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Thread: Elevated arms with high blood pressure

  1. #1

    Elevated arms with high blood pressure

    Sorry but this is in the wrong place

    I am confused by the use of the phrase of "Don't have your arms ABOVE your head with high blood pressure". I understand this when you are sitting or standing. It obviously refers to your arms being raised to the ceiling. But if you are laying on your back, does having your arms ABOVE your head mean that they are now pointed at the wall, or are they still pointed to the ceiling? I am a personal trainer and have been told this rule. But it would seem to me that laying on your back with your arms pointed to the ceiling and carrying a heavy load (barbell with weights) is at least as bad as sitting and raising a weight to the ceiling. I have been told that laying down is perfectly fine, but the inverted bench press, where your head is lower than your feet is not. It would seem to me that it is merely about gravity and the level of your heart. ANY body part that is higher in elevation than the heart causes problems for blood pressure is my understanding.

    The basic reworded question is: Does laying on your back with your arms raised to the ceiling elevate blood pressure?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by gav View Post
    Sorry but this is in the wrong place

    I am confused by the use of the phrase of "Don't have your arms ABOVE your head with high blood pressure". I understand this when you are sitting or standing. It obviously refers to your arms being raised to the ceiling. But if you are laying on your back, does having your arms ABOVE your head mean that they are now pointed at the wall, or are they still pointed to the ceiling? I am a personal trainer and have been told this rule. But it would seem to me that laying on your back with your arms pointed to the ceiling and carrying a heavy load (barbell with weights) is at least as bad as sitting and raising a weight to the ceiling. I have been told that laying down is perfectly fine, but the inverted bench press, where your head is lower than your feet is not. It would seem to me that it is merely about gravity and the level of your heart. ANY body part that is higher in elevation than the heart causes problems for blood pressure is my understanding.

    The basic reworded question is: Does laying on your back with your arms raised to the ceiling elevate blood pressure?
    gav, I am moving your post to the science forum, because, in my opinion, it is not relevant to the care or cure of spinal cord injury.

    I am not sure who said that people with high blood pressures should not hold their arms above their heads. It seems to me that the burden of proof rests with those who made the statement.

    Raising the arms above the head may result in blood from the arms coming into the body as a result of gravity. While this may increase blood pressure slightly in the body, I doubt that it will be significant in any sense of the word. Likewise, if a person were to lie down flat and then lift his or her arms up, this will result in the blood in the arm going into the body. While this may increase measured blood pressure in the body, due to the blood entering the body from the arm, I doubt that this will be significant physiologically, clinically, or functionally.

    Blood pressure depends on the tension of the blood vessels, the volume of fluid in the vascular space, and the position of the body. So, if you are lying down, blood volume and pressure will be distributed throughout the body. If you stand up, most of the blood will pool in your legs (due to gravity). The leg blood vessels should contract and push the blood back up to the body. But, blood pressure in the head (the highest part of the body when standing) should be lower than when lying down.

    When you lift your arms or legs above the heart, blood will flow into the body and the heart has to work harder to push blood into the arms or legs. Blood pressure, if measured at the heart, should be higher than if the person is standing or if the legs and arms are not above the heart. Obviously, lying down will result in higher pressures on the heart and brain than standing up. You can also hang upsidedown and cause the highest pressure to be in your head.

    So, for me, the statement that raising your arms will increase blood pressure in the body is not sensible. Yes, it may increase blood pressure but that pressure increase will be minor compare to the difference of blood pressure in the brain or heart when a person is standing or lying down. The change in blood pressure is likely to be de minimus and have little significance either physiologically or clinically.

    Wise.

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