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Research Shows Chiropractic May Help Reduce Cardiovascular Risk
According to the case study, a 54 year old man undergoing chiropractic care experienced normalization of his lipid panel following a course of chiropractic care. No other interventions other than chiropractic care were used in his care.
“Research is revealing that minor disturbances to spinal alignment and function may be a factor in a number of disorders. These spinal disturbances lead to nerve interference and can result in a host of disorders because the body’s homeostatic mechanism is thrown off” stated Dr. Nate Blume, one of the authors of the study. Other chiropractic researchers have reported on similar results.
“It makes a lot of sense when you think about it” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study, “If you damage or compress or otherwise interfere with the neurological structures in the spine this can have far reaching implications on the functioning of the body. Through research reports like this we are finding that correcting the misalignments or abnormal motion associated with these spinal problems reduces the nerve interference and people experience improvement. In this study it was a man who had risk factors for cardiovascular disease.”
Once diagnosed, traditional medical treatment for increased cholesterol levels usually involves a prescription for statins. While statins have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels they come with serious side effects and have not been shown to prolong life. What has been shown to reduce and prevent cardiovascular disease and death are lifestyle changes.
“Finding the cause of the cardiovascular disease and reducing those risks is a much better strategy” according to Eric Zielinski another author of the study. One such risk is thought to be spinal misalignments and/or abnormal motion of the spine, termed vertebral subluxations by chiropractors, which result in structural and neurological interference to the spine and nerve system. It is this interference that may cause a cascade of neuroendocrine events that lead to abnormal cholesterol metabolism. The theory is that once those spinal distortions are corrected the body is better able to balance its physiology.
The 54 year old man in the study first presented into the office with a chief complaint of dyslipidemia. He had a past history of myocardial infarction and angioplasty. One month prior to care the patient had a lipid panel drawn indicating abnormal levels of cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglycerides. Other complaints included anxiety, constipation, fatigue, irritability, mood swings, neck pain, and stiff neck. He also reported occupational and personal stress as well as depression.
The chiropractor diagnosed him with vertebral subluxations in his neck, pelvis and sacrum. Follow-up laboratory work revealed that his cholesterol, HDL, LDL and triglycerides had all improved and he reported an improvement in his mental and physical health and his musculoskeletal complaints had resolved. The authors call for further study in a controlled environment.
Matthew McCoy DC, MPH