Spinal health plays a significant role in heart health. While it remains most popular to see a Chiropractor for back or neck problems, science and research continue to reveal proof for why Chiropractors can help people with conditions and health challenges that seemingly have no connection to theback. Science explains that the spine is a conduit for the brain’s ability to sendand receive information to the rest of the body. Heart rate variability (HRV) is a specific measurement indicative of heart health. A balanced heart rate variability is critical for heart health, organ control, and health optimization. Imbalanced, or lowered HRV has been linked to heart disease, immune challenges, increased cancer, and virtually every chronic disease. In simple terms, improving one’s heart rate variability will significantly affect heart health, overall health, and longevity. This study evaluated the influence of spinal adjustive care on heart rate variability and the results were remarkable.

  • This study was designed to determine the acute effect of upper cervical spine manipulation on cardiac autonomic control as measured by heart rate variability.
  • 19 healthy, young adult subjects underwent cervical spinal adjustive care versus sham manipulation. Six minutes of electrocardiographic data were collected before and after each intervention, and heart rate variability was assessed.
  • Subjects were eliminated for these factors: hypertension, caffeine consumption within 4 hours, tobacco use within 48 hours, history of cardiovascular disease, neuropathic disorders, unexplained episodes of syncope, and any musculoskeletal signs/symptoms.
  • Previous studies have shown that manual therapies can affect vagal function.
  • Cervical manipulation may have direct effects on the parasympathetic nervous system.
  • The sub-occipital decompression used in this study caused “significant changes consistent with an enhanced parasympathetic control of heart rate.”
  • This study demonstrates that sub-occipital manipulative decompression can affect heart rate variability.
    “This effect is consistent with potential changes in the control of heart by the parasympathetic nervous system.”
  • This data supports the hypothesis that upper cervical spinal adjustive care can affect measures of heart rate variability, and thus autonomic function, in healthy individuals.

Diet, exercise, and a positive mindset are critical to heart health. But based on research like this, takingcare of one’s spine also plays an important role for a healthy heart. This study found that spinal adjustments to the upper neck region influenced the measurement of heart rate variability. Spinal adjustments to the upper neck stimulated a part of the nervous system responsible for balancing heart rhythm, normalizing blood pressure, and improving blood vessel control. The benefits of chiropractic care deserve to be understood and made accessible for anyone seeking to achieve better heart health.