Newsletter Archives > ChiroPlanet.com Monthly Health Newsletter: September 2016 Health Newsletter

September 2016 Health Newsletter


Current Articles

» Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure
» Heat-Related Sports Injuries: When Athletes Are At Greatest Risk
» Are Trampoline Parks Safe for Kids?
» Preventing Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries: Proof That Bike Helmets Really Work

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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Heat-Related Sports Injuries: When Athletes Are At Greatest Risk

Football season for high school and college students typically starts in September, one of the hottest months of the year around the US. A recent study conducted at the University of Georgia found that the likelihood of heat-related injury in athletes increased exponentially during this time of year. 

2 Times When the Risk of Sports Injuries Are the Highest

According to the study, researchers found that there were two times during training when athletes were at the highest risk for injuries.
 •  Within the first 3 to 14 days of practice, but the rate was much higher during the first three days
 •  On days seven and eight of pre-season training when athletes began practicing twice each day. 

Seventy-four percent of the college athletes evaluated suffered from heat cramps, while 26 percent suffered from a combination of heat syncope (fainting) and heat exhaustion. The highest risk came when outdoor temperatures were greater than 82 degrees. 

Common Symptoms of Heat-Related Sports Injuries

Coaches, trainers, parents and athletes should all be on the lookout for injuries related to higher temperatures. Symptoms include: 
 •  Heat Cramps: Involuntary spasms within the larger muscle groups. 
 •  Heat Exhaustion: Heat cramps, copious sweating, nausea, vomiting, headache and weakness. 
 •  Heat Stroke: Headache, rapid heart rate and breathing, nausea, vomiting, and altered behavior or mental state. 

Chiropractors: Helping Prevent Heat-Related Injury in Athletes

Chiropractors, as well as sports trainers, play an important role in preventing sports injuries during the summer training period. They can educate athletes on the importance of adequate hydration and rest. Additionally, they can demonstrate relaxation and flexibility techniques that can be used to relieve muscle spasms. When athletes and their sports medicine team, including chiropractors, work together they can prevent injuries and have a productive and healthy football season.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Journal of Athletic Training, online August 9, 2016.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2016


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Are Trampoline Parks Safe for Kids?

When a new trampoline park opens up, emergency rooms and pediatric centers nearby are sure to notice an increase in related injuries. The safety concerns of trampolines are no secret, accounting for over 100,000 injuries each year.1  These injuries can range from mild to severe, from sprains and bruises to life-threatening spine and neck injuries. There's even a recoil injury doctors are all-too-familiar with: it’s called a "trampoline fracture," which is a tibial fracture commonly caused by having more than one jumper on a trampoline at once.2 Bur recent research illustrates that trampoline parks create even more risk than their standalone counterparts. First, they are built to accommodate many jumpers, and although parks' rules dictate only one jumper per "section," these rules are often broken. The hard supports between sectioned components of the trampolines themselves pose a serious risk as well, and they are common culprits for high-impact injuries after a fall.  At trampoline parks, jumpers are more likely to collide with others, more likely to sustain dislocations, and more likely to require hospital admission than jumpers on home trampolines.3  If a child is going to jump on a trampoline, practicing good safety skills like supervised, netted jumping with only one jumper at a time, as well as appropriately managing any injuries in the event of an accident, is the best way to keep safe them during these activities. And over half of injuries sustained from trampoline activities are soft tissue injuries,4 highlighting the importance of proper injury treatment and care.  For non-life threatening spinal and soft tissue injuries, treatment by a doctor of chiropractic is an excellent, effective, and safe way to heal an injury, strengthen the body, and protect from re-injury.
References: 
1. http://www.livestrong.com/article/347980-statistics-on-trampoline-injuries/
2. http://radiopaedia.org/articles/trampoline-fracture
3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27482060
4. http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/early/2016/07/28/injuryprev-2016-042071

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/early/2016/07/28/injuryprev-2016-042071
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2016


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Preventing Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries: Proof That Bike Helmets Really Work

There has been a debate over the years about whether bike helmets really do that much to prevent injuries. Advocates claim that wearing a helmet while riding a bike can save lives. Skeptics, however, don’t think that this type of protective gear does that much to prevent head injuries, let alone death.  Recently, a study was conducted at the University of Arizona to determine just how effective helmet protection really was for riders.

3 Ways Bike Helmets Protect Riders

During the course of this study, over 6000 bike accident patients were evaluated. Researchers found that helmets did, in fact, protect riders in three important ways. Helmets protected riders from: 
1. Severe Traumatic Brain Injures (TBIs)
2. Facial fractures
3. Death, even after a brain hemorrhage.

The Great Debate: The Numbers Prove That Helmets Are Beneficial

The figures gathered during this study are proof that helmets do a good job of protecting riders. For instance, wearing a helmet reduced the odds of severe traumatic brain injuries by over 50 percent. The likelihood of death after a bike accident was reduced by almost 45 percent in helmeted riders. And, these riders were over 30 percent less likely to experience facial fractures.  While not all helmeted riders are going to avoid traumatic brain injuries after an accident, helmets can reduce the probability of severe injury and death. The numbers speak for themselves; helmets do much to protect the rider. 

Chiropractors Can Be Strong Advocates for Rider Protection

Chiropractors are promoters of health and want to do all they can to help their patients live a happy, injury-free lifestyle. One of the ways they do this is by educating their patients on injury prevention, which includes the use of bike helmets.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: The American Journal of Surgery, online July 29, 2016
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2016


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