Neck Pain and High Blood Pressure
This may be of interest to those who have problems with high blood pressure after a whiplash injury. A team from the University of Leeds, headed by Professor Jim Deuchars has analyzed nerve pathways between the brain and the neck to reveal the neck muscles play an important role in controlling blood pressure.
Their study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, provides the first evidence for a function in determining brain areas which control body functions that we don’t need to consider for these links, like respiration and blood pressure.
Chiropractors have long understood that by controlling the neck handling neck pain may also lower blood pressure, but the motives were unclear. “By identifying the pathways we can see these treatments might work and it could also describe why some individuals may experience a change in their own blood pressure.”
The findings also bring about understanding postural hypotension, fainting that may result from standing up too quickly. The neck muscles could be part of the system which usually prevents this from happening by sending signals to the brain upon neck motion that position has changed.
More research is currently needed to see exactly which cells are included in the process and which sensory nerve fibres.