Did you know that getting your neck adjusted could lower your blood pressure?
Yes, it’s true according to a recent study that was published in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension (volume 8 number 5 May 2006). Researchers found that anatomical abnormalities (subluxations or misalignments) of the cervical spine at the level of the Atlas vertebra are associated with relative ischemia of the brainstem circulation and increased blood pressure. Manual correction of this misalignment has been associated with reduced arterial pressure. This pilot study tested the hypothesis that correcting the misalignment of the Atlas vertebra reduces and maintains improved blood pressure. The study included 50 patients that were not taking medication and suffered from stage I hypertension. These patients were evaluated using a randomized, double blind, and placebo controlled study design at a single center. Patients received no medication during the eight week study session. After baseline measurements of their blood pressure were taken, they received either chiropractic adjustments or a placebo procedure. Considering that the technique performed was very gentle (no cracking), it was difficult or impossible for the patients to distinguish between the real chiropractic adjustment and false procedure. Statistical analysis was performed comparing the baseline with the results after the eight weeks of visits. The study demonstrated an 8/5 mm reduction in pressure at eight weeks versus the placebo group. In other words, a patient that entered the study with a blood pressure of 147/92, at the end of the study had a blood pressure of 130/82. The only treatment received was chiropractic adjustments to the cervical spine.
In my opinion, this is a landmark study. Chiropractic adjustments not only treat neck and back pain. They can affect the human physiology at all levels. Thomas Edison stated over 100 years ago: ” The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” This is what chiropractors do everyday all over the world!!