Chiropractic Care Can Improve Cardiac Function and Blood Pressure

Just when you were starting to think you understood the benefits of chiropractic care, along come another study to throw a monkey wrench into your ideas.  Because, the thing is, these studies are proving that chiropractic care has much more to offer than simple relief of neck or back problems.  Yes, as it turns out, the science and research is finally coming to ‘catch up’ with what doctors of chiropractic have been saying and practicing for over 100 years!

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Chiropractic is about your nervous system. Period.

Simple but true.

It always has been, too.  It’s just that it is easier to explain that the bones of your spine move and can become misaligned with respect to one another.  This doesn’t change the fact that along with these spinal contour changes comes alterations in function of other tissues, organs and even brain function!

For the purposes of this article, we’ll be focusing on the relationship between chiropractic and cardiac function and blood pressure changes.  Various chiropractic techniques have been demonstrated to show improved cardiovascular function as a result of appropriate chiropractic care.

What does this really mean?  What we’re really saying is that by working with your spine, we affect the function of your nervous system.  The nervous system is comprised of both up-regulating and down-regulating elements.  Specifically, there are two branches of the autonomic nervous system, known as the sympathetic (up-regulating) and parasympathetic (down-regulating).

These work in harmony to keep your body in a state of dynamic balance.  You can think of it like a gas pedal and a brake pedal.  You need both for your body to function at its optimum. When your body is able to adapt effectively, because of a flexible and adaptable nervous system, your body feels and functions better.

As it pertains to cardiovascular health, the vagus nerve helps to regulate the sinus rhythm of your heart and this relates with the overall tone of your blood pressure.  Of course, the kidneys, hormones and other pathology factors may lead to changes in cardiovascular function as well.  Keep in mind, however, that the other organs and tissue systems also have nerve system input and regulation.  It has also been shown that postural changes are associated with hormone function, breathing, heart rate and headaches.

In another article about heart rate variability, we’re discussing the benefits of chiropractic as well.  Briefly, the idea is that when your heart rate has a more variable frequency, that this is a reflection of a more dynamic and adaptable nervous system.

It’s a similar end result in terms of what happens, increase health and well being, it just depends on what you’re looking at or measuring. In the case of cardiovascular health, blood pressure is often one of the measured variables.  So, studies that show that chiropractic can lower blood pressure are the more published findings.

If you know anyone who is concerned about their blood pressure, cardiovascular health or is currently taking medication for same, but is looking for effective alternative approaches, have them contact our office.  We’d be happy to introduce them to the care that we provide and see if appropriate chiropractic care can lower their blood pressure.


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