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» Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure
» Study Supports Spinal Manipulation for Relieving Low Back Pain
» The Amazing Health Benefits of Riding Your Bike to Work
» Stop Drinking Soda & Coffee for Energy – Climb the Stairs Instead!

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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Study Supports Spinal Manipulation for Relieving Low Back Pain

Living with chronic low back pain is no way to live. Everything from exercise to simply sitting down can be extremely painful. Many people with low back problems need to significantly change their daily routines to avoid the excruciating pain common movements can cause. One of the main ways a chiropractor can help with this kind of discomfort is through SMT (Spinal Manipulative Therapy). A recent JAMA study has shed light on why this method is so helpful and how the chiropractic community is taking steps to ensure the best possible care for their patients.

An Alternative to Evasive Surgeries and Prescription Drugs

There are a number of reasons this review is extremely exciting, not the least of which is that SMT could be a reliable alternative to back surgeries and/or the use of drug therapy to help cope with the pain. In fact, the American College of Physicians recently released new guidelines for low back pain treatment, which makes the same recommendation. The ACA (American Chiropractic Association) was quick to formally approve a resolution to adopt these new standards, along with chiropractic-specific practices from the Clinical Compass. One reason the ACA gave for their decision was our country’s current opioid crisis. President David Herd, DC, cited the risk of dependency as playing a role in these new guidelines. 

Toward a Greater Consensus Regarding Chiropractic Care

Another benefit of these recent studies that Dr. Herd mentioned in his statement was how adopting these guidelines will help grow a greater consensus amongst:

  • Chiropractors
  • Patients
  • Other Health Care Providers
  • Policy Makers
  • Insurance Companies

This would include methods for pain treatment, as well as management and co-management solutions.

Are You Struggling Because of Low Back Pain?

No one should have to limit their lives because of chronic low back pain. According to a Gallup survey from 2016, more than 35 million Americans sought pain relief from a chiropractor over the course of the prior year. That’s 25% of the population. Over the course of their entire lifetimes, 65% of us will seek professional care because of neck or back pain. If you’re one of the millions of people who are having a hard time getting through the day because of their low back issues, make an appointment with your local chiropractor right away. You could already feel a major difference after just one visit without having to undergo major surgery or take a prescription medication.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: American Chiropractic Association, online April 11, 2017.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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The Amazing Health Benefits of Riding Your Bike to Work

The government wants to start encouraging more people to take their bike to work. No, this isn’t in response to efforts to halt the progression of global climate change and to save the environment. The reason the government is promoting this is because of the awesome health benefits. According to recent studies, riding to work can reduce a person’s chances of:

  • Developing cancer
  • Dying prematurely
  • Being diagnosed with heart disease

The numbers are quite astonishing. According to the UK’s Telegraph, the risk of premature death fell by 41% among those who regularly rode to work. Forbes reports that the study was done at the University of Glasgow, where they evaluated the health of over 260,000 people during a five year period. Those who cycled to work had a:

  • 46% lower risk of developing heart disease
  • 52% lower risk of dying from heart disease
  • 45% lower risk of developing cancer
  • 40% lower risk of dying from cancer

Since cancer and heart disease are the leading causes of death in many countries – including the U.S. – it stands to reason that people would do anything they can to reduce their risks. Now they have proof that something as simple as cycling to work can lower the risk significantly. Why not give it a try for yourself? Start out slow – replacing your car with your bike as your mode of transport one day a week, then two, then three, and so on. With results like these, you’ll be happy you did!

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: BMJ 2017;357:j1944
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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Stop Drinking Soda & Coffee for Energy – Climb the Stairs Instead!

Drinking coffee first thing in the morning may seem like the logical way to perk up low energy levels. Researchers have found, though, that caffeine – either from soda, energy drinks, coffee, or tea – has less of an effect on a person’s energy as does physical activity. The physical activity promoted in this recent study: stair climbing. Climbing the stairs may be the last thing a person wants to do when they’ve had a long night, but according to a study in Reuters, taking the stairs has a more profound effect on energy than caffeine. The study followed young, busy women, as this is a demographic that is largely often sleep deprived. The women in the study averaged less than 6.5 hours of sleep each night. Some of the women were given a placebo, others a 50mg dose of caffeine, and the last group had to climb stairs for 10 minutes. After this, they were asked to describe their level of energy, and were also tested for cognitive awareness and function. This included testing their memory and reaction times. The women who climbed the stairs felt significantly more energized, particularly right after their exercise. According to Men’s Health, the activity didn’t reduce the participant’s cognitive function, which means that when a person exerts themselves physically they don’t exhaust themselves mentally. Medical News Today reports that the participants even had greater motivation to work after their jaunt up the stairs. So, after a sleepless night – ditch the caffeine and hit the stairs. You’ll feel better!

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Physiology and Behavior, online March 14, 2017.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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