Black tonometer and heart isolated on whiteAccording to Singapore’s Health Promotion Board (HPB), 1 in 4 Singapore residents aged 30 to 69 years have hypertension. The older you are, the more likely you are to have hypertension. In the 60 – 69 years age group, more than 1 in 2 persons have hypertension, putting them predisposed to heart disease, stroke, and number of medical issues. While taking antihypertensive medication as prescribed by your doctor is recommended, there are numerous non-pharmaceutical methods to manage blood pressure problems including, stress reduction, weight loss, and diet changes. Recent research suggests that utilizing chiropractic and high blood pressure could be promising.

Doctors from Sherman College of Chiropractic have found preliminary evidence that regular chiropractic care reduced blood pressure in middle-aged African Americans. Earlier studies have suggested that chiropractic adjustments can decrease blood pressure levels in patients with cervical spine dysfunction or anxiety. However there had been no age and racial-specific studies on the effects of chiropractic on hypertension.

Researchers conducted a non-randomized, non-controlled pragmatic study to evaluate the feasibility of a future clinical study. The findings are still considered preliminary, however since they support earlier findings, they are highly suggestive as to the potential effects chiropractic might have on blood pressure.

The study included 58 hypertensive individuals of African American descent who were over the age of 40. Patients received one year of chiropractic care for assorted spinal conditions, and their high blood pressure was taken three times throughout the course of the research.

They learned that in patients that has a BMI less than 50, diastolic hypertension significantly decreased throughout the course of treatment. Patients with a BMI higher than 50 (considered severely obese), did not witness the same drops in blood pressure. This lead researchers to suggest that obese patients could be “more resistant” to blood pressure reductions with regard to chiropractic care.

Chiropractic care isn’t the one and only hands-on therapy that can help with hypertension. A study published recently showed that massage decreased high blood pressure in pre-hypertensive women.

References:

Yates R.G., Lamping D.L., Abram N.L., Wright C. Effects of chiropractic treatment on blood pressure and anxiety: a randomized, controlled trial. Journal of  Manipulative and Physiological Therapy 1988;11(6):484–488. [PubMed]

McKnightM.E., DeBoer K.F. Preliminary study of blood pressure changes in normotensive subjects undergoing chiropractic care. Journal of  Manipulative and Physiological Therapy 1988;11(4):261–266. [PubMed]

Knutson G.A. Significant changes in systolic blood pressure post vectored upper cervical adjustment vs resting control groups: a possible effect of the cervicosympathetic and/or pressor reflex. Journal of  Manipulative and Physiological Therapy 2001;24(2):101–109. [PubMed]

Bakris G., Dickholtz M., Meyer P.M. Atlas vertebra realignment and achievement of arterial pressure goal in hypertensive patients: a pilot study. Journal of Human Hypertension 2007:1–6. [PubMed]