Blood Pressure and Chiropractic

Maintaining healthy blood pressure is essential for a healthy heart. Along with regular exercise, good nutrition and managing stress, chiropractic adjustments can make a big difference in blood pressure. Many studies show that following a chiropractic adjustment to misaligned (subluxated) areas of the spine, high blood pressures can drop dramatically. In 1 study, the results were as good as a combination of 2 medications, without the negative side effects of the medications. It’s exciting to know that it is possible for your body to function as it should, naturally. This is another reason great reason to see your chiropractor for regular spinal check-ups. Your heart will love you for it.

Two exciting studies were recently published which received extensive play in the popular press. The first relates to significant changes in blood pressure hypertensive patients receiving atlas adjustments. A Chicago-area study of 50 individuals with a subluxated atlas and high blood pressure showed that after a one-time specialized chiropractic adjustment, blood pressure decreased significantly. The results are published in the Journal of Human Hypertension. The authors noted that “displacement of C-1 can occur without pain and thus, often goes undetected and untreated.” [1,2]

An article on WebMD [3] reported the results of a placebo-controlled study. “This procedue has the effect of not one, but two blood pressure medications given in combination,” study leader George Bakris, MD, tells WebMD. “And it seems to be adverse event free. We saw no side effects and no problems,” adds Bakris, director of the University of Chicago hypertension center. Eight weeks after undergoing the procedure, 25 patients with early stage high blood pressure had significantly lower blood pressure than 25 similar patients who underwent a sham chiropractic adjustment. Because patients can’t feel the technique, they were unable to tell which group they were in. X-rays showed that the procedure realigned the atlas vertebra with the spine in the adjusted patients, but not in the sham treated patients. Compared to the sham treated patients, those who received the real procedure saw an average 14mm Hg greater drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure count), and an average 8 mm Hg greater drop in dialostic blood pressure (the bottom blood pressure number). None of the patients took blood pressure medicine during the eight-week study. “When the statistician brought me the data, I actually didn’t believe it. It was way too good to be true,” Bakris says. “The statistician said, I don’t even believe it. But we checked for everything and there it was.

A second article reported on spectacular decreases in the utilization of medical services, and their attendant costs, when DC’s were used as primary care providers. In an Independent Care Association (IPA) which permitted patients to select a doctor of chiropractic as their primary care physician, clinical and cost utilization based on 70,274 member months over a seven-year period demonstrated decreases of 60.2% in-hospital admissions, 59.0% hospital days, 62.0% outpatient surgeries and procedures, and 85% pharmaceutical costs when compared with conventional medicine. [4]

If you or someone you know have high blood pressure, the first step is to come in for an assessment to determine if stress of the nervous system might be a contributing factor. We see many of our patient’s blood pressure problems improve and even resolve after receiving chiropractic care. While chiropractic care is not a cure or treatment for high blood pressure, people do say they often improve after receiving chiropractic care. Many sufferers of high blood pressure have previously experienced traumas, injuries or impacts to their neck or head which have caused subluxations.

At Chiropractic Arts Center of Austin, P.C., our approach is very specific and effective. We will begin with a detailed consultation, examination, and x-rays (except in inappropriate situations), so that we know exactly what your problem is. We would also rule out any conditions which would not be appropriate for care in our office and direct you to the appropriate type of provider if necessary. We want to know what your goals are and what you would like to do that you are currently missing out on. With the information we find upon your visit, combined with your goals, we will create a customized care plan to correct the problem. At Chiropractic Arts Center of Austin, P.C., our goal is to help you return to full function and vitality as quickly as possible.

​​​​​​​Are you ready to see if chiropractic can help you? Contact Us for more information or Request An Appointment today! You are worth it!

2. Bakris G, Dickholtz M, Meyer PM, et al: “Atlas vertebra realignment and achievement of arterial pressure goal in hypertensive patients: a pilot study.” Journal of Human Hypertension 2007: 1-6
3. “Study finds special atlas adjustment lowers blood pressure.”
​​​​​​​4. Sarnat RL, Winterstein J, Cambron JA: “Clinical utilization and cost outcomes from an integrative medicine independent physician association: an additional 3-year update.” J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2007; 30(4): 263-269.

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