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Heart Rate Variability to Assess the Changes in Autonomic Nervous System Function Associated With Vertebral Subluxation


Christopher Kent, D.C.

Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research ~ October 16, 2017 ~ Pages 201-208



Analysis of the beat-to-beat intervals of the heart may be used to evaluate the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions of the autonomic nervous system. Variability in heart rate reflects the vagal and sympathetic function of the autonomic nervous system, and has been used as a monitoring tool in clinical conditions characterized by altered autonomic nervous system activity. Spectral analysis of beat-to- beat variability is a simple, non-invasive technique to evaluate autonomic dysfunction.

Vertebral subluxations are changes in the position or motion of a vertebra which result in the interference with nerve function. Vertebral subluxations may result in altered autonomic nervous system activity. Heart rate variability is a reliable and valid tool that may be used to assess the changes in autonomic activity associated with the reduction and correction of vertebral subluxations. A search of the relevant literature addressing heart rate variability and the reduction or correction of vertebral subluxation from 2000 to 2017 was conducted, and the results summarized.

Keywords: Heart rate variability (HRV), Autonomic nervous system, Chiropractic, Vertebral subluxation, Spinal manipulation, Nerve root compression, Dysafferentation, Dysponesis


Original publication

Kent C. Heart Rate Variability To Assess The Changes In Autonomic Nervous System Function Associated With Vertebral Subluxation. Research Reviews in Neuroscience. Volume 1, Issue 3. September, 2017. This article is provided under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
( No changes were made to the original content.