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» Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure
» House Introduces Bill to Expand Chiropractic Access...Military Retirees Families
» Jump For Your Adjustment!
» Obesity Linked to Chronic Back Pain

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

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House Introduces Bill to Expand Chiropractic Access...Military Retirees Families

A bill introduced last week in the House of Representatives and supported by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) would expand access to chiropractic services to military retirees, dependents and survivors through the Department of Defense TRICARE health program. The legislation (H.R. 4973), introduced by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) and Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa), would not only enable those who currently receive chiropractic care to continue their treatment but would also establish, in the wake of the nationwide opioid crisis, an important non-drug option for pain management in the program. "Chiropractors have become valued members of the military health care team. Their non-drug, non-addictive and noninvasive approach to pain management has proven effective in helping members of the military to recover from injuries, manage chronic pain and enhance their readiness for duty," said ACA President David Herd, DC. "This bill would ensure that military retirees and military family members have access to the same quality care." Chiropractic services were first made available to active-duty military personnel following the enactment in 2000 of legislation to create a permanent chiropractic benefit within the Department of Defense health care system. As part of the pilot program before full implementation, retirees, dependents and survivors were also granted access to chiropractic services on a space-available basis. At the time, it was found that the benefit was valued within the TRICARE community. Today, chiropractic is available only to active-duty service members at more than 60 military treatment facilities in the United States, as well as bases in Germany and Japan. Chiropractors focus on disorders of the musculoskeletal system, most often treating complaints such as back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs and headaches. Widely known for their expertise in spinal manipulation, chiropractors are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, and to provide dietary and lifestyle counseling.

Author: American Chiropractic Association
Source: online, February 14, 2018.
Copyright: American Chiropractic Association 2018

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Jump For Your Adjustment!

Looking to increase athletic performance and possibly your vertical jump height? Give an adjustment a try! A small blinded trial was conducted recently in young female athletes who were suffering from ankle joint dysfunction to see if an adjustment to the joint could affect their vertical jump height. The ankle joint, more technically referred to as the talocrural joint, is the joint formed from the ends of the lower leg bones (tibia and fibula) and the top bone of the ankle, the talus. Half of the female athletes with ankle joint dysfunction received an adjustment to their ankle joint once a week for three weeks while the other half received a sham treatment once a week for three weeks. On average, those receiving the adjustment to their ankle joint saw an average 0.47 cm increase in their vertical jump as compared with the sham group. It’s important to recognize that adjustments provided by doctors of chiropractic can be delivered to and benefit more than just the joints of the spine. If you or someone you know is suffering from pain or dysfunction, or is simply looking to enhance their physical performance and overall health, give your local chiropractor a call today!

Source: JMPT. February 2014. Vol. 37; Issue 2.
Copyright: LLC 2014

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Obesity Linked to Chronic Back Pain

In a study published in the January 2013 issue of Spine, researchers in Norway have established a positive link between obesity and chronic lower back pain. The study was backed by census data of nearly twenty thousand men and women, aged 30-69 years and collected over a decade. Participants were divided into two groups; people without chronic back pain and those already experiencing chronic back pain. For the purposes of the study, 'chronic back pain' was defined as pain persisting for at least three months continuously over a year. The results, adjusted for age, physical activity levels, and other health factors indicated that the subjects who were 30 or more pounds overweight were 28 percent more likely to experience chronic lower back pain. The researchers pointed out that while the obesity may lead to the lower back pain, it is also possible that the lower back pain may lead to an increase in the subjects' obesity, due to decreased physical activity.

Source: Spine: 15 January 2013 - Volume 38 - Issue 2 - p 133–139.
Copyright: LLC 2013

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