New Research Sheds Light on Chiropractic & Cardiovascular Health

Research News Staff
New Research Sheds Light on Chiropractic & Cardiovascular Health

Research Reveals Chiropractic Helps 

Recent research reported in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in improving heart health. The research reported on a man whose heart function improved following chiropractic. The research includes a review of the literature supporting the role of chiropractic in addressing neurological risks related to cardiovascular health, diabetes, depression, hypertension, and the role of the nervous system in stress. The researchers measured the man's heart rate variability (HRV) before and during his care for low back pain.  HRV is a critical measure of neurological and cardiovascular health.

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“Research is revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system, stress, and cardiovascular health” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study. “Basic science research shows that the proper development and function of the nervous system relies on proper structure and movement of the spine from an early age.” 

Research has shown not only that normal structural alignment and joint movement is crucial, but that complex neurochemical communication and pathways involved in helping humans to develop normally are tied into spinal biomechanics and their related neurological pathways. 

According to McCoy, “In a healthy organism, higher heart rate variability represents greater adaptability to stress from the internal and external environment. When the nervous system is free of obstructions, it can better regulate anatomic, physiologic, and biochemical alterations and adapt to stress as needed.” 

This case study describes a 38-year-old male being seen for off and on low back pain and right heel pain.  Several levels of his lower back had fused together.  Medications only provided temporary relief. The man also had a desire to lose weight and decrease overall fat mass.  

The chiropractor examined him and found structural shifts in his neck, mid back, low back, and pelvis.  Range of motion was restricted in his neck and lower back.  Muscle spasms and tenderness were noted in his neck and lower back.   X-rays and other testing confirmed these findings in addition to degenerative disc disease in the lower back.  These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is these obstructions, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct. Heart Rate Variability testing showed decreased nervous system functioning. 

Following chiropractic adjustments, he had improved HRV measures and his neck and low back improved significantly.  Dietary modification and regular exercise helped him lose 61 pounds and decrease his fat mass by 9.5%. 

The study’s author called for additional research to investigate the role of chiropractic care on HRV and cardiovascular health.

McCoy Press