Can Chiropractic Help with High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure is a fairly common condition, with the NHS estimating that 18% of adult men and 13% of adult women have elevated blood pressure. Furthermore, they state that half of the people over 75 years of age have high blood pressure. But what is high blood pressure, and what does that mean for our bodies and our health?
What is High Blood Pressure?
The ideal blood pressure is typically 120/80 mmHg. What does that measurement mean? Blood pressure is measured by the amount of pressure that blood traveling through your body will exert on the artery walls holding it. It is measured in millimeters of mercury or mmHg. The two numbers represent systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure refers to the pressure exerted on the blood vessels when your heart beats and pushes the blood flow through your arteries, and diastolic blood pressure refers to the pressure in between each beat of your heart.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is defined as having a sustained blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg or above.
How does High Blood Pressure affect the body?
Often, people with high blood pressure will not know that they have hypertension, as it can often present with little to no symptoms. They will often find out when their healthcare practitioner will measure their pressure on an average visit. However, high blood pressure can cause headaches, blurred or double vision, regular nosebleeds, or shortness of breath.
High blood pressure itself often can put a person at risk for developing other health issues such as coronary heart disease, stroke, and heart attack. Furthermore, diabetes and kidney disease have been linked to complications with high blood pressure.
Causes of High Blood Pressure
Oftentimes there is no single identifiable reason for a rise in blood pressure, but there are often factors and things that can place a person more at risk for developing hypertension. Those over 75 years of age are more prone for hypertension, as well as those with poor diet, who have a lack of exercise, people who are overweight, or those who excessively consume alcohol.
High blood pressure can also occur during pregnancy and is often a sign of larger issues, so often pregnant women will be regularly screened and measured for hypertension throughout the course of their pregnancy.
High blood pressure can also be impacted by spinal misalignments. Particularly of the atlas vertebra, or the C-1 vertebra, the first bone in your spine.
Treatments for High Blood Pressure
Often some of the first recommendations for treating and preventing high blood pressure are eating a healthy diet, regularly exercising, and reducing alcohol consumption. But one of the most effective but less well-known methods for blood pressure regulation is chiropractic adjustments.
A study published by the Journal of Human Hypertension showed that regular adjustments of the atlas vertebra showed to decrease high blood pressure at a comparable level to taking two high blood pressure medications.
How can Chiropractic adjustments help with Hypertension?
The atlas bone, also known as the C-1 vertebra is a very important bone in the nervous system as it is the top of the spine and the first bone surrounding the spinal cord once it exits the skull. And as the nervous system controls the cardiovascular system through the spinal cord, misalignments here can apply pressure on the spinal cord and contribute to poor communication throughout the system. By restoring good alignment to that bone and relieving pressure exerted by the spinal misalignment, the body is able to communicate perfectly with the cardiovascular system and better regulate blood pressure. The study showed that C1 misalignments when corrected, improved both systolic and diastolic blood pressure to similar levels as hypertensive patients who take two blood pressure medications together.
Schedule your chiropractic evaluation today and see how chiropractic care can help your overall health!