Spinal Manipulation and High Blood Pressure
Back in 2007, there was a report from the University of Chicago Hypertension Center about a placebo-controlled trial that claimed a special chiropractic adjustment can significantly lower high blood pressure. The technique had the effect of two antihypertensive drugs and that there were no adverse reactions observed.
The study involved 25 patients with early-stage high blood pressure who were not on their medications during the 8-week trial. It was a double blind comparative study where 2 groups of similar patients received chiropractic adjustments of their spine, no one ever knowing which got the special adjustment. Radiographs showed the specific adjustment received by half of the cases where the atlas vertebra (or C-1), the bone at the very top of the spine, was realigned.
The results were impressive. Those 25 cases experienced an average drop of 14mm Hg of their systolic BP and an average 8mm Hg of their diastolic BP. The atlas vertebra can get locked out of line, even a few millimeters can cause loss of muscle control, sometimes painful, most times not.
Some researchers say that a misaligned C-1 can impede blood flow to the arteries at the base of the skull, or that the disturbed bone releases pain signals that make the arteries contract. Whether chiropractic can fix the injuries is not yet conclusive. More studies are needed.
But then, in 2015, another double-blind study reported “specific thoracic spinal manipulations affected three measures: blood pressure, pulse rate, and changes in hypertension (high blood pressure).” While these claims still lack conclusiveness, chiropractors everywhere continue to utilize spinal manipulation to address musculoskeletal issues. It is good that it can relieve back and neck pains, and able to address certain cardiovascular issues.
If you have high blood pressure, it may be helpful that aside from your medications and healthy lifestyle, chiropractic care may be added for good measure.
A Chiropractor for Healthy Blood Pressure
Talk to your doctor of chiropractic in Edmonds and ask about healthy living. Get relief for your neck and back pains. And do you have high blood pressure, too? Let’s look at your atlas vertebra.