Christina DeBusk February 12, 2016
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one out of every three adults in the United States, roughly 70 million people in total, currently has issues with high blood pressure.
While this statistic is scary enough, they go on to say that only a little over half (52 percent to be exact), have this potentially life-threatening condition under control. This may be contributing to the estimated 1,000 people a day dying of heart related conditions.
While there are some organs a person can live without such as your gall bladder and even one of your kidneys, the heart is one organ that is absolutely necessary in order to survive. That makes taking care of it and nurturing its health not only critical to having a long, healthy life, but to having a life — period. One way to help your patients do that naturally is with the help of chiropractic care.
Chiropractic for lower blood pressure
Many studies have found that regular chiropractic visits can help lower blood pressure, sometimes the equivalent a double dose of blood pressure medication.
One study conducted by the University of Chicago involved 50 individuals who had both high blood pressure and spinal misalignments in their neck area. After just one chiropractic treatment session which involved specialized adjustment of the C-1 vertebra, the individuals involved in the study had dramatically dropped blood pressures which stayed at these lower rates for as many as eight weeks. The researchers further noted that this “decrease was equal to taking two blood-pressure drugs at once.” The study points out some DCs feel so strongly about the positive effects of treating this one particular vertebra that they have limited their practice to just this portion of the spine.
Another study found similar positive blood pressure results and was published in the March 2015 edition of the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. In this case, 20 individuals were studied to determine what effect upper and lower cervical spinal manipulation had on their blood pressure and heart rate. After engaging in upper cervical spinal manipulation therapy, the researchers reported that the participants had lower systolic blood pressures. They also reported experiencing less pain upon conclusion of the treatment sessions.
Helping patients gain control
In some cases, people need medication to help control their blood pressure but, as you can see, chiropractic may also help keep it at lower and safer levels. Additionally, to help your patients get their blood pressure to healthier levels, the Mayo Clinic provides other suggestions for lowering blood pressure without using medication which include:
- Losing weight if they weigh more than is healthy for their frame
- Increasing their level of physical activity, aiming for at least one-half hour of exercise per day on average
- Consuming a diet full of heart-healthy foods such as fruits, veggies, whole grains, and low-fat dairy
- Decreasing salt intake by choosing foods lower in sodium, putting the salt shaker away, and limiting the amount of processed foods they consume
- Drinking no more than one alcoholic beverage a day, or two drinks a day if they are a man under the age of 65
- Stop smoking
- Reducing the amount of caffeine they drink
- Cutting their stress levels
The sooner they get their blood pressure under control, the better it is for their heart in both the short and long-term.