Since February is National Heart Awareness Month, we thought we’d also Go Red in this week’s blog post.
Let’s begin with some heart-related statistics. Keep in mind, that while these stats paint a bleak picture, by the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll be able to paint whatever kind of picture you want.
Heart-Related Stats in the U.S.
As you probably already know, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., and it surely does not discriminate. It’s number one for men, women, and most racial and ethnic groups.
A few heart disease statistics in the U.S. that may shock you:
- One person dies of heart disease every 30 seconds
- Someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds
- One in every four deaths is due to heart disease
- Heart disease costs the U.S. around $219 billion each and every year
Now, you may be thinking, but aren’t some people more at risk than others? And you’d be correct. There are, in fact, some key risk factors that increase your chances of getting heart disease and these include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol levels (the bad kind, as in LDL and triglycerides)
- Lifestyle choices
Lifestyle choices are a huge factor, and you can toss smoking into that distinction as well. Other lifestyle choices that have a negative impact on your heart health, as well as overall health, are:
- Obesity or even being moderately overweight
- Physical inactivity
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Unhealthy diet
If you see McDonald’s more than your kids, you’re just asking for trouble.
5 Heart-Healthy Benefits of Chiropractic Care
- Chiropractic Care Lowers Blood Pressure
According to a placebo-controlled study published in the Journal of Human Hypertension and presented in an article on WebMD, chiropractic adjustments were found to significantly lower high blood pressure.
The eight-week study split participants into two groups – one that received regular chiropractic adjustments and one that only received a sham or fake adjustment. After the eight weeks were up, the blood pressure of the participants in the chiropractic adjustment group dropped by 14 points (systolic or upper number) and 8 points (diastolic or lower number).
The medical doctor conducting the research – George Makris– was baffled, as was the lead statistician involved with the study. The doctor’s initial reaction says it all.
“When the statistician brought me the data,” says Makris, “I actually didn’t believe it. It was way too good to be true.” The statistician was in total agreement.
“I didn’t believe it either,” he said, “but we checked for everything and there it was.”
Dr. Makris reported that, “The procedure has a similar effect of not one but two blood pressure medications given in combination.” He also added, “It seems to be adverse event-free; we saw no signs of side effects and no problems.”
To those of you new to chiropractic care, this may shock you. But what probabl isn’t shocking is what passes for medical care in the U.S. these days, as in medications that come with more side effects than benefits.
What kind of commercials do you see more often than pharmaceutical commercials?
Law firms suing pharmaceutical companies.
That’s a bad sign, and maybe a sign that the tide is turning. Finally!
- Chiropractic Care Helps Improve HRV
HRV stands for heart rate variability. This is simply a measurement of the variation in time between each heartbeat. A high HRV is a good thing and shows that you are in a relaxed state. While a low HRV, according to Harvard Medical School, is linked with depression, anxiety, and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
The research is very clear in this area as well and shows that regular chiropractic adjustments actually allow the heart to work better than it otherwise would, in this case, raising your HRV.
- Chiropractic Care Lowers Inflammation
Chronic inflammation has been linked to most illnesses and diseases, as it creates a foundation on which poor health conditions can prosper. If there is one thing you can do to improve your overall health and especially your heart health, it’s decreasing inflammation.
- Chiropractic Care Improves ANS Function
With health content comes acronyms; there’s just no way around it. ANS stands for autonomic nervous system and is subdivided into two large components, the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the fight-or-flight mechanism and the relaxation response.
The autonomic nervous system is also connected with HRV, as it controls your heart rate variability. The ANS also regulates, among other things, blood pressure, breathing, and digestion. And its optimization can be seen in the chiropractic research mentioned above for HRV.
- Chiropractic Care Decreases Chest Pain
Visits to the hospital for chest pain complaints are pretty common. However, it isn’t always the heart that’s causing that pain.
Often, when a person has a subluxation (misalignment) in the mid-back, such as a rib that has slid out of place, it causes pain that radiates to the chest and mimics the kind of pain people experience with heart attacks.
Obviously, no amount of medication is going to push a rib back into place. But do you know what will help a rib back into place? You guessed it, chiropractic.
The Moral of the Story
There is something to be learned from any good story, and your learning moment today is this: Chiropractic care is heart-healthy, and this is especially true if you’re dealing with high blood pressure and want an alternative to medications that have more side effects than Georgia has peaches.
However, don’t discount your lifestyle choices either, as these are vital. Look at that list above one more time and ask yourself if you can reverse any of them, like losing a pound or two, getting more exercise, eating healthier (just say no to any restaurant with a drive-through), and cutting down on the cocktails.
If you’re interested in finding out more about chiropractic care, reach out to the chiropractor who shared this with you. And if you came upon this article another way and are interested in discovering all the ways that chiropractic adjustments can improve your health, go to truchiro.org and put your zip code into our searchable database to find a chiropractor near you.
Getting started is just that easy!