Research shows that chiropractic and high blood pressure combined can be an effective, safe treatment for the malady without the side effects associated with medication
Chiropractic and high blood pressure are not normally associated, but research is showing positive results when the two are combined for lowering hypertension. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a leading cause of death among adults in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hypertension was either a primary or secondary factor in almost half a million deaths in the United States, just in 2017.
That worked out to almost 1,300 deaths each day for that year.1 Furthermore, most adults with high blood pressure do not have it properly controlled. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that only one in four adults with hypertension (24%) has it under proper control.1
As many as half of the 30 million hypertensive adults who require medication to control their condition are currently not taking any medication at all. Additionally, the burden of high blood pressure is not just in terms of mortality or morbidity. The financial cost of high blood pressure, averaged over 12 years (2003-14), added up to approximately $131 billion dollars each year.1
Side effect issues from medication
Given these numbers, a sizeable number of your patients are likely struggling with high blood pressure. They may also be frustrating by a number of the adverse side effects commonly associated with hypertension medication, including:
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Drowsiness, tiredness, or lack of energy
- Nausea or vomiting
Fortunately, there has been some research showing that chiropractic and high blood pressure combined can be an effective, safe treatment for the malady without the side effects associated with medication.
Chiropractic and high blood pressure research
The prevalence of high blood pressure among African Americans is one of the highest in the world. African Americans also have an earlier onset of the disease, often with more severe symptoms.
To that end, a 2013 article in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine examined the effect of chiropractic and high blood pressure in a group of 24 African American patients with either pre-hypertension or mild hypertension.2 All study subjects received spinal manipulation during each of 23 visits. Three blood-pressure readings were taken at baseline, and then again at visits 21, 22, and 23. The researchers found that those study subjects with mild hypertension had significantly lower readings for both their diastolic and systolic blood pressure numbers.2
A 2017 study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine conducted a meta-analysis to examine the effects of cervical, high-velocity, low-amplitude manipulation on range of motion, strength, and high blood pressure.3 A meta-analysis study groups together the results from a number of smaller studies on the same topic. By examining the results for similarities, patterns can emerge that strengthen the overall findings.
In the case of this study, the grouped findings revealed that cervical HVLA manipulation did have a positive effect upon blood pressure. The researchers concluded by suggesting that larger studies could strengthen the association between HVLA manipulation and lower blood pressure.3
High blood pressure can be a devastating disease, and many patients struggle to comply with taking medication. Fortunately, chiropractic can offer a safe, effective alternative.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Facts about Hypertension. https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/facts.htm?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fdhdsp%2Fdata_statistics%2Ffact_sheets%2Ffs_bloodpressure.htm Reviewed Feb. 25, 2020. Accessed Feb. 28, 2020.
- McMasters KL, Wang J, York J, et al. Blood pressure changes in African American patients receiving chiropractic care in a teaching clinic: A preliminary study. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 2013;12(2):55-59.
- Galindez-Ibarbengoetxea X, Setuain I, Andersen LL, et al. Effects of cervical high-velocity low-amplitude techniques on range of motion, strength performance, and cardiovascular outcomes: A review. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2017;23(9):667-675.