Johnston WL, Kelso AF. Changes in presence of a segmental dysfunction pattern associated with hypertension: Part 2. A long-term longitudinal study. J Am Osteopath Assoc 1995 May;95(5):315-318
This study examined the effects of chiropractic adjustments of the thoracic spine (T1-T5) on blood pressure and state anxiety in 21 patients with elevated blood pressure. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of three treatment conditions: active treatment, placebo treatment, or no treatment control. The adjustments were performed by a mechanical chiropractic adjusting device. Dependent measures obtained pre- and post-treatment included systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and state anxiety. Results indicated that systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased significantly in the active treatment condition, whereas no significant changes occurred in the placebo and control conditions. State anxiety significantly decreased in the active and control conditions. Results provide support for the hypothesis that blood pressure is reduced following chiropractic treatment. Further study is needed to examine the long-term effects of chiropractic treatment on blood pressure.
Yates RG, Lamping DL, Abram NL, Wright C. Effects of chiropractic treatment on blood pressure and anxiety: a randomized, controlled trial. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 11 (6): 484-488 (Dec 1988)
OBJECTIVE: Although many chiropractors may treat patients who have concomitant hypertensive disease, there is a paucity of literature on the nuances of case management for these patients. We report a patient who underwent a course of chiropractic care with a previous diagnosis of chronic essential hypertension.
CLINICAL FEATURES: A 38-yr-old male presented for chiropractic care with complaints of hypertension, drug-related side effects and lower back pain. He was also receiving concurrent medical care for his hypertension.
INTERVENTION AND OUTCOME: The patient received specific contact, short lever arm spinal adjustments as the primary mode of chiropractic care. During the course of chiropractic treatment, the patient's need for hypertensive medication was reduced. The patient's medical physician gradually withdrew the medication over 2 months.
CONCLUSION: Specific contact short lever arm spinal adjustments may cause a hypotensive effect in a medicated hypertensive patient that may lead to complications (e.g., hypotension). Since a medicated hypertensive patient's blood pressure may fall below normal while he or she is undergoing chiropractic care, it is advised that the blood pressure be closely monitored and medications adjusted, if necessary, by the patient's medical physician.
Plaugher G, Bachman TR. Chiropractic management of a hypertensive patient. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 16 (8): 544-549 (Oct 1993)
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the reliability of clinical blood pressure readings and to begin a series of experiments to determine if chiropractic adjustments cause any significant changes in blood pressure. Seventy-five students undergoing routine chiropractic health care at Palmer College of Chiropractic Clinic volunteered to participate in the blood pressure measurement protocol in one 10-min visit. These subjects were placed into one of two groups, based on the clinical findings from the chiropractic examination. One group, the Experimental group was formed on the basis that they had subluxations in the cervical spine and also were adjusted specifically for them. The Control group was similar but lacked manipulable cervical subluxations on that particular day and were not adjusted. Clinical and experimental procedures were carried out identically on each group. Subjects were examined by standard Gonstead palpatory methods after 5 min of quiet sitting in a cervical chair. Blood pressure was recorded by right arm cuff sphygmomanometer by an experienced chiropractor immediately before and again immediately after either the specific cervical adjustment or the control procedure, which was simply motion palpation. The doctors measuring blood pressures did not know to which group the subject had been assigned. Both systolic and diastolic blood pressures were statistically significantly lowered in the Experimental but not the Control group (p less than 0.01). The difference in the mean blood pressures was small and was brought about by 14 of the Experimental subjects who experienced a clinically relevant 10-20 mm hg drop. Reliability of blood pressure measurements by two doctors was established under similar conditions in an additional 25 subjects.
McKnight ME, DeBoer KF. Preliminary study of blood pressure changes in normotensive subjects undergoing chiropractic care. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1988 Aug;11(4):261-266
When considering the ailments that plague mankind, certainly one of the enigmatic conditions is hypertensive disease. This perplexing disorder is recognized insidiously in the clinical setting. It is believed to occur because of the complex interactions of a variety of factors which act on the components of the blood vasculature. Although afflicted individuals may appear relatively asymptomatic, the additive influences of such factors eventually culminate in deleterious sequelae. Overall, hypertension appears to be related to stress, diet and lifestyle. The autonomic nervous system, particularly its sympathetic component, appears to mediate such accumulated factors, affecting the overall clinical scenario of hypertension. Although generally aligned with the aging process, this condition also may affect younger individuals. Hypertension, therefore, may be regarded as a prime condition warranting specialized care that includes proper education during the formative years, modification of dietary habits in conjunction with daily exercise regimens, and regular spinal maintenance, all of which are covered by modern chiropractic clinical practice.
Crawford JP, Hickson GS, Wiles MR. The management of hypertensive disease: a review of spinal manipulation and the efficacy of conservative therapeusis. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 9 (1): 27-32 (Mar 1986)