Can Chiropractic Lower High Blood Pressure?

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.

Lower Back Pain? No Drugs First: Chiropractic in Edmonds

Recommending Non-Drugs for Lower Back Pain

The American College of Physicians recommends, that instead of medications or surgery for low back pain of any etiology, the use of spinal manipulation or any non-invasive and non-drug therapy is a more appropriate and a safer alternative. This is based on an updated clinical practice guideline that the same body previously issued in 2007. Jointly, the ACP and the American Pain Society issued three recommendations as guidelines to all practitioners who treat patients with LBP (lower back pain).

The first recommendation targets patients with acute to subacute LBP that generally resolves over time even without treatment or regardless of treatment. Any one of these modalities can be selected: superficial heat treatment, massage, acupuncture, or spinal manipulation. Should drugs be necessary, the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs) or skeletal muscle relaxants can be prescribed.

As for the moderate cases of LBP, strong recommendations include exercise, multidisciplinary rehab, acupuncture and stress reduction. Other modes have low quality evidence, but nonetheless highly recommended: tai chi, yoga, motor control exercises, progressive relaxation, electromyography biofeedback, low-level laser therapy, operant therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, or spinal manipulation.

The joint bodies last recommendation pertains to the use of drugs as LBP treatment. It says that only if the above therapies have failed to achieve the results, patients can consider drug treatment, as NSAIDs for first-line, Tramadol or Duloxetine as second-line, and opioids if the other drugs fail and only if the benefits outweigh the risks. This recommendation is weak, but evidence-based quality is moderate. The use of drugs must be in conjunction with adequate patient education, active lifestyle and self-care.

Chiropractic Relief Available in Edmonds

While a host of modalities are available to suffering patients of low back pain, it is good to know that the knowledge and experience of chiropractic professionals in Edmonds can well guide you to a non-drug solution for lower back pain.

Ergonomic Principles from Chiropractic in Edmonds

Redesigning Your Workspace to Beat Back Pain

Hunching your shoulders, craning your neck, and sloughing on your chair are some of the normal things you do while sitting, working at your workstation. However, doing all these consistently in an 8-hour workshift are bad, very bad, for your neck and back. Your slight discomfort at the start can turn into a painful ordeal even when you’re back home resting. It’s time to think ergonomics!

Look at your workstation and examine it. Imagine yourself as you toil away the hours, sitting as you do. The top of your desk should be at the height of your elbow, not higher or lower than, so you don’t have to stretch your arm or hunch your shoulders just to type on keyboards and look at the screen monitor. Your elbows should be approximately 90 degrees to your keyboard. A keyboard too high will make you shrug your shoulders constantly and tire your muscles there, stressing your spine. You need your keyboard 2 inches above your thighs and the mouse adjacent to it at the same height.

Your screen monitor should be about arms length from you; too close, you will force your neck to crane, and too far will have you leaning forward. The top of the screen should be at eye level, while the screen center, 15-20 degrees below eye level. This way you’ll be sitting straight and your head, neck, and torso all face the same direction. Your chair this time. You have to have a backrest to support your back, keep the backs of your knees a couple of inches away from the chair edge, your feet should be flat on the floor, your thighs parallel to the floor. Remember your chair is your crucial support to your back.

Do shift on your seat once in a while, alternate standing and sitting, and walk around a few minutes to get your circulation going during breaks. All these tips will help to fight neck and back pain, making you more efficient and stress-free.

Back Pain Ergonomics from Chiropractic in Edmonds

Know more about how to relieve yourself of back and neck pains in and out of work from your trusted chiropractic doctor in Edmonds.