Chiropractic and High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure affects 108 million adults in the United States. Less than half of them have it under control. High blood pressure usually has no symptoms however increases the risk of stroke and heart disease. Because of this many take medications to help manage their high blood pressure, but those medications come with many side effects including:
· Diarrhea or constipation
· Dizziness or lightheadedness
· Erection problems
· Feeling nervous
· Feeling tired, weak, drowsy, or a lack of energy
· Nausea or vomiting
· Skin rash
· Weight loss or gain without trying
A study was done at The University of Chicago that showed that a specific adjustment of the atlas or C-1 vertebra causes an average reduction of 17 points in blood pressure. To match this effect from a single chiropractic adjustment, you’d have to take two blood pressure medications at the same time to see that big a drop. The atlas is the very top vertebra in your spine, so all the signals from the brain to the body pass this point. It makes sense that a subluxation at this critical area would have a profound effect on the rest of the body, including the blood vessels.
One of the main causes of that high blood pressure is stress. We all know that person who has said “My doctor doesn’t want me to get worked up because of my high blood pressure.” What happens is, the stressors in our life cause what is know as the “fight or flight” response of the body. This is caused by our sympathetic nervous system. Our body is priming itself to either run away from or fight whatever tripped this response. One of those responses is increasing our blood pressure so that blood can pump to the vital muscles needed to get away from the danger (or fight it). If we stay in this stressed state our blood pressure stays elevated and we never let our parasympathetic nervous system return it to normal.
Chiropractic help our body relax and puts it in a more parasympathetic state, therefore helping reduce our blood pressure.