As a Chiropractor I feel that a very important part of my job is to stay up to date with the latest scientific research findings that can contribute to the health and quality of life of my patients. It’s very satisfying for me to bring the latest scientific concepts together with time tested chiropractic methods to get the best results for you when we work together. In keeping up with my continuing education, I’ve been reading a book entitled “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Heart Disease” by Mark Houston M.D. I highly recommend that you read this book as it introduces concepts that will become common knowledge over the next 10 years with respect to heart disease prevention. Dr. Houston, who is a Cardiologist, states that it is not high cholesterol but chronic inflammation in the body that causes damage to artery walls and perpetuates coronary heart disease. He makes a landmark statement in the book when he says “inflammation is much more dangerous to the artery linings than is an extra 10, 20 or even 50 cholesterol points over the ideal”. Dr. Houston recommends a blood test for levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) which is the most predictive indicator of inflammation and is associated with future cardiovascular problems. He states that levels over 2.0 mg/L are cause for concern when there is no infection or acute injury responsible for the elevation, and goes on to state that “it is very important to reduce it (CRP) to normal levels as rapidly as possible to avoid damage to the arteries”. He notes that CRP levels and inflammation are often elevated due to increased sugar intake, increased trans-fat consumption, smoking, lack of sleep and lack of exercise. To remedy this and prevent heart and artery damage he recommends lifestyle modifications including regular exercise, including more produce and less refined foods in your diet, increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids through supplementation if necessary along with increased intake of Vitamins C & E. These are important recommendations but are not really anything new in terms of approaches to improve health and prevent heart disease.
The Chiropractic Connection
There is however, a MAJOR contribution to inflammation that Dr. Houston has left out (or is unaware of) that I’m going to share with you. A study in 2009 found that in individuals with lower back pain and SUBLUXATION, blood levels of CRP were on average above 2.0 mg/L(into the abnormal range). In this same study, after these individuals had undergone a course of chiropractic adjustments their CRP levels were brought below the dangerous level of 2.0 mg/L! This is an amazing finding that illustrates one of the ways that chiropractic adjustments contribute to whole body health and healing. More research is needed to fully understand the relationship between subluxation and CRP but if heart disease prevention is a priority for you than regular chiropractic care should also be a priority along with exercise, proper diet/supplementation and stress relieving techniques such as meditation.
At Clearview we know that chiropractic is about much more than just back pain, neck pain and spinal health. Chiropractic is about staying subluxation free so your nerve system and body can function, heal and recreate as it was designed to. So now you know what your Doctor may not tell you about chiropractic! Please share this post with friends and family so that they can become aware of how seeing a chiropractor regularly is an integral part of your health and wellness plan.