Why did my blood pressure suddenly spike?

High blood pressure (aka hypertension) is something that you may think of as a chronic condition, and it certainly is. But did you know that some can experience sudden, sharp increases in blood pressure? We’re guessing if you’re reading this, you might have recently experienced a spike.

Also known as sudden high blood pressure, these increases can have a number of possible causes. While a singular spike isn’t always a cause for concern, if it’s happening regularly, they can lead to bigger health issues.

Here are some of the more common causes to keep an eye on and what you can do about them.

Sudden or acute pain

Turns out a stubbed toe, a vicious paper cut, or injuring your back can do more than wound your pride. Sudden or sharp pain can also bump up your blood pressure. Thankfully, it usually goes back to normal as soon as the shock of the pain subsides. We can’t say the same for any bruised egos.


Yet another reason to keep that resolution to drink more water. Hydration is the key to keeping your body running smoothly. So, don’t forget to refill that water glass, your heart will thank you.

You have to go

Oh, the irony. Yes, that water we just told you to drink can turn against you. As you might have guessed, this one has an easy fix. Basically, when you have to go – go. Yes, it’s that simple.

White coat effect

Yes, fear of the doctor’s office is a very real thing for some, and it can have some very real effects on your blood pressure.  Read our post on the white coat effect to learn how to tell the difference between white coat hypertension and regular hypertension, as well as ways to combat it.


This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but stress and anxiety can have a real impact on your health. If left unchecked, it can lead to blood pressure spikes and more. Addressing any obvious stressors and talking openly about your mental health with a medical professional can be the first steps to a healthier you.