Cardiovascular disease has been the first or second leading cause of death for nearly 30 years. The staggering fact is that these numbers continue to rise despite the rise in prescription treatment. High blood pressure is a common objective measure that can indicate a person’s cardiovascular system is failing to work optimally.
Medical and Chiropractic journals continue to confirm that chiropractic, and Upper Cervical chiropractic more specifically, can be an effective approach for managing high blood pressure. Of course diet and lifestyle are important, but misalignments in the top of the neck are scientifically validated to be a major contributing factor for many people as well.
RELATED: See the studies in the Upper Cervical Neurodegenerative section. These studies confirm that proper alignment of the top bones in the neck are fundamental for expecting to have “normal” blood flow and Cerebral Spinal Fluid flow in and out of the brain/skull.
Journal Humam Hypertension, 2007
Correcting the Upper cervical misalignment in patients with chronic high blood pressure resulted in an 8 week sustained 14 point drop in systolic pressure! That’s the equivalent to 2 blood pressure medications!
Conclusion: These findings suggest realignment of the atlas does not simply lower ABP but may also be part of a systemic homeostatic mechanism not yet completely understood. The same adjustment that decreased hypertensive ABP measurements also increased hypotensive ABP measurements to more normal levels.
“The InM contains neurochemically diverse neurons and sends both excitatory and inhibitory projections to the NTS. These data provide a novel pathway that may underlie possible reflex changes in autonomic variables after neck muscle spindle afferent activation…. Activation of neck muscle spindle afferents via neck flexion can initiate an increase in heart rate, muscle sympathetic nerve activity, and arterial blood pressure.
“Additional evidence for the involvement of the suboccipital muscle group in the cervico-sympathetic reflex comes from changes in blood pressure associated with chiropractic manipulations of the C1 vertebrae (McKnight and DeBoer, 1988; Knutson, 2001), which would result in altering the length of fibers in the suboccipital muscle group. The projection from the InM to the NTS identified in this study therefore places it in an ideal position to mediate cardiorespiratory changes to neck muscle afferent stimulation, because the NTS is a major integratory area for autonomic control circuits.” (Potts, 2002)