Chiropractic Treatments & Healthy Blood Pressure

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Filed Under: Heart Health, Blood Pressure
Last Reviewed 07/21/2014

Chiropractic Treatments & Healthy Blood Pressure

If you’re struggling to control high blood pressure, you might want to consider chiropractic treatments.

According to a study published in the Journal of Human Hypertension, unresolved high blood pressure may be related to a misalignment in the atlas (C-1) vertebra, which sits at the top of your spinal column. (It’s said to have been named after Atlas in Greek mythology, who was sentenced to hold the heavens on his shoulders.)

To test their idea, researchers divided 50 patients with chronic hypertension into two groups. One group received a single chiropractic treatment with manipulation of the atlas vertebra, and the other group received a nonsignificant adjustment.

After eight weeks, the patients who received the atlas manipulation chiropractic treatments showed a significant improvement in blood pressure levels. Their systolic readings dropped by an average of 14 points and their diastolic readings dropped by an average of 8 points—an improvement similar to that which can be achieved by taking medication.

Why Chiropractic Treatments for the Atlas Vertebra Matters

The reason for the improvement is related to the atlas vertebra’s unique shape. Unlike other spinal vertebrae, the atlas is relatively flat and depends solely on muscles and ligaments to remain properly aligned. This difference allows the skull to rotate freely but makes the atlas particularly vulnerable to displacement. Misalignment can potentially interfere with nervous tissue pathways in the brain stem and lead to high blood pressure.

Because C-1 misalignment does not typically result in pain, it usually remains undiagnosed and untreated. That’s why I recommend giving chiropractic treatments a try if your other efforts at lowering blood pressure naturally haven’t had the results you were hoping for. You may simply have a problem that you don’t know about. Once corrected, you’ll be on your way to healthy blood pressure and a healthy heart!

Now it's your turn: Have chiropractic treatments helped your blood pressure? 

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