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Heart Health and Chiropractic Care

close up of hand on heartWhile chiropractic care is most known for treating musculoskeletal ailments, one lesser-known benefit of chiropractic is its effect on cardiovascular health. Below are three components of heart health that can be improved with chiropractic care.

Heart Rate Variability

Heart rate variability (HRV) is the slight variation in time between your heartbeats and is an indicator of health and wellness. People with higher HRV experience a greater range of time between heartbeats throughout the day depending on the activities in which they are engaged. Higher HRV indicates the body’s ability to react to the environment and cope with physical and emotional stress. Those with higher heart rate variability also report lower levels of anxiety and depression and fewer long-term health complications throughout life. Chiropractic adjustments are found to increase HRV and thus improve cardiac health [1] [2].

Blood Pressure Regulation

Blood pressure is the amount of pressure sustained by the arteries as the heart pumps blood throughout the body. This is expressed as two numbers, systolic pressure, measuring blood pressure as the heart contracts, and diastolic pressure, measuring the blood pressure as the heart relaxes. A study by Arlene Wench, DC, and Ralph Boone, Ph.D., DC, shows a statistically significant decrease in a patient’s diastolic blood pressure after spinal adjustments at the cervical spine [3].

Nervous System Function

The parasympathetic nervous system is a division of the peripheral nervous system that plays a role in regulating cardiovascular functions such as heart rate. Adjustments at the cervical spine have been shown to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. Because the parasympathetic nervous system innervates the heart, these adjustments function to decrease heart rate [4].



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