Blood Pressure. Retrieved from https://www.bloodpressureuk.org/your-blood-pressure/understanding-your-blood-pressure/why-is-high-blood-pressure-a-problem/peripheral-arterial-disease-and-high-blood-pressure/
  3. Preferred Foot & Ankle Specialists. (n.d.). Your Feet and Heart Connection. Retrieved from https://www.preferredfootankle.com/foot-pain-what-do-your-feet-have-to-do-with-your-heart/
  4. Greater Washington Advanced Podiatry. (n.d.). Should I Tell My Podiatrist About My High Blood Pressure? Retrieved from https://www.gwapodiatry.com/faqs/tell-your-podiatrist-about-your-high-blood-pressure.cfm

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