Atiral Fibrillation and Acupuncture

My AF has been more or less under control since taking Flecainide and Diltiazem, and I am waiting to start Warfarin prior to having an ablation end May. My question is: I saw my chirooractor on Tuesday regarding my back/joint problems and because of the AF he said he would not pull me around but used acupuncture and ultrasound on my shoulders and back. I went into an irregular AF yesterday for about 2 hours and today I feel very washed out and slow. Does anyone think there is a connection? Thanks for any responses and advice.

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8 Replies

  • A similar experience happened to me about twelve years ago before I was diagnosed with AF , but it was migraine that happened at the chiropractors . He was very concerned and phoned me at home to see if it had gone. As migraine and AF are both electrical I should imagine it could cause an attack. I haven't been to the chiropractors for years as I started to do exercises morning and night for my back which seemed to make it better and it rarely hurts now. Hope you feel better . Terjo

  • Hi I am an acupuncturists who also has A fib. The acupuncture did not cause the tiredness/washed out/ a fib unless the chiropractor did not know what they are doing as an acupuncturist and over treated you. Different trainings.(like a GP and a EP.) My Acipuncturist told me I was having heart problems 2 weeks before I had my first A fib.

  • Thank you both for your kind words. I have had acupuncture before by my chiropractor before AF. It must just be a coincidence. Probably won't go again until after my ablation now. I will try and practicesome gentle Pilates for my back. I received my CT scan appointment today for 14 th march so things are progressing now.

  • I have had my chiropractor put me in AF 4-5 times when he adjusted the mid-thoracic area - which is where the vagal nerve comes through the spine. So I know that was the trigger on those occasions. He has also brought me out of AF by adjusting that area when I fainted in a Pilates session through AF with low BP. (The studio is in the same building).

    There was a person at Exeter Uni who did a very large study re chiropractice and arrythmias more or less saying chiropractors caused them. I disagree, but for me, manipulation around the thoracic area, be it chiro or massage, will often trigger an episode so I think there is strong possibility. But go back and talk to him about it.

  • I go to a chiropractor regularly and it has never put me in af


  • I think the connection is the vagal nerve and I think your chiro person has been very responsible. Try and Google a Vagal Nerve diagram on the net. My vague understanding is that it is responsible for the function of both heart and digestive system and lies within/along the spine. So theoretically any rough handling (by an Osteo or Chiro )could well antagonise the vagal nerve to the point where it may affect the heart or digestive system. I have had long standing back issues for decades but even so I wouldn't say that caused or put me in AF which was only diagnosed in Jan 2010, aged 65. My back problems are in two areas, lower spine and also a joint (the name of which I can't remember) around the right hip. Then again the 7th Thoracic at the top of the back.


    Aussie John

  • Thanks Aussie John. Good to hear from you

  • Dont mind you back you can live with that problen. If your heart falls over the rest wont matter. You canget Acupuncture for you heart. I was to have Iit done in Portugal but sadly missed my appointment because of flights. Carried out by a Chinese Professor it is said to be much safer that what Doctors want to put us through here in the UK.

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