Chiropractic Care and Blood Pressure

Latest findings show Chiropractic can help reduce blood pressure.

More than 3.6 million Australians over the age of 25 have high blood pressure or are on medication for the condition, but findings recently released by the Chiropractors’ association of Australia indicate there is a non-drug alternative that can lower abnormal blood pressure in healthy bodies by 7.8% – 13%.

The latest findings published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Vol, 24,No.2,by Dr Gary Knutson DC., show chiropractic adjustments to the upper neck can lower systolic blood pressure almost immediately.

According to Dr Laurie Tassell, National Spokesperson for the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia, a chiropractic pilot study involving 80 people found there is a relationship between the upper neck vertebrae and the body’s natural blood pressure control reflexes.

“With gentle chiropractic adjustment to the upper neck, blood pressure can be lowered, with good results measured for older patients in particular,” he said.

Traditionally the causes of blood pressure, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, have been linked to excess weight, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, dietary salt intake and nutrition patterns with low intake of fruit and vegetables and a high intake of saturated fat.

Data from the 1999-2000 study of general practice activity in Australia shows that high blood pressure is the most common problem managed by general practitioners, accounting for 6% of all problems managed.

“This is where the results of our finding are significant, because chiropractic spinal adjustments may be able to reduce a patient’s blood pressure and in conjunction with visits to their local GP, the level of prescribed drugs may be significantly reduced,” said Dr Tassell.

A report by the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study found that in 1999-2000, more than 3.6million Australians over the age of 25 had high blood pressure, which equates to 31% of men and 26% of women.

“These chiropractic research findings and the affect of high blood pressure on the Australian population provide a good foundation to recommend further studies involving larger groups for more detailed testing,” said Dr Tassell.

Further to this the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia hope to conduct further studies to identify direct connections between joint problems and muscle tension, and its effects on the nerve reflexes.

“The benefit of chiropractic care is that it is a drugless, painless, and surgically free approach to good health, with the goal of helping allow the body to function and repair itself,” said Dr Tassell.

Chiropractic management of a hypertensive patient: a case study. Plaugher G. Bachman TR.

A case study of a 38 year old male presented with a complaint of hypertension of 14 years duration and side effects of medication (minipress and Corgard) which included bloating sensations, depression ,fatigue and impotency. Chiropractic analysis revealed vertebral subluxation complex at levels Cervical 6-7,Thoracic 3-4,and 7-8 motion units (vertabrae).

After three visits the patient’s M.D. stopped the Minipress and reduced the Corgard. After six adjustments corgard was reduced again. All medications were stopped after seven adjustments. Medication side effects had abated as well.

After 18 months patients blood pressure remained at normal levels.
High blood pressure is something many people suffer from and yet, in most cases the cause is unknown.

Case studies showing changes in blood pressure after Chiropractic care are becoming more and more abundant. Although not a treatment for any disease Chiropractic is designed to maximize life and boost the bodies recuperative powers. Chiropractic teaches us to remove all interferences with body function (subluxation) and to seek out more natural, conservative methods before submitting to more radical (drug and surgical) approaches. Exercise, rest and emotional care, along with a healthy spine and nervous system are all vital for optimal health and well – being. Explore them all.

“While results cannot be predicted for a particular hypertensive patient, a therapeutic trial of chiropractic co-management would seem to be warranted, especially when dysfunction is identified in relevant spinal areas. Proper lifestyle advice and medical care should be concurrent with a regime of adjusting. The authors advise close monitoring of blood pressure for all chiropractic patients on anti-hypertensive medication…the combined effects of the adjustment and the medication might drive a patient’s blood pressure below normal.” From Weber M. and Masarsky C, Eds. Neurological Fitness Vol.2 No.3 April 1993.

The types and frequencies of nonmusculoskeletal symptoms reported after chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy. Leboeuf -Yde C, Axen I, Ahlefeldt G, et al. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Nov/Dec 1999:22(9) 559-64.

“How frequently [do] patients report nonmusculoskeletal symptomatic improvements and [what are] the types of such reactions that patients believe to be associated with chiropractic.”

Twenty consecutive patients from 87 Swedish chiropractors answered questionnaires on return visits. A total of 1,504 questionnaires were completed and returned. Twenty-three per cent of patients reported improvement in nonmusculoskeletal symptoms, including:

  • Easier to breathe (98 patients)
  • Improved digestive function (92)
  • Clearer/better/sharper vision (49)
  • Improved circulation (34)
  • Less ringing in the ears (10)
  • Acne/eczema better (8)
  • Dysmenorrhoea better (7)
  • Asthma/allergies better (6)
  • Sense of smell heightened (3)
  • Reduced blood pressure (2)
  • Numbness in tongue gone (1)
  • Hiccups gone (1)
  • Menses function returned (1)
  • Cough disappeared (1)
  • Double vision disappeared (1)
  • Tunnel vision disappeared (1)
  • Less nausea (1)