How Chiropractic Adjustment Can Help Lower Blood Pressure
Every one in three adults in the U.S. suffers from hypertension, making it essential to consider the effectiveness of various treatments. If you’re looking for a method to lower your blood pressure in addition to medication, chiropractic care may be a non-pharmaceutical treatment option for you.
What Research Says
Research indicates that a particular chiropractic adjustment may help lower high blood pressure. This adjustment involves aligning the C-1 vertebra (also known as the Atlas vertebra) with the spine. The Atlas bone is one of the two upper cervical vertebrae at the top of the spinal column. Together with the second vertebra (known as the axis), the Atlas allows for the range of motion of your head.
A study found that people with early stage high blood pressure who had chiropractic manipulation of the upper neck had lower blood pressure than people who received a placebo treatment. After several weeks of chiropractic care, people in the pilot study saw a drop in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
The research looked at the outcome of a procedure that adjusts the Atlas vertebra. If the vertebra becomes pinched and locked in a position just a little out of alignment, that misalignment can upset some of the brain’s control centers.
A chiropractor will take measurements to determine the alignment of your Atlas vertebra before manipulating it. The vertebra is gently sliding back into the proper position through manual manipulation.
Some researchers believe that Atlas manipulation may help lower blood pressure because it can restore normal blood flow to the arteries at the base of the skull. When these arteries are not functioning properly, it puts extra strain on the heart. Restoring blood flow to these arteries takes some of the strain off the heart, lowering blood pressure.
How Other Factors May Contribute
Chiropractic care, including neck and lower back adjustments, can help lower blood pressure. Manipulating the spine can stimulate the nervous system, reducing the heart rate and blood pressure.
Stress on the spine can cause problems with the central nervous system. This, in turn, puts stress on the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system regulates things like heart rate and breathing. If it isn’t functioning correctly, it can lead to a rise in blood pressure.
Chiropractic adjustments relieve pain associated with injuries and may also help lower blood pressure. Pain and the high-stress levels that often accompany unmanaged chronic pain can contribute to high blood pressure.
If you’re under stress, your body releases cortisol and adrenaline stress hormones. These hormones constrict your blood vessels and heart beat faster when released into the bloodstream. Your blood pressure elevates as constricted blood vessels press blood against the walls of the arteries, increasing the pressure.
There is debate over whether stress is a direct cause of heart disease or if it will lead to other risk factors, such as high blood pressure. With chiropractic adjustment, you can get relief from pain caused by injuries or illnesses, which aids in healthy blood pressure and a healthy heart.
Medications used to lower blood pressure often come with undesirable side effects. It’s great to know chiropractic care can be a way to lower your blood pressure without any harmful side effects.
If you are looking for non-invasive methods to lower your blood pressure, neck and back pain, scoliosis, sciatica, and headaches, chiropractic adjustments may be the best option for you. Get in touch with Kindspine Chiropractic Center, Atlanta’s premier in-town chiropractic facility delivering advanced upper cervical chiropractic care for optimal healing and wellness.