High blood pressure also known as hypertension afflicts over 73 million Americans and kills over 50,000 people a year. For one in three people suffering from this condition, the traditional treatment is medication. The cause of hypertension is unknown, however, a recent study showed that chiropractic treatment can reduce hypertension by the same amount as the two pharmaceutical drugs which are typically prescribed for the disorder.

The study published in the Journal of Human Hypertension found a connection between misalignments of the upper cervical spine (neck) and high blood pressure. The results of the double-blind study showed that patients who received chiropractic adjustments saw their blood pressure drop an average of 17 points, a decrease that usually takes two blood pressure medications to achieve.

The concept behind this link is that the realignment is that the C-1 vertebra, located at the top of the spine, operates like a fuse box in the body. When it’s twisted, it can affect arteries and nerves at the neck’s base, which not only causes discomfort but also affects blood flow. Researchers suggest that the misaligned C1 triggers a release of signals that make the arteries contract. An important finding of this study was that there was no side effect from the spinal adjustments unlike those experience while taking blood pressure medication. This study provides an alternative treatment to the millions of Americans afflicted with high blood pressure.

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