A study published in the October 29, 2007 edition of the scientific periodical, the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, showed that chiropractic adjustments had a profound positive effect on stage 1 hypertension. According to the authors of the study, the purpose of the study was" This pilot study examines the relationship between nonsurgical interventions to align the Atlas vertebra and changes in blood pressure and heart rate."
The atlas vertebra is the top bone in the neck. Chiropractors have long noted the importance that particular bone plays in proper nerve function. Accordingly, the author's hypothesis for this study was stated as: "Those with hypertension and absence of neck pain will have misalignment of their Atlas vertebra where upon correction will lead to significant lowering of their blood pressure."
The results showed a significant drop in both the systolic and diastolic (upper and lower numbers) of blood pressure. The amount of the drop was so significant that the researchers remarked, "We conclude that restoration of Atlas alignment is associated with marked reductions in blood pressure similar to the use of two-drug combination therapy. Larger studies are needed to validate these findings.".
The study compared two groups of individuals who had a history of Stage 1 hypertension with no apparent cause or disease creating this condition. Of the participants only 42% had a family history of hypertension. The volunteers in this study were divided into groups. One group received specific chiropractic adjustments while the control group went through a similar procedure (called sham intervention) without receiving a real adjustment. The researchers noted that the "sham intervention" was designed to be indistinguishable to the patient from an authentic adjustment.
Both groups were examined before and after the procedures and their blood pressures were taken. Both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings were significantly reduced for the group that received chiropractic adjustments as compared to the control group that got the sham procedure. Researchers were so impressed with the findings that in their summary and conclusions they wrote, "This pilot study shows that correction of misalignment of the Atlas vertebra lowers and sustains reductions in blood pressure for at least 8 weeks in people with Stage 1 hypertension. Individuals with Stage 1 hypertension who have no apparent etiology and lack a family history may have cervical neck abnormalities related to the Atlas Vertebra."