Heart Awareness Month
February is American Heart Month! Heart Disease continues to be our Nation’s #1 Killer – every year 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease. Doesn’t sound like much? Well 2,300 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each DAY, an average of 1 death every 38 SECONDS.1,2
Family history and genetics do paly a part in heart disease but lifestyle choices such as smoking, excessive weight, stress, lack of physical activity and poor eating habits are risk factors for heart disease that you can control.
The good news? Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. We can use this month to raise awareness about heart disease and how people can prevent it — both at home and in the community.
Firstly, it’s important to understand that heart disease is not just one condition – it comes in many forms. The most commonly known heart problem is coronary artery disease which causes the arteries to and from the heart to narrow and constrict blood flow. Cardiovascular disease can also mean heart attack, arrhythmia, valve disease, congenital heart disease, cardiomyopathy, pericardial disease and vascular disease – all potentially fatal conditions.3
With chiropractic care you might be able to not only manage your current heart condition, but you may also be able to ward off getting heart disease all together. It may seem shocking to most people that chiropractic treatments may be able to help treat people suffering from heart problems, especially since chiropractic is usually associated with chronic back pain, neck pain and headache issues. But, chiropractic is a natural, non-invasive therapy that has been used to treat heart disease in many different patients.3
Chiropractic is based on the theory that the nervous system is responsible for maintaining optimal health in the body. When it is functioning properly, it helps transmit information between the brain and every other part of the body. When there are dysfunctions in the spine, this can cause disruptions in how efficient the nervous system is at transmitting this information. These problem areas of the spine are known by chiropractors as subluxations. They are able to be corrected by manipulations that return the spine back to its proper alignment. When the spine is free of subluxations, then the body returns to a state of healing, affecting every muscle, nerve, tissue and, most importantly, the heart. 3
Research has shown that chiropractic adjustments to the upper part of the neck can have a positive effect on significantly lowering your blood pressure for an extended period of time.4While other studies have shown that adjustments of the bones in your neck and lower back can stimulate particular nervous system reflexes, causing a decrease in overall heart rate and blood pressure.
There are six proven ways chiropractic care helps prevent or treat cardiovascular disease:5
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves nerve function of the heart
- Decreases blood markers of inflammation
- Improves heart rate variability
- Decreases chest pain
- Improves lung function
In addition to this, there are some other positive effects when you engage in regular chiropractic treatments such as having access to a trained healthcare professional, support and guidance to change/apply new health strategies, relief from stress and headaches.
Regular chiropractic visits combined with positive lifestyle changes can prove to be a powerful ally in fight against heart disease. Add some herbs to your routine and see how, combined with chiropractic, they can kick the common cold and flu (read more here).