Blood Pressure In Arms: Sign Of Trouble?


Blood pressure is the pressure asserted by the blood against the wall of your arteries. While central blood pressure is the pressure in the aorta, the blood pressure in the arms is caused by blocked arteries in the arms, diabetes, or kidney disease.

Usually, only a slight blood pressure difference is noticed between both arms, however, if the difference is greater than 10 mmHg, it indicates potential health risk. The higher the difference, the higher the risk. 

Arm Blood Pressure Measuring Methods

Whenever you are checking your arm pressure, make sure you are seated well and that your back is supported so that you get an accurate reading. Generally, arm pressure is measured using a sphygmomanometer, but there are also automated blood pressure monitors that deliver the accurate reading of your blood pressure. 

The normal blood pressure in the arm is supposed to be around 120 mmHg, But if the readings of both hands show a difference of 20 or more mmHg, then it will be a matter of concern. This is why the international blood pressure guidelines have recommended examining the blood pressure of each arm at least during the first visit of the patient.

Arm Blood Pressure Measuring Methods

Several studies have also found that taking the blood pressure of both arms is an easy way to spot any health concerning risk factors. 

Factors Influencing Variation In Arm Blood Pressure Readings 

It is common to read different arm blood pressure. This excess pressure may have caused because of muscle compression in the artery supplying the arm. Other than these anatomical variations, vascular abnormalities like plaque deposition in the arteries may also cause hypertension. 

The causes may vary from person to person, however, this variation only indicates a potential risk. 

What Are The Troubles Expected? 

When there is a wide discrepancy between arms, you should take note that it is an indication of trouble. It could be anything from peripheral arterial disease to cardiovascular disease. Both these conditions are critical and you better not risk your life with any of that.

However, when you notice there is a significant difference between the readings of both arms, you must immediately look for diagnostic considerations. 

What Are The Diagnostic Methods Available? 

First of all, you need not think about diagnosis until you make sure that you have considered accurate blood pressure measurement techniques where proper cuff selection and the correct positioning of both arms and cuff are required. While checking the arm pressure, you must also ensure that you are sitting comfortably with back support. 

Now, when the reading indicates that something is wrong, then you should check for peripheral arterial disease, for which diagnostic methods like Doppler ultrasound and ankle-brachial index measurement are recommended. 

However, everyone must get individualized care for this condition. This is because not everybody is built the same. On top of that, a person’s characteristics and medical history have a lot to reveal about them, making individualized care a mandatory criterion instead of an option. Also, collaborating with healthcare providers is advised for optimal management. 

Future Advancements In Blood Pressure Assessment 

Although a class of people claims that science has reached the top of everything, conditions like this prove that it needs to be developed more. However, researchers have been making noticeable advancements, specifically, in non-invasive measurement techniques, it is feasible to assume that they will find a perfect direction in blood pressure assessment


Currently, accuracy is not given much importance and therefore accurate blood pressure assessment is not provided by every healthcare center.

The blood pressure in arms should be considered important to measure as it can detect any possible health risks associated with your arteries and heart health.

Dr. Jun Ren is a dedicated and experienced registered dietitian and nutritionist who is committed to helping people achieve their health goals through personalized nutrition plans. With a passion for promoting healthy eating habits and preventing chronic diseases, Dr. Ren has been able to assist numerous clients in improving their overall quality of life.

Leave a Comment