Thursday, May 4, 2017

Benefits of Chiropractic: Blood Pressure Regulation

A 2014 randomized control study showed the positive effects that chiropractic adjustments to the neck can have on blood pressure and the autonomic nervous system.  The autonomic nervous system controls unconscious activities such as digestion, breathing, heartbeat, and blood pressure.  There are 2 divisions of the autonomic nervous system which are the sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions.  Fight or flight survival response is the sympathetic division, often seen as the "gas pedal" of your car (or your body).  On the opposite side the parasympathetic or the "brake pedal" to your car controls rest, growth, digestion, and relaxation.  This is the system in which we want to have in control, and to keep our sympathetic system out of overload mode.

When there is a subluxation, or nerve interference quite often in the upper cervical neck, is can drive our sympathetic system into a dominant state.  What this can mean is that we are stressed, having our body's physiology change and make our systems work in a "survival" mode.  For example, blood pressure will rise, release of increase of stress hormones, and the digestive system will slow as well as our immune system will suppress itself.  This leads to pain and disease.  During the study listed above, the findings proved adjustments to the upper and lower neck both shifted the body back into it's preferred parasympathetic state and decreased patients' blood pressure. By aligning the neck, the body was able to calm back into the "rest-relax-growth" system that it was meant to function in.

Win NN, Jorgensen AMS, Chen YS, Haneline MT.  Effects of Upper and Lower Cervical Spinal Manipulative Therapy on Blood Pressure and Heart Rate Variability in Volunteers and Patients With Neck Pain: A Randomized Controlled, Cross-Over, Preliminary Study.  Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 2015;14(1):1-9. doi:10.1016/j.jcm.2014.12.005.

Dr. Nicholas J. Knutson



10917 Black Dog Ln., Suite 101 

Charlotte, NC 28214

Tel (704) 394-8556

Fax (704) 395-8556

"If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special." JV

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