On Jan. 2, 2014, the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research published a case study documenting the improvement of hypertension with chiropractic care. This study adds to the body of literature showing chiropractic as a possible alternative to medications for people with hypertension.
The study authors begin by noting that 37 billion dollars are spent each year on the treatment of hypertension. They also report that, According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hypertension is the most common cause of preventable death in developed countries. It is a major risk factor for cardiovascular conditions such as heart attacks and strokes which are the first and third leading causes of death in the US.
In this case, a 57-year-old man went to the chiropractor with a primary complaint of sciatic pain for a year and a half. He was also suffering from pain in both wrists for two years, and high blood pressure for the previous five years. The sciatic pain was sharp, and the wrist pain was affecting the man’s daily activity. The case history revealed that his hypertension was being treated with Lisinopril and Simvastatin.
A chiropractic examination revealed postural abnormalities including a short left leg, right head tilt, left lower shoulder, and a weight distribution problem that showed his right side to measure 20 pounds more than the left. Palpation of the spine revealed problems and sensitivity in the upper neck area. X-rays of the neck were also taken and confirmed malposition of the upper neck vertebrae, confirming the finding of subluxation in the upper neck.
Specific chiropractic adjustments were initiated to correct the subluxations. After 8 weeks of chiropractic care, a re-examination was performed. This examination revealed that the man’s sciatic pain had reduced by 90 percent, his wrist pain reduced by 70 percent, and his blood pressure had improved by 70 percent from his initial visit to the office.
After a few additional months, the study reports that the man’s blood pressure had improved 100 percent, and was to the point that the patient decided to take himself off all his blood pressure medications. His blood pressure continues to remain between normal and pre-hypertensive levels without the use of medications.
The study authors wrote in their conclusion, Since hypertension is a growing health concern for the public and billions are spent annually, the findings presented in this paper help support the role of chiropractic management beyond pain syndromes.