OBJECTIVE: Although many chiropractors may treat patients who have concomitant hypertensive disease, there is a paucity of literature on the nuances of case management for these patients. We report a patient who underwent a course of chiropractic care with a previous diagnosis of chronic essential hypertension.
CLINICAL FEATURES: A 38-yr-old male presented for chiropractic care with complaints of hypertension, drug-related side effects and lower back pain. He was also receiving concurrent medical care for his hypertension.
INTERVENTION AND OUTCOME: The patient received specific contact, short lever arm spinal adjustments as the primary mode of chiropractic care. During the course of chiropractic treatment, the patient's need for hypertensive medication was reduced. The patient's medical physician gradually withdrew the medication over 2 months.
CONCLUSION: Specific contact short lever arm spinal adjustments may cause a hypotensive effect in a medicated hypertensive patient that may lead to complications (e.g., hypotension). Since a medicated hypertensive patient's blood pressure may fall below normal while he or she is undergoing chiropractic care, it is advised that the blood pressure be closely monitored and medications adjusted, if necessary, by the patient's medical physician.
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