Recent research reported in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in helping patients experiencing heart arrythmias.  The research reports on two female patients who improved under chiropractic care.

The two female patients reported on in this case series were both suffering from premature ventricular contractions (PVC). One patient had been dealing with symptoms for over 2 years, going through several rounds of testing and doctor visits to no avail. The other patient was an older female who had been experiencing PVC’s multiple times a day following a stroke. With no prior heart disease history and several rounds of testing, she was still searching for answers.

Premature ventricular contractions are extra heart beats that happen before a normal heartbeat, in the ventricle, lower chamber of the heart. These extra beats are caused by an issue within the heart’s electrical system. Failure of the lower chamber of the heart to relax will lead to these PVC’s happening more often.

Premature ventricular contractions are the most common type of heart rhythm dysfunction. In healthy people, it is considered not threatening as most people do not have any symptoms. In those with a known heart condition, a PVC can make life more complicated by putting the person at a higher risk of sudden death.

Physical stress, emotional stress, caffeine, alcohol, and some cold medications can intensify the PVC’s. Some symptoms may include but are not limited to dizziness, lightheadedness, a pounding feeling in the neck, heart racing, flutters, or skipping a beat.

“Research is revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system and the brain” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study. McCoy added “Heart arrhythmias are a result of an imbalance in the autonomic nervous system, especially forcing an increase in sympathetic activity, and decreasing vagal activity.”

“That chiropractic helped these patients makes perfect sense when you think about it” stated Dr. McCoy. “If there is interference with the neurological communication between the spine and the brain all sorts of malfunctions can occur.” According to McCoy, “The nervous system needs the constant stimulation of movement in order to develop and function properly. Abnormal position or movement of the spinal vertebra can develop, and this can lead to nerve interference. It is this interference, called vertebral subluxation, that chiropractors correct.”

The chiropractor examined both patients, took x-rays, and found structural shifts in their necks, mid and low backs. These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxation, that chiropractors correct. Other testing confirmed the areas of subluxation. The patients were adjusted by the chiropractor and experienced improvement in the PVC and all other symptoms. The study’s authors called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic in this population of patients.

Resolution of Premature Ventricular Contractions after Undergoing Chiropractic Care:  A Case Series. Marie Hoying, DC. Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research ~ June 24, 2019 ~ Pages 83-89