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February Heart Healthy Awareness
Chiropractic Benefits for a Healthy Heart
While most of the focus involving heart health has revolved around diet, exercise and prescription medications, there's some indication that certain chiropractic procedures could help to improve the overall health of the heart. Adjustments to the spine may lower blood pressure in individuals suffering from hypertension and provide a better heart rate for everyone.
Systolic Blood Pressure
In a study conducted by the Department of Preventive Medicine at Rush University in 2007, realignment of the atlas vertebrae, also known as the C1 vertebrae of the cervical spine, can help to lower systolic blood pressure in people suffering from hypertension. Systolic blood pressure is the topmost number in a blood pressure reading. It's the pressure felt along the arterial walls when the heart contracts. There appears to be a link between compression of the vertebral artery and an unhealthy elevation in blood pressure. By realigning the C1 vertebrae in the neck, restriction along the arterial wall is relieved and you may experience a decrease in blood pressure. Further studies are necessary to ensure that chiropractic realignment could improve systolic blood pressure.
Diastolic Blood Pressure
The study conducted by the Department of Preventive Medicine at Rush University also found that this same realignment of the C1 vertebrae affected diastolic blood pressure, which is the bottom number in a blood pressure reading that indicates arterial pressure when the heart is at rest. The same principles apply to the effect that arterial compression within the spine could lead to an elevation in diastolic blood pressure. When the C1 is realigned, the compression is removed from the artery and thereby lowers diastolic blood pressure.
There's also some indication that adjustments to the cervical spine, which are the seven vertebrae found in the neck, may help lower your heart rate. This is largely due to the eight pairs of cervical nerves located within this area of the spine. The Upper Cervical Health Centers of America believe that interferences within these nerves can cause many health conditions, including those that affect the heart. When the cervical spine is placed in alignment, the nervous system is allowed to better communicate with the rest of the body. In relation to the heart, the improved communication can help bring your heart rate down to a healthy level.From the