Dr. Neal Lange DC
February is Heart Health Month. Many people suffer from tachycardia (fast heart beat) or hypertension (high blood pressure) and take medications to alleviate those irregularities but that only masks or temporarily fixes the problem. We need to look to the spine first!
Simply put, the nervous system is divided into 2 categories, sympathetic and parasympathetic. Like many things in life, a balance is necessary to thrive. When the parasympathetic system and the sympathetic system are balanced, the body will function at higher and more efficient levels. In regards to blood pressure, if the parasympathetic system is working less than it should and the sympathetic system is working more than it should, a result can be increased blood pressure and increased heart rate.
The area of the spine that protects the parasympathetic system is the upper neck, specifically the first and second neck bones (C1 and C2 respectively). If nerve irritation is caused by a subluxation (a bone out of place) in the upper neck, then blood pressure and heart rate can be increased. Chiropractic care can not only lower blood pressure and heart rate, it can safely correct the problem without medications. A study from 2015 showed a drastic 10 point reduction in systolic blood pressure after a chiropractor performed a spinal manipulation to the upper neck (C1).