Hypertension/High Blood Pressure

What causes Hypertension?

Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Each time your heart beats, it pumps out blood into the arteries. Your blood pressure is highest when your heart beats, pumping the blood. This is called systolic pressure. When your heart is at rest between beats, your blood pressure falls. This is the diastolic pressure.

Your blood pressure reading uses these two numbers, the systolic and diastolic pressures. Usually they are written one above or before the other. A reading of

120/80 or lower is normal blood pressure

140/90 or higher is high blood pressure

120 and 139 for the top number, or between 80 and 89 for the bottom number is prehypertension

High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, but it can cause serious problems such as stroke, heart failure, heart attack and kidney failure…

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

How do Chiropractors help Hypertension.

From the chiropractic approach there are a number of vertebra that effect blood pressure. This can be seen from the research studies below. However, there are two areas that we commonly treat. One is the first vertebra at the base of their skull. (atlas) If the muscles at this region go into spasm it restricts the vertebral arteries that feed into the skull. This will cause back pressure in the system and increase blood pressure.

Blood vessels are seen as the red wire looping in at the base of the skull. (see picture) These blood vessels (red wires) actually travel up through the neck vertebra. Ongoing neck tension can crimp these blood vessels and this creates the back pressure. Hypertension is the result..

The other region commonly treated are the vertebra that have the nerves regulating the kidney. Poor nerve supply from the spinal cord to the kidneys can result in inefficient or reduced filtration. When this occurs, the blood 'backs up' – and can be another cause for high blood pressure.

Here are some research studies.

Chiropractic management of a hypertensive patient: a case study. Plaugher G, Bachman TR. JMPT, 1993: accepted for publication. This is a case study of a male age 38 years who had suffered with hypertension for 14 years. Medication prescribed was (Minipress and Corgard). The side affects of the drugs was causing bloating sensations, depression, fatigue and impotency. The Chiropractic technique used was Gonstead. On analysis, vertebral subluxation was noted at levels C6-7, T3-4, and T7-8 motion units. After three treatments with the Chiropractor the Medical Practitioner stopped the 'Minipress' and started reducing 'Corgard'. Six visits later the 'Congard' was reduced again. All medications were stopped after seven adjustments. Furthermore, the medication side effects had abated as well. After 18 months patient's blood pressure remained at normal levels.

Preliminary study of blood pressure changes in normotensive subjects undergoing chiropractic care. McKnight ME, DeBoer KF, JMPT, 1988; 11:261-266. This study assessed seventy five patients. A number of specific chiropractic cervical adjustments where used. Both the readings reduced the systolic (high reading) and diastolic (low reading) significantly in the chiropractic group. No changes where noted in the placebo group.

Effects of chiropractic treatment on blood pressure and anxiety. Yates RG, Lamping DL, Abram NL, Wright C. JMPT 1988; 11:484-8. In this study two patient groups where assessed. One a treatment group and the other a placebo group. The authors state that the data "lend support to the hypothesis that chiropractic manipulation of the thoracic spine significantly reduces blood pressure in patients with elevated blood pressure." Both systolic (high pressure reading) and diastolic (lower pressure reading) decreased significantly in the adjusted group. No significant changes occurred in the placebo or control group.

The effect of cranial adjusting on hypertension: a case report. Connelly DM, Rasmussen SA Chiropractic Technique, May 1998; 10(2):75-78.

This paper describes the experiences of three hypertensive patients who underwent chiropractic sacro-occipital cranial technique.

  • One was a 73 year-old woman with a blood pressure of 170/100. Immediately following chiropractic care it was 120/78 and over the next few months measured 140/72.
  • The second patient was a 41 year-old woman with a blood pressure of 170/95. Cranial care resulted in her blood pressure dropping to and average of 147/90. She was instructed to remove her dental plate at night and a couple of times during the day and her blood pressure dropped to 130/90.
  • The third patient was a 74 year-old male on blood pressure medication who presented with blood pressure of 140/100. After a series of adjustments he was told by his Medical Doctor to reduce and eliminate medications. His blood pressure was reduced to 130/80 on his last visit.

Chiropractic can help

Chiropractors use this knowledge to create improvement for our patients. There are many more research studies done with favourable results. Call our Office to see if we can help.

DISCLAIMER This information is provided for Educational Purposes Only and has NOT been designed to diagnose, treat or cure any health conditions. Please consult a qualified Health Care Professional to diagnose your health conditions and avoid self-diagnosis.