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» Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure
» Chronic Back Pain Could Be Made Worse by Spouse Hostility
» Young and Hypertense: Do You Know if You Have High Blood Pressure?

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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Chronic Back Pain Could Be Made Worse by Spouse Hostility
According to a recent study, lower back pain may be heightened if a spouse is unsupportive or critical of their partner. Published in August, the report involved observing 71 couples during a 10-minute discussion. The researchers were looking to see how a spouseís perspective could influence a patientís ability to deal with pain when they were suffering from a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or a degenerative disc. After the discussion, the patients suffering from chronic back pain were asked to do a 10-minute activity which involved stretching, bending, reclining, walking, standing, and sitting, while their partner watched on. The research team measured the levels of hostility and criticism from the spouse along with how much criticism was perceived by the patient. They also monitored the patientsí depressive symptoms, pain behaviors, and pain intensity.

How Negativity Can Intensify Chronic Back Pain
It was intended for the initial 10-minute discussion to create conflict, but the amount of hostility or criticism given wasnít manipulated. The researchers were successful in creating this conflict, with all patients reporting significant increases in their feelings of sadness, anger, and anxiety. Throughout the activity, the patients who experienced greater pain and were more likely to observe greater criticism from their spouses have been found to have higher depression scores.†

Combatting Chronic Back Pain†
Speaking about the study, John Burns who was their lead researcher suggested that until now, most studies have focused on how adequate social support can positively influence someone with chronic pain. However, this study has demonstrated how negative communication from a spouse can have a harmful effect on pain patients, with these negative responses often creating a vicious cycle. Spouse criticism can cause pain among patients as expressed by straining, groaning, and grimacing up to three hours later. This can also lead to further spouse criticism up to three hours later. When someone is experiencing back pain, itís very easy to criticize, dismiss them, or even act in a hostile manner toward them. However, when a patient is enduring pain, the best type of support is to help them lead the best life they can despite their pain. For back pain sufferers, this may also include getting the help of a chiropractor. As studies suggest, this noninvasive treatment is effective at relieving this type of pain. If youíve got chronic back pain, donít suffer in silence. Seek the professional advice and care of your local chiropractor.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Pain 2017.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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Young and Hypertense: Do You Know if You Have High Blood Pressure?
If you are a male between the ages of 18 and 39, there is a good chance you have high blood pressure and may not know it. Research findings in eight national health surveys conducted between 1999 and 2014 suggest that only half of the 6.7 million young adults between the ages of 18 and 39 who actually have high blood pressure or hypertension received treatment for it.

Most High Blood Pressure Goes Undiagnosed

Approximately 75 million adults in the US, which is roughly 32% of the population, have high blood pressure.† While awareness of and treatment for hypertension and high blood pressure has improved in recent years, a significant number of people still go undiagnosed and untreated every year. And a large percentage of those people are men under the age of 39. Over 86% of women with high blood pressure have been diagnosed and sought treatment, compared with 44% of young men. High blood pressure and hypertension are the leading cause of stroke and heart attack, and contribute to one in 4 deaths every year in the US alone. High blood pressure can be caused by many factors, including obesity, smoking, stress, and genetics. In many cases the risk factors can be reduced or eliminated and the condition can be controlled.† However, failure to seek medical opinion and treatment can have serious consequences.

Reducing Stress With Chiropractic Care May Reduce Blood Pressure
Studies conducted at Harvard Medical School and Brigham & Womenís Hospital in Boston, MA show that individuals who have shown elevated blood pressure in adolescence and early adulthood are at greater risk for heart attacks later in life. Researches suggest that preventing high blood pressure in the first place by exercising, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding tobacco is one of the best ways to reduce the likelihood of hypertension or high blood pressure.† If medication I required to control the condition, patients tend to get better results when they are young. Chiropractic care can also help alleviate or eliminate sources of stress caused by chronic pain, which can contribute to an overall reduction in blood pressure. If you have a history of high blood pressure or heart disease in your family, or think you may be suffering from the condition, you are encouraged to seek a medical evaluation and treatment.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Hypertension, online August 28, 2017.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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