How Chiropractic Care Can Help High Blood Pressure
The heart pumps more than 1500 gallons of blood every single day. Every time the heart muscle contracts to circulate blood, it puts pressure on the blood vessels. This creates a force in the arterial walls known as blood pressure. How much force the heart is exerting on the circulatory system is a great indicator of overall health since continuous oxygenation of blood flow is a vital bodily function.
Blood pressure is quantified by two numbers (one on top, one on bottom). The top number indicates the amount of pressure that the heart is exerting on the arteries when it is forcefully contracting. The bottom number indicates the lowest pressure that occurs between heart beats. A normal blood pressure falls around 120/80 mmHg. When it reaches 130/90 mmHg or more it is considered high blood pressure.
High blood pressure puts a lot of unnecessary strain on the heart and the entire circulatory system. It is a contributor to as many as half a million deaths each year in the U.S. because of the role it plays in overall health and the stress it puts on the entire body. It can also often lead to other heart disease complications like high cholesterol and blood clots. Unfortunately, it is also known as the “silent killer” because there are few, if any symptoms, that warn a person they have high blood pressure. This is why prevention and frequent monitoring is key for good heart health.
Complications if left untreated, include
- Heart attack
- Aneurysm (weakening of an arterial wall)
- Kidney disease
- Poor vision or loss of vision
- Onset of dementia and other memory issues
There are many causes of high blood pressure
Some mechanisms of high blood pressure are well understood, these include:
- A diet high in salt and/or processed foods
- Low water intake and chronic dehydration
- Genetic predisposition
- Other chronic diseases such as high cholesterol, kidney disease, or Diabetes
Risk factors for high blood pressure include
- Comorbidities (other health issues)
- Obesity or being overweight
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Tobacco use
Traditional treatment options for high blood pressure
While conservative care should always be the first line of defense against any primary lifestyle disease like high blood pressure, unfortunately the main treatment offered is medication. With this approach, typically the dosage must be gradually increased or medication switched as the problem continues to get worse with time. Instead of a long term solution, medications become necessary indefinitely; and this is because the root issue is never addressed.
Occasionally, lifestyle adjustments are recommended such as weight loss, diet, exercise, and stress management. Alternative treatment options that can conservatively address high blood pressure include cardiac physical therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, psychotherapy, and chiropractic. These options tend to focus on addressing a lot of the lifestyle related risk factors.
How chiropractic care can help
Of the risk factors listed above, there are quite a few that can be modified to lower or prevent high blood pressure. Incorporating healthy practices like better nutrition and exercise are a great place to start. From there, any treatment that can downregulate your nervous system to better manage stress and decrease strain on the body can help immensely. This is where Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) comes in.
CBP is a results-oriented, expert backed approach that addresses the overall health of the nervous system via spinal alignment. Just like high blood pressure, it can be hard to know when the spine is out of alignment. Yet, ironically when it is, it too can place a significant amount of strain on the body and normal organ function (aka the heart). When normal nerve energy is blocked (due to poor spine alignment) it requires the entire system to work harder to retain normal function.
In today’s societal turmoil, stress is playing a large role and is negatively affecting many people’s health. Did you also know that the release of stress hormones is directly regulated by the nervous system (known as the autonomic nervous system)? Thus, a chiropractic session that focuses on restoring spinal alignment has so many benefits for your body and heart. With everything aligned, it allows increased nerve energy for organ function, a down regulation of stress (that is spiking blood pressure), and promoting an overall homeostasis.
Address the underlying issues
Well balanced heart health and overall health isn’t about focusing on one particular problem and fixing it. Rather, it’s about getting to the source of the issue and restoring the full system for optimized full body function. Your heart health and quality of life are too important not to seek the best possible care. CBP is a great option for promoting lasting sustainable health.
Chiropractors such as Dr. Cynthia Boyd and her team at Symmetry Health Center in Oakland and Alameda are among only a handful of Oakland, Alameda and East Bay chiropractors trained in CBP, the most researched and results-oriented corrective chiropractic technique.
If you live in Oakland, Alameda or the East Bay, take advantage of our no-charge consultation to determine whether you or a loved one is a candidate for care at one of our Symmetry Health Center locations in Oakland and Alameda.