The January 19, 2015, issue of the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research documents the case of a single chiropractic adjustment causing a long term lowering of high blood pressure in a patient with chronic hypertension. A previous study published in the Journal of Human Hypertension in 2007 showed positive changes in 25 patients over a 8 week period. This study followed the changes over a longer period of time.
According to the study, “…one in three people are diagnosed as hypertensive and are at risk for other cardiovascular related diseases such as heart attack, renal failure, stroke, and increased mortality.” The study reports that 55% of people being treated with drugs for hypertension still have the problem – meaning they continue to be at risk. The cost to the U.S. economy is estimated to be at $63.5 billion annually.
In this case study, a 55-year-old man came to the chiropractor with a history of having hypertension for 20 to 25 years. He did not have any other conditions or ailments that made him seek chiropractic. The man reported that he had been under regular medical care for his hypertension and had been put on a number of medications with no perceivable result in his blood pressure. The study noted that the man had also been on a restrictive diet to help with his blood pressure. His history also included a blow to the head 25 to 30 years ago.
A chiropractic examination was conducted which included a physical analysis, a postural analysis, leg length analysis, spinal x-rays, and thermography. The conclusion of these tests was that subluxation was present in the upper neck area.
A specific chiropractic adjustment was given to the patient and the patient was instructed to rest for 45 minutes. Prior to the first adjustment, the patient’s blood pressure was measured as being 180/110 mm Hg. After the first adjustment and the rest period, the patient’s blood pressure was again taken and was reduced down to 164/94 mm Hg.
The patient was seen regularly over a seven month period to monitor his subluxation and blood pressure. During this time, no additional chiropractic adjustments were given. At the end of the seven month period, his blood pressure continued to lower and was measured as 136/82 mm Hg. The study recorded that after 2 months of care, the patient discontinued some of the medication he was taking for his blood pressure. By the fourth month, he had discontinued all blood pressure medications.
The authors of the study summed up the results by saying, “This case report outlines a 55 year old male undergoing upper cervical chiropractic care with 20-25 years of hypertension not successfully managed with medication. After seven months of care and one upper cervical chiropractic adjustment his chief complaint of high blood pressure was reduced from 180/110 mm Hg to 136/82 mm Hg. This reduction occurred even though all hypertensive medications were eliminated and no change in the patients diet or weight.”