Treatment of cardiovascular disorders by chiropractic techniques can also show changes which are clinically demonstrable, in particular, changes in blood pressure. Chiropractors use blood pressure monitoring and pulse rate measurements routinely on patients with cardiovascular problems, because they do not have access to the more sophisticated equipment necessary to perform electrocardiograms, serum cholesterol measurements or have the monitoring equipment which a cardiologist would use. While there is no proof that cardiovascular symptoms are evidence of VSC, pulse rate and blood pressure abnormalities suggest VSC may be present and so justify chiropractic treatment of these patients.
The combined effects of blood pressure-lowering medications and chiropractic treatments can dramatically lower the blood pressure, and clinicians must be aware of this and be alert for signs of hypotension in patients after treatments. They also need to warn patients that they may feel dizzy when they get up after a treatment, and may need to consult with their doctors if they are going to have regular chiropractic treatments while on antihypertensive medications. They cite a study in which a patient with a 14-year history of hypertension was able to drop one of his antihypertensive medications after only three treatments, and drop all of them after seven treatments. Visits were reduced to twice monthly and after 18 months he was still off all medications, showing that relief of VSC can help return blood pressure to normal limits. This makes VSC treatment a powerful tool in regulating blood pressure with easily verifiable results
A third area where chiropractic relief of symptoms has been obtained is in problems with the digestive system, particularly in infants and children (Masarsky and Weber, 1997). It