Chiropractic care may help restore your body’s normal, homeostatic balance through the adjustment of misalignments of the vertebra in your spine. These misalignments are called subluxations. Subluxations are interference to your nervous system, that causes adverse effects such as an elevation in blood pressure
Everyone with a spine is subject to subluxations because we all live in this world where our bodies are being asked to adapt to physical, chemical and emotional stress. The inability to adapt can cause subluxations. Getting checked and adjusted by a chiropractor regularly may reduce pressure on the spinal column and allow the brain and body to communicate most effectively.
According to a placebo-controlled study, chiropractic care can significantly lower high blood pressure. Study leader, Dr. George Bakris, MD, director of the University of Chicago, Hypertension Center, reports ‘[The chiropractic adjustment] has the effect of not one, but two blood-pressure medications given in combination, and it appears to be adverse-event free. We saw no side effects and no problems.’
After receiving an adjustment, 25 patients with high blood pressure (in the early stages), had significantly lower blood pressure than 25 patients who received a placebo adjustment. The chiropractic technique used was gentle. Patients did not know whether they were in the control group or the study group.
None of the patients were administered blood pressure medication during the eight-week study. Participants were fully assessed after their adjustment and at the end of eight weeks. There was no significant change noted in the participants’ heart rate.
Those who received the chiropractic adjustment saw a drop in systolic blood pressure at an average of 14 mm Hg and an average of 8 mm Hg drop in diastolic blood pressure. (Systolic is the top number, diastolic is the bottom.)
Additionally, X-ray evidence demonstrated that the atlas vertebra, the first bone in the neck, located directly underneath the brain, was re-aligned in the study group, and not in the control group.
The Power of Chiropractic Care
The misalignment of the atlas vertebra is significant. As little as half a millimeter of misalignment of the atlas can pinch the base of the brain. This may result in symptoms such as:
- immune issues
- crossed eyes
- throat problems
- thyroid issues
- decreased metabolism
- high blood pressure
Chiropractors often look to the atlas first as the cause of much dysfunction in the body. A misalignment of the atlas is not always associated with pain thus may go undetected unless assessed by a Doctor of Chiropractic.
Some Earlier Studies
Chiropractic adjustments may result in improvement in blood pressure in other studies as well. The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics in December, 1988, randomly assigned patients to one of three groups. One group received active chiropractic care, one group placebo chiropractic care, and one group received no care at all.
Results indicated that ‘[elevated] high blood pressure decreased significantly in the active group, where as no significant changes occurred for the placebo and control [groups].’
As demonstrated by these studies, chiropractic care can gently, naturally and effectively help reduce high blood pressure. The adjustment of subluxations, including the adjustment of the atlas bone has been shown to lower blood pressure. Everyone with a spine is subject to subluxations, so getting checked and adjusted regularly ensures that your brain and body are functioning at their optimal levels.