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

October 2016 Health Newsletter


Current Articles

» Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure
» New Findings on Acetaminophen and Pregnancy
» Can Your Mental Workload Affect Your Muscles?
» Unsafe Drinking Water: Millions of Americans Exposed to Toxic Chemicals

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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New Findings on Acetaminophen and Pregnancy
During pregnancy, it's all about the healthy development of the mother and child. There is a host of medical providers and practitioners who focus on prenatal care through vitamins, check-ups, and health tips – including what to avoid.  It's no longer news that alcohol and tobacco are among the substances to avoid during pregnancy, but a new study suggests that acetaminophen, the active ingredient in certain painkillers, may be added to that list.  Last month, a new study was published in JAMA Pediatrics that explored the relationship between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and childhood behavioral problems. These findings concluded that while further investigations are needed to clarify the relationship between the pain medication and abnormal fetal neurodevelopment, children appear to be more at-risk of developing behavioral problems if the mother took acetaminophen while pregnant.  No matter the drug, healthcare providers suggest using the lowest effective dose or avoiding pain medications whenever possible during pregnancy.  It is very common for women to experience pains during pregnancy. In fact, 50 percent or more of women experience back pain while pregnant. Physical and hormonal changes can cause pain leading to stress and anxiety – both of which can negatively impact both the mother and the baby.  But with new research suggesting that pain medications may lead to potentially serious side effects for fetal neurodevelopment, mothers may wonder what to do about their pain. Fortunately, doctors of chiropractic have a solution.  Chiropractic care is a safe, gentle, and effective method of treating soft tissue and joint pains that arise during pregnancy. And as chiropractic treatment focuses on the source of pain rather than masking symptoms, doctors of chiropractic are important members of a pregnant mother's healthcare team to support her overall well-being both before and after childbirth.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JAMA Pediatr. 2016;170(10):964-970. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.1775
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2016


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Can Your Mental Workload Affect Your Muscles?

It's no secret that hard manual labor can have an effect on the body. But a new study suggests there may be a connection between musculoskeletal disorders and mental workload, too.  How does mental stress affect our bodies? Research published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics investigated bank workers' mental workload against pain throughout nine different musculoskeletal regions. The results demonstrated that the more subjective mental workload the employees experienced, the higher their musculoskeletal pain, particularly in the neck and back. Over time, we are beginning to understand the relationship between mental stress and musculoskeletal pain. Last year, a similar study was conducted on hospital nurses, revealing similar results, suggesting that increased mental stress leads to increased musculoskeletal pains.  For doctors of chiropractic, this research highlights a philosophy that chiropractic care has always embraced: the importance of holistic care. Exceptional and effective chiropractic care relies on a comprehensive approach that sees the body as a complete entity. Through a multifaceted approach including physical therapy, spinal