At this very moment you have blood pressure – everyone does! You need it to send your blood through your miles and miles of arteries and capillaries bringing oxygen and nutrition throughout your body. Every time your heart beats, it “pushes” your blood through your arteries and this is what we call blood pressure. You couldn’t live without it!
There is no “just right” blood pressure; 120 over 80 is just average. Your blood pressure can fluctuate for a variety of reasons: time of day, exercise, age, gender, emotional makeup, drug and alcohol use, emotional stress, and many more. When blood pressure is extremely low it is called hypotension and when it is abnormally high it is called hypertension.
In most cases, medical doctors do not know the cause of hypertension. These cases are referred to as ‘idiopathic’, ‘primary’, or ‘essential’. In some cases (secondary hypertension) there is a specific cause, often kidney disease or medication use like ibuprofen and other drugs.1
Most doctors try to lower blood pressure with prescription drugs. However, deeper questions have been posed such as “What is causing the blood pressure to rise?” , “Is high blood pressure serving a purpose?” and “Are we just treating symptoms?”. These questions are not usually addressed. While discussing these questions, one physician states that blood pressure “… really isn’t a disease in itself but is rather a symptom of smoking, obesity, or perhaps inactivity…perhaps physicians should stop taking blood pressures and should start weighing people and asking them about exercise, diet, smoking, and work habits.”2
An elevated blood pressure may help protect your brain and spinal cord from compression due to spine and structural stress.3-4 However, your body cannot keep this form of “protection” indefinitely. Eventually, a higher blood pressure can cause serious health problems.
Blood pressure medications can cause rash, hives, sensitivity to light, joint aches, confusion, impotence, weakness, dizziness, lack of energy, numbness in the extremities, depression, anger, moodiness, muscle spasms, and more. That is a big factor as to why so many medical professionals are investigating non-pharmaceutical approaches to treating hypertension. The late Robert Mendelsohn, MD said “Patients with coronary problems and high blood pressure and investigating…nutrition, allergy, acupuncture, chiropractic, biofeedback, meditation, and exercise…medical schools do not produce any physicians who possess this kind of knowledge.”5
One of the best things you can do for your blood pressure as well as the rest of your body is to see a chiropractor! Adjustments can be performed to correct subluxations that cause nerve stress. Studies and case histories have shown the normalizing effects that chiropractic adjustments have on individuals.6-11 In a study done with 50 patients with hypertension, chiropractic adjustments were found to help significantly lower blood pressure. The study concluded that “restoration of atlas alignment is associated with marked and sustained reductions in blood pressure.”12 In another study, 75 patients with abnormal blood pressure began chiropractic care. In addition to chiropractic care, dietary changes were also made with eliminating stomach-sleeping and high pillows. Before chiropractic care, the patients with hypertension had an average blood pressure of 163/93. After receiving care, it was 130/82. The patients with hypotension went from 100/67 to 114/76 after care.13
- Science News. September 24, 1994;146-200.
- Bernard RF: Letter to the editor. The People’s Doctor Newsletter. 1986;8(5).
- Ward LE. Spinal Column Stressology, Spinal Stress Seminars. Long Beach, CA: 1982.
- Hagen K et al. Does hypertension protect against chronic musculoskeletal complaints? The Nord-Trondelag health study. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2005;165(8):916-922.
- Mendelsohn RS. The People’s Doctor Newsletter. 1986;8(5).
- Bakris G, Dickholtz M Sr, Meyer PM et al. Atlas vertebra realignment and achievement of arterial pressure goal in hypertensive patients: a pilot study. Journal of Human Hypertension. 2007;21:347-352.
- Driscoll MD, Hall MJ. Effects of spinal manipulative therapy on autonomic activity and the cardiovascular system: a case study using the electrocardiogram and arterial tonometry. JMPT. 2000;23:545-550.
- Yates RG et al. Effects of chiropractic treatment on blood pressure and anxiety: a randomized, controlled trial. JMPT. 1988; 11(6):484-488.
- Crawford JP, Hickson GS, Wiles MR. The management of hypertensive disease: a review of spinal manipulation and the efficacy of conservative therapeusis. JMPT. 1986;9:27-32.
- Plaugher G, Meker W, Shelsy A, Lotun K, Jansen R. Randomized clinical trial of chiropractic adjustments and brief massage treatment for essential hypertension: a pilot study. Conf Proc Chiro Cent Found. July 1995;366-367.
- Welch A, Boone R. Sympathetic and parasympathetic responses to specific diversified adjustments to chiropractic vertebral subluxations of the cervical and thoracic spine. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 2008;7(3):86-93.
- Bakris G, Dickholtz M, Meyer PM et al. Atlas vertebra realignment and achievement of arterial pressure goal in hypertensive patients: a pilot study. Journal of Human Hypertension. 2007;21:347-352.
- Hood RP. Blood pressure, results in 75 abnormal cases. Digest of Chiropractic Economics. May/June 2974.