Chiropractics a method of diagnosis and treatment for neuromuscular and musculoskeletal disorders, with an emphasis on treatment through manual adjustment and manipulation of the spine.
Chiropractors believe in the intimate relationship between central and peripheral nervous system, and the spine. The derangement of the spine affects the nervous system.and that Restoration of structural integrity of the spine reduces pressure on neurological tissue, thereby improving the health of a person.
How does chiropractic adjustment help?
By realigning the spinal bones, chiropractic adjustments can harmonize the body’s natural systems. The realignment removes physiological pressure and congestion within the nervous system. When physiological stress is removed, the body is restored to optimal functioning, which in turn reduces hypertension.
Autonomous nervous system and high blood pressure
The nervous system directs physiological responses to stresses from the external environment. The central nervous system is surrounded by the skull and spine which protects it and bears the pull of gravity day after day. When the physiological stress from the environment becomes excessive, the structure of the spine is compromised and interferes with the working of the nervous system. When the central nervous system does not work optimally, the autonomous nervous system takes control of the vital processes of life. This development results in stress hormone secretion and inflammatory processes which can lead to high blood pressure in many individuals.
Study on how chiropractic care affects blood pressure
A study was conducted in the University of Chicago by Dr. Bakris, MD, and his team, to determine the effect of chiropractic adjustment on blood pressure. Two groups of 25 people each were the participants in this study. One group was given chiropractic sessions and the other group was given placebo effect chiropractic treatment.
After 8 weeks, the group which had chiropractic adjustment done on their upper cervical region had significantly lower blood pressure for both systolic count (top number count) by 14 Hg and diastolic count(bottom number count)by 8 Hg, compared to the second group who underwent placebo effect treatment. There were no side effects found on the group which benefited by the treatment.
Atlas Vertebra and hypertension
The chiropractic procedure that was used to treat hypertension requires the adjustment of the C-1 vertebra called atlas vertebra. There are two centers at the base of the brain that control all muscles in the body. If atlas moves even half a millimeter out of line, it upsets these centers. By realigning the atlas vertebra, blood flow to arteries is restored to normal,which helps bring down high blood pressure.
This technique cannot be used for all patients who have hypertension. According to Dr. Bakris, patients who can benefit from this technique have to be carefully identified. More research involving a greater number of patients and many more trials are needed before the atlas adjustment can become a normal practice for hypertension.
Chiropractic and heart disease
- Just as how blood pressure can be lowered with chiropractic treatment of the atlas vertebra, adjustments of neck bones and lower back can also stimulate specific reflexes of the nervous system, which brings down overall heart rate and blood pressure.
- Pain and stress are the major causative factors for heart diseases. Accidents or injuries cause pain and stress. Chiropractic adjustments can relieve such pain.
- Chiropractic care boosts vitality and immunity and relieves a number of musculoskeletal ailments. Proper chiropractic care also supports the heart and cardiovascular system.
Regular chiropractic treatment can help in the proper alignment of spinal bones,and can help regulate heart rate and blood pressure. Patients suffering from hypertension and other heart diseases may want to check out this non-invasive procedure.