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» Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure
» Spinal Surgery is Not the Answer for Pain
» Increased Weight... Increased Cancer Risk
» Boost Performance - Eat Your Breakfast

Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure

Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure

March 16, 2007 -- A special chiropractic adjustment can significantly lower high blood pressure, a placebo-controlled study suggests.

"This procedure has the effect of not one, but two blood-pressure medications given in combination," study leader George Bakris, MD, tells WebMD. "And it seems to be adverse-event free. We saw no side effects and no problems," adds Bakris, director of the University of Chicago hypertension center.

Eight weeks after undergoing the procedure, 25 patients with early-stage high blood pressure had significantly lower blood pressure than 25 similar patients who underwent a sham chiropractic adjustment. Because patients can't feel the technique, they were unable to tell which group they were in.

X-rays showed that the procedure realigned the Atlas vertebra -- the doughnut-like bone at the very top of the spine -- with the spine in the treated patients, but not in the sham-treated patients.

Compared to the sham-treated patients, those who got the real procedure saw an average 14 mm Hg greater drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure count), and an average 8 mm Hg greater drop in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom blood pressure number).

None of the patients took blood pressure medicine during the eight-week study.

"When the statistician brought me the data, I actually didn't believe it. It was way too good to be true," Bakris says. "The statistician said, 'I don't even believe it.' But we checked for everything, and there it was."

Bakris and colleagues report their findings in the advance online issue of the Journal of Human Hypertension.

Atlas Adjustment and Hypertension

The procedure calls for adjustment of the C-1 vertebra. It's called the Atlas vertebra because it holds up the head, just as the titan Atlas holds up the world in Greek mythology.

Marshall Dickholtz Sr., DC, of the Chiropractic Health Center, in Chicago, is the 84-year-old chiropractor who performed all the procedures in the study. He calls the Atlas vertebra "the fuse box to the body."

"At the base of the brain are two centers that control all the muscles of the body. If you pinch the base of the brain -- if the Atlas gets locked in a position as little as a half a millimeter out of line -- it doesn't cause any pain but it upsets these centers," Dickholtz tells WebMD.

The subtle adjustment is practiced by the very small subgroup of chiropractors certified in National Upper Cervical Chiropractic (NUCCA) techniques. The procedure employs precise measurements to determine a patient's Atlas vertebra alignment. If realignment is deemed necessary, the chiropractor uses his or her hands to gently manipulate the vertebra.

"We are not doctors. We are spinal engineers," Dickholtz says. "We use mathematics, geometry, and physics to learn how to slide everything back into place."

What does this have to do with high blood pressure pressure?

Bakris notes that some researchers have suggested that injury to the Atlas vertebra can affect blood flow in the arteries at the base of the skull. Dickholtz thinks the misaligned Atlas triggers release of signals that make the arteries contract. Whether the procedure actually fixes such injuries is unknown, Bakris says.

Bakris began the study after a fellow doctor told him that something strange was happening in his family practice. The doctor had been sending some of his patients to a chiropractor. Some of these patients had high blood pressure. 

Yet after seeing the chiropractor, the patients' blood pressure had normalized -- and a few of them were able to stop taking their blood pressure medications.

So Bakris, then at Rush University, designed the pilot study with 50 patients. He's now organizing a much bigger clinical trial.

"Is it going to be for everybody with high blood pressure? No," Bakris says. "We clearly need to identify those who can benefit. It is pretty clear that some kind of head or neck trauma early in life is related to this. This is really a work in progress. It is certainly in the early stages of research."

Dickholtz has been teaching, practicing, and studying the NUCCA technique for 50 years. He says high blood pressure is far from the only thing an Atlas misalignment causes.

"On the other hand, if people have high blood pressure, there is a tremendous possibility they need an Atlas adjustment," he says.

 

 

Author: www.WebMD.com Health News by Daniel J. DeNoon
Source: Rush University Hypertension Center Chicago IL
Copyright: Journal Of Human Hypertension 3


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Spinal Surgery is Not the Answer for Pain

People with chronic back pain sometimes consider lumbar fusion surgery to reduce their dependence on pain medications, particularly opioids. But a new study has found that more than three-quarters of spinal fusion patients continue taking opioids for pain post-surgery. Spinal fusion surgery corrects issues with the spinal vertebrae by fusing painful or damaged vertebrae into one solid bone — in a process similar to welding the bones together. Many patients choose this invasive procedure because they believe it will relieve their need to take opioids for pain. However, a study published in the journal PAIN, discovered that 14 percent of patients who underwent spinal fusion still used opioids for occasional pain and a significant 77 percent continued to use them long-term. Only 9 percent of spinal fusion patients were able to discontinue their use of opioids completely. Dr. Richard Deyo of Oregon Health and Science and his colleagues used Oregon’s program for monitoring prescription drugs to determine the opioid dosages used by patients before and after the surgery.  Interestingly, of the patients who were prescribed opioids pre-surgery, only 34 percent of them were able to lower their dosage afterwards. Forty-five percent actually received a higher dose after undergoing spinal fusion.  After studying the data, Dr. Devo concluded that the higher the dosage of opioids before surgery, the more likely the patient would continue to use them afterward. Before considering an invasive treatment like spinal fusion, see a chiropractor for effective, drug-free pain management options.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: PAIN, online March 6, 2018.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2018


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Increased Weight... Increased Cancer Risk

Most are aware of the negative effects that excess bodyweight has on the cardiovascular system, increasing the risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. However according to the WHO (World Health Organization), obesity and excessive weight are also responsible for half a million cancer cases annually. In North America, the number of diagnosed obesity-related cancers for 2012 was estimated at approximately 111,000. Cancers associated with increased bodyweight or BMI over 25 (body mass index) affect the esophagus, colon, rectum, kidney, pancreas, gallbladder, postmenopausal breast, ovary and endometrium. Fortunately the majority of us have control over our bodyweight with the decisions we make daily in regards to physical activity and dietary habits and choices.  Committing to regular and ongoing physical activity coupled with a healthy diet is the answer. Get up, get out, move around, watch what you eat and when you eat, and get and stay healthy!


Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Reuters. November 26, 2014.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2014


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Boost Performance - Eat Your Breakfast

Skipping breakfast can lead to a reduced athletic performance later in the day according to U.K. researchers. In a group of 10 males, researchers compared performance later in the day when eating breakfast as well as when skipping breakfast. In this particular group of individuals, when breakfast was skipped, even though more calories tended to be consumed during lunch (an average of approximately 200 additional calories), their later day performance was still reduced. More studies will need to be performed but if you're an athlete with an athletic performance later it the day, making a decision to skip breakfast may reduce your overall performance, even if more calories are consumed later in the day.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, online May 12, 2015.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2015


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