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Rising heart beat on getting up, low blood pressure, pain in upper back. Causes and treatment?

This morning I was getting ready for work and my heart began to beat fast. I had been squatting down on the floor to get some shoes and came back up when it began beating fast. I checked it and heart rate was 137. This lasted for a few minutes and I noticed my blood pressure was fairly low 117 over 68. I had an ache in my upper back as well. What s the deal?
Asked On : Sun, 1 Apr 2012
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hello jlcatt,

Thank you for visiting

One mechanism for your increased heart rate & low blood pressure is an orthostatic explanation. When you squatting and then stood up, your blood pressure dropped from the change in position. Low blood pressure triggers an increased heart rate to promote a better circulation of blood throughout your body. This is benign and does not need any followup. Just be aware that a sudden change in position can affect your blood pressure.

Another, less benign, explanation is that the could be a cardiac problem. You do not give me any other symptoms so this would be more difficult to assess at this point. The American Heart Association lists the warning signs for heart attacks as:

Chest Pain: Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.

Discomfort/Pain in other areas of the upper body: Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

Shortness of breath with or without chest pain.

Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

If you experience any of these symptoms, please call 9-1-1 for assistance.

Be well,
Dr. Kimberly
Answered: Sun, 1 Apr 2012
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