Are you having back pain with any of the following?
We understand that you are experiencing one or more of the health issues that might be impacting your back pain.
We recommend that you discuss these health issues with your doctor before proceeding with this program.
Once you are cleared by your doctor to do this program, we hope it helps you find relief from your back pain.
Hypertension means having higher than normal blood pressure. Blood pressure is the force of your blood on the walls of your blood vessels. This force, or pressure, enables blood to pump throughout your body. Everyone needs a certain amount of pressure to make this process possible. When the force of blood against your artery walls is too strong, you have high blood pressure, or hypertension. When you have hypertension, your heart has to work too hard to send blood throughout your body and the high pressure progressively damages your blood vessels. By lowering your blood pressure, you can take some of this extra demand off your heart and blood vessels.
Both genetic and environmental factors contribute to the development and severity of hypertension. Environmental causes of high blood pressure can include eating too much salt, being overweight, drinking too much alcohol, and not getting enough exercise. Preventing hypertension involves making good lifestyle choices and taking the proper medication if you need to.
Factors that are not related to your lifestyle are also linked with high blood pressure. If members of your family have high blood pressure, you are at higher risk of developing hypertension and should have your blood pressure checked. Older people have higher blood pressure, as blood pressure tends to increase with age. More men than women have hypertension, although in people over 60, both sexes have the condition equally. Also, high blood pressure is more likely to be severe in African Americans than in other ethnic or racial groups.
Most people do not have symptoms from hypertension; however, a small percentage of people may develop headaches when their blood pressure is higher than normal (elevated). High blood pressure generally does not create any symptoms while it is damaging your body, so it is important to check your blood pressure regularly when you have hypertension. The damage that high blood pressure causes happens gradually over a period of time. The less time that your blood pressure is elevated, the lower the chance that it will seriously damage important organs, like the brain, heart, and kidneys.
Hypertension is diagnosed by taking your blood pressure.
The top number of your blood pressure measurement is the systolic pressure. This is the force of blood against your arteries when your heart is sending blood to your body.
The lower number is the diastolic pressure. This is the force of blood against your arteries while your heart relaxes between beats. Both numbers are important and need to be normalized to prevent damage to blood vessels and major organs.
With treatment to control your blood pressure, you can avoid many of the effects of high blood pressure. Without this treatment, high blood pressure will cause gradual damage to many important body organs, especially the brain, the heart, and the kidneys.
Our goal is to lower your blood pressure to 139/89 or less.
Medication lowers blood pressure and lessens your chances of having a heart attack or stroke or of developing heart and kidney disease. There are many medications to choose from. It is very common to need more than one medication to control high blood pressure. Most patients report few, if any, side effects. Recommendations about which medicines and what doses will work best for you are based on your individual needs and your response to treatment. Be sure to tell us about any side effects or if you are unable to take any medication prescribed.Common medications for hypertension include the following:
Most people who take blood pressure medicines need to take them indefinitely. As the body changes with age or with the development of other conditions or risk factors, more medications may need to be added. Taking these drugs lowers blood pressure and lessens the chances of having a heart attack or stroke or of developing heart disease. We will customize your specific treatment to match your individual lifestyle and needs.
Some hypertension medications should not be taken by women who are trying to get pregnant or are at risk for pregnancy because they can cause birth defects. If you have hypertension and want to get pregnant, please talk to us. It is best to have your blood pressure under good control before trying to get pregnant. Hypertension can complicate your pregnancy and increase health risks for you and your baby. If you are a woman of childbearing age (15 to 49) and are not planning to get pregnant, use an effective form of birth control. You must be using a highly reliable birth control method if you are taking certain medications for hypertension.
Making healthy changes can help your medicines work even better to lower your blood pressure. If you are overweight, focusing on losing 5 to 10 percent of your body weight may be the most effective way to lower your blood pressure naturally and reduce the amount of medication necessary to control your blood pressure.
.Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a great way to control your blood pressure. That means:
Lifestyle modifications may help normalize blood pressure. Even if lifestyle modifications alone are not enough to bring your blood pressure to normal, making healthy lifestyle changes can help reduce the amount of medication you need.
Get more active. Exercise may directly lower your blood pressure. It's also a great way to cope with stress, and it helps you lose weight.
Maintain a healthy weight. Losing weight and keeping it off can help reduce your blood pressure. People who are successful at losing weight:
Stop smoking. Becoming a nonsmoker may be the most important step you can take for your health.
Eat more fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans and less fat.
Limit alcohol to 1 drink per day if you are a woman and no more than 2 drinks per day if you are a man.
Limit salt (sodium) to 2400 mg per day.
