Chiropractic journal reports results of new study
(April 3, 2008, West Hartford, CT) According to a recent article in The Journal of Chiropractic Education, a team of New Zealand researchers has found a correlation between chiropractic adjustments of the neck and lower back and reduced blood pressure.
The 63 participants in the case study were divided into two random groups. After subjecting those studied to a short period of relaxation in a sitting position, chiropractors took blood pressure readings from both arms of the subjects. In the experimental group, a spinal adjustment of the cervical (neck), lumbosacral (lower back), and thoracic (chest) area was performed depending on needs of the individual patients. In the control group, patients received only gentle digital pressure on their spine. The same doctors who recorded the initial blood pressure results (and who performed the adjustments or digital pressure) then took new readings.
The results were surprising. To date, most studies concerning the effects of a chiropractic adjustment on one's blood pressure have been inconclusive. The New Zealand study, however, showed a direct impact on participants blood pressure levels. Those in the experimental group showed statistically significant changes of systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Subjects whose cervical (neck) and lumbosacral (lower back) were adjusted showed a decrease in their blood pressure, while subjects whose thoracic (chest) was adjusted showed an increase in blood pressure. In contrast, the control group, which received no adjustments but only gentle digital pressure, showed much less significant changes in blood pressure.
It is too early to assess the clinical aspects of these results, Dr. Moshe Laub said when contacted about the study. Dr. Laub, whose chiropractic offices are located in West Hartford, CT, follows developments in chiropractic science closely.
I am encouraged by these promising results, Dr. Laub said. However, further trials on vertebral subluxation that is, a mechanical problem in the spine that disrupts proper functioning of the body's nervous system and its effects on blood pressure are needed and should include longer term follow-up as well.
Kelly Holt, B. Sc. (Chiro), Randy W. Beck, B. Sc., D.C., Ph. D., New Zealand College of Chiropractic, and Stephen G. Sexton, B. App. Sc. (Clin.), B. Chiro. Sci., D.A.C.N.B., Carrick Institute for Graduate Studies. Reflex Effects of a Spinal Adjustment on Blood Pressure,The Journal of Chiropractic Education, Vol. 20, No. 1, 2006.