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March 2015 Health Newsletter


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» Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure
» Chiropractic First - Surgery Last
» Chiropractic - Safe and Sound
» Legislation Introduced in U.S. Congress to Further Integrate DCs in Military, VA

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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Chiropractic First - Surgery Last
Many individuals suffering from back, neck and spinal-related conditions experience mild to moderate, even severe chronic pain. Often, a sense of frustration and hopelessness lead many to obtain surgery in their quest for relief before considering other forms of safer, less invasive care. The medical research discussing the complications of surgery are loaded with statements including, "Surgical site infection (SSI) after spinal surgery can result in several serious secondary complications, such as pseudoarthrosis, neurological injury, paralysis, sepsis, and death." Certainly there are conditions that may require surgical intervention. However, it's essential to first ensure that other forms of safe, non-invasive, mainstream interventions such as chiropractic care have first been considered, especially given the severity of complications related to spinal surgeries. If you or a loved one are experiencing neck, back and/or spinal related pain and/or discomfort, or, perhaps it's simply time for a checkup, call your local doctor of chiropractic today. Most chiropractors offer no obligation consultations allowing an opportunity to meet with the doctor and discuss your case prior to making any decisions about care.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: The Spine Journal. Vol. 15 Iss. 3, March 1, 2015.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2015


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Chiropractic - Safe and Sound
Every once in a while someone makes a comment suggesting chiropractic care might not be completely safe. They may claim that chiropractic care to the neck region might have associated risks of stroke. Make no mistake - chiropractic care is actually one of the most natural, safe and least invasive forms of health care available. Doctors of chiropractic are trained extensively to deliver their care in a safe, natural and non-invasive manner. Not only have millions of patients experienced the safety and effectiveness chiropractic care has to offer, numerous studies in existence back this up. One of the most recently published safety related studies evaluated the incidence of strokes in approximately 1.16 million 66 to 99 year old Medicare beneficiaries following visits to medical doctors vs. visits to doctors of chiropractic. Ironically according to researchers, their findings indicated that 7 days after their visits slightly more beneficiaries who visited a medical doctor as compared to a doctor of chiropractic ended up suffering from a stroke.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JMPT. February 2015 Volume 38, Issue 2, Pages 93–101.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2015


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Legislation Introduced in U.S. Congress to Further Integrate DCs in Military, VA
Arlington, Va. – At the urging of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), two new bipartisan bills were introduced in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to further incorporate doctors of chiropractic (DCs) in the nation’s military and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care systems. Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) and Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) introduced H.R. 802, bipartisan legislation that would provide TRICARE recipients with access to DCs, as well as services to manage pain and address neuromusculoskeletal disorders and related illnesses. Services provided by DCs are currently only available to active-duty troops at 60 military treatment facilities in the United States and at bases in Germany and Japan. "Congress needs to ensure that the services delivered by DCs are available to retirees, dependents and survivor beneficiaries in the military TRICARE system, a benefit that is now available to many in the private sector," said ACA President Anthony Hamm, DC, FACO. "This inequity has resulted in medically retired servicemen and women losing their chiropractic benefits immediately upon discharge." Additionally, Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced S. 398, "The Chiropractic Care Available to All Veterans Act," a bill that would integrate the services of DCs at all major VA medical facilities over several years and codify chiropractic as a standard benefit for veterans accessing VA care. Although the VA currently provides access to a DC at just over 50 major VA treatment facilities within the country, a great number of America’s eligible veterans continue to be denied access to chiropractic. The VA has no DCs on staff at a majority of the VA’s health facilities  and referrals to chiropractic services outside the VA system are rarely provided at these and other locations. "Congress should enact legislation to eliminate disparities in veterans’ access to chiropractic services,” said Dr. Hamm. “Veterans deserve access to the essential services provided by doctors of chiropractic, especially since a great number of returning overseas veterans are suffering from musculoskeletal ailments.  Who better to treat these brave men and women than chiropractic physicians?" According to ACA's Department of Government Relations, the 2015 National Chiropractic Leadership Conference (NCLC), Feb. 25-28 in Washington, D.C., will serve as a major lobbying opportunity to build support for these bills. Additionally, all chiropractic physicians and students are encouraged to visit ACA's Legislative Action Center to directly contact their member of Congress ahead of NCLC 2015 and urge them to co-sponsor and support enactment of these bills.

Author: American Chiropractic Association
Source: Acatoday.org - February 11, 2015.
Copyright: American Chiropractic Association 2015


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