Home blood pressure monitoring can be useful to ensure more continuous control of your blood pressure by enabling you to track it. Reporting what your blood pressure is outside of the office allows adjustments to be made to your medications, taking into account your blood pressure readings at multiple times, in multiple settings. Keep in mind, though, that your blood pressure varies throughout the day and is not the same number each time it is measured. For example, it may go up depending on the level of pain or stress you are experiencing.
Once your blood pressure is at target, we can reduce the frequency of both home and office monitoring. However, it is very important to continue your medications and healthy lifestyle behaviors to maintain control of your blood pressure.
If your blood pressure is above 180/100 and:
We make it easy to have your blood pressure checked. We take your blood pressure at every visit in most departments. My Medical Assistant (MA) can assist you with a routine check or follow-up on an abnormal reading. Home blood pressure monitors are also for sale in the Pharmacy or Health Education Center.
If your blood pressure is above your recommended target, we will discuss changes in your lifestyle to help you achieve the target. I recommend that you review our related health tools and classes for programs that may help you increase physical activity, eat healthier, quit smoking, and maintain a healthy weight.
I will often ask you to monitor your blood pressure between visits. If you have persistently high blood pressure, I will likely prescribe medications to manage blood pressure over the long term. We will continue to monitor your blood pressure and assess how your medication is working and make adjustments over time. If you have been diagnosed with hypertension or high blood pressure, we recommend checking your blood pressure at least once a year. If you are taking certain medications, I may recommend a yearly blood test.
Classes about hypertension management and other related topics are available through our Health Education Department.
You can connect with me in a variety of ways, depending on the situation and what is most convenient for you at the time. I am available online, by telephone, or in person.
If you need to talk with me after your visit or procedure, please call my office. You can also e-mail me with nonurgent issues from this website whenever it is convenient for you.
For general medical advice, our Appointment and Advice line is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
If you have more immediate concerns or issues while my office is closed, you can call the Appointment and Advice line. You will be connected with a nurse who can give you immediate advice.
Seek immediate medical care if:
Also Call 911 if you have signs of a stroke. These may include:
If you had surgery or a procedure, please call me if you notice any swelling, bleeding, redness, pain, or discharge at the incision site.
Take your medication exactly as prescribed. If you are having problems with your medicines or have any questions about any of the medications I have prescribed for you, let me know. Do not stop taking them without notifying me.
Having all of our Kaiser Permanente departments located together or nearby, including pharmacy, laboratory, radiology and health education, makes getting your care easier for you.
Another major benefit is our comprehensive electronic medical record system which allows all of the doctors and clinicians involved in your care to stay current on your health status and to collaborate with each other as appropriate.
When every member of the health care team is aware of all aspects of your condition, care is safer and more effective.
We will work together to monitor and assess how your medications are working and make adjustments as needed. Prescriptions can be filled at any Kaiser Permanente pharmacy. Just let me know which pharmacy works best for you and I will send the prescription electronically in advance of your arrival at the pharmacy.
If refills are needed in the future, you can:
For lab tests, I will use our electronic medical record system to send the requisition to the Kaiser Permanente laboratory of your choice. For imaging procedures we will schedule an appointment with the radiology department. When the results are ready I will contact you with your results by letter, secure e-mail message, or phone. In addition, you can view most of your laboratory results online, along with any comments that I have attached to explain them.
My specialty colleagues are readily available to assist me if I need additional advice about your condition. In some cases, I may contact them during your visit, so we can discuss your care together. If we decide you need a specialty appointment after that discussion, we can often schedule it the same day or soon thereafter.
As part of our commitment to prevention, additional members of our health care team may contact you to come in for a visit or test. We will contact you if you are overdue for cancer screenings or conditions which may require monitoring.
My goal is to provide high quality care and to offer you choices that make your health care convenient. I recommend that you become familiar with the many resources we offer so that you can choose the services that work best for you.
My Doctor Online is available 24/7 so that you can access and manage your care where and when it is most convenient. From my home page you can:
If you have an emergency medical condition, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. An emergency medical condition is any of the following: (1) a medical condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that you could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in serious jeopardy to your health or body functions or organs; (2) active labor when there isn't enough time for safe transfer to a Plan hospital (or designated hospital) before delivery, or if transfer poses a threat to your (or your unborn child's) health and safety, or (3) a mental disorder that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that either you are an immediate danger to yourself or others, or you are not immediately able to provide for, or use, food, shelter, or clothing, due to the mental disorder.
This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of specific medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other health care professional. If you have persistent health problems, or if you have additional questions, please consult with your doctor. If you have questions or need more information about your medication, please speak to your pharmacist. Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the medications or products mentioned. Any trade names listed are for easy identification only.