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April 2015 Health Newsletter


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» Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure
» Chiropractic Adjustments In The Blood
» Good Vibrations
» Chiropractic Profession Unites in Washington, D.C. to Advocate for Patients, Exp

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 Adjustments In The Blood

Millions of patients have benefited from chiropractic care. Perhaps the most popular with patients are the pain relief benefits offered by chiropractic. A recent study evaluated modifications in blood enzymes before and after a five week stint of twice a week chiropractic spinal adjustments for individuals suffering from nonspecific chronic neck or back pain. After five weeks of the spinal adjustments researchers found a measurable elevation in certain blood enzymes. Specifically, they found significant increases in the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase. Other studies have shown a relationship between pain and these sorts of enzymes. Researchers believe the changes measured in enzymes could be related to the analgesic effective that chiropractic adjustments have on the body.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JMPT February 2015 Volume 38, Issue 2, Pages 119–129
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2015


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Good Vibrations

Individuals with neck pain and discomfort typically demonstrate difficulty in joint position sense and diminished postural control. This essentially means neck pain sufferers have disturbed neck movements/biomechanics. This can in turn can lead to additional pain, discomfort, arthritis and reduced motion in the neck. A newly conducted study compared the effects of vibration therapy in a group of healthy individuals to those suffering from neck pain. All subjects received short term vibration to the neck muscles at a frequency of 100 Hz. Interestingly, neck pain sufferers experienced an almost opposite effect to the healthy individuals. Those suffering from neck pain experienced an improvement in joint position sense and reduction in dynamic postural sway after vibration therapy. On the other hand, healthy individuals or non neck pain sufferers had a reduction in joint position sense acuity and a nonsignificant increase in postural sway. While the reduced joint position sense in healthy individuals was most likely short term and not harmful, there were clear benefits observed in the neck pain sufferers after receiving vibration therapy.

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


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Chiropractic Profession Unites in Washington, D.C. to Advocate for Patients, Exp

Arlington, Va. - Members of the chiropractic profession from across the nation gathered in Washington, D.C. and later met with congressional leaders to stress the importance of chiropractic's role in national health care and Medicare reform. The group convened as part of the  2015 National Chiropractic Leadership Conference (NCLC), taking place Feb. 25 - 28. Nearly 700 chiropractic physicians, students and supporters converged on the nation's capital to hear speeches from government leaders, receive advocacy training and urge elected officials to support pro-chiropractic measures that would benefit patients, expand access to chiropractic services for veterans and active-duty military personnel, and help chiropractic graduates qualify for federal programs that would enable them to practice in underserved areas in exchange for student loan debt relief. Congressional Keynote Speaker, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), a member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, emphasized the importance of having chiropractic physicians fully incorporated into the health care system. "The work that doctors of chiropractic do is a key part of our nation's health and wellness," said Sen. Merkley. "We need to make sure that chiropractic care is accessible and affordable to those who need it." Attendees also heard from U.S. Representative Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), a member of the Armed Services Committee and a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve where he flew the E-2C Hawkeye in America's war on drugs before becoming a member of Congress; and U.S. Representative Mark Amodei (R-Nev.), who sits on the powerful Appropriations Committee, the panel that has oversight on all federal spending. ACA President Anthony Hamm, DC, in his opening address to attendees, focused on the need for chiropractic services for veterans. "Our veterans want quality, they want value and they want outcomes. That's what chiropractic delivers. And that's our charge," he said.

Author: American Chiropractic Association
Source: Acatoday.org February 26, 2015.
Copyright: American Chiropractic Association 2015


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