Vagus NerveWhen you think about the benefits of chiropractic care, you probably don’t immediately think about heart health. Although it’s true that chiropractic treatment is commonly associated with back and neck pain relief, treatments can also help you improve your heart health. In fact, regular visits to the chiropractor can help to protect your heart.

The vagus nerve is responsible for the regulation of internal organ functions, including heart rate and respiratory activity. This nerve is the longest cranial nerve. It exits the brain in the lower brainstem, which means that it sits on the Atlas, the portion of the spine that upper cervical care focuses on.

As a result, regular chiropractic visits (particularly with a chiropractor who focuses on the upper cervical area) are known to:

Lower Your Blood Pressure

High blood pressure makes the heart work harder and increases your risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney disease, or vision loss. In some cases, high blood pressure can be caused by a misaligned vertebra in the neck. Car accidents, injuries or poor posture can cause the vertebra to move out of alignment.

Researchers at the University of Chicago Medicine discovered that realigning the Atlas vertebra (which we focus on here at Keystone Chiropractic) brought tremendous results for patients who were suffering from high blood pressure. The adjustments dropped blood pressure by the same amount as taking two blood pressure medications at once. 

Improved Nervous System Function

Misaligned vertebrae pressing on the nerves impairs the function of your nervous system, particularly, the vagal nerves. Maintaining alignment relieves pressure on these nerves. Adjustments help to ensure proper functioning of all of the organs that are controlled by the vagus nerve.

Less Inflammation

Chronic inflammation causes or contributes to a variety of health problems ranging from arthritis to heart disease to type 2 diabetes. Inflammation may make it easier for plaque to form. Plaque is a fatty, waxy substance that clogs the vessels, decreases the amount of oxygen your tissues and organs receive, and may increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, kidney damage, vascular dementia, and other health conditions. 

Misaligned vertebrae in your spine can cause chronic inflammation. When the vertebrae press on your nerves, it becomes difficult for signals from your brain to reach the various parts of your body, triggering inflammation. Regular chiropractic visits can keep inflammation at bay.

Improved Oxygen Flow

The two primary organs that impact oxygen flow are the heart and lungs. Oxygen from the air you breathe passes from your lungs into your bloodstream. Every beat of your heart sends oxygenated blood to your organs and tissues. If you have a misalignment that presses on a nerve that serves the lungs, your heart won’t receive the oxygen it needs.

Relieving pressure on the nerve with a chiropractic adjustment may improve lung function, which in turn helps keep your heart healthy. Treatments also loosen tight chest or back muscles that may be affecting your ability to take deep breaths.

Chiropractic care is a good option for anyone but may be particularly helpful if you have a condition that affects breathing, like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Are you ready to enjoy the heart-healthy benefits of chiropractic? 

About Keystone Chiropractic

As an engineer, Dr. Schurger looks at the whole body as a system to determine what is best for each patient. He performs custom spinal imaging for each patient in order to create a custom correction. Dr. Schurger has transformed himself through the ketogenic diet. As part of his practice, he offers nutritional advice to help patients improve their overall health (weight loss being a side effect). His practice, Keystone Chiropractic, focuses on upper cervical chiropractic care, and is located at 450 S. Durkin Drive, Ste. B, Springfield. Call 217-698-7900 to set up a complimentary consultation to see if he can help you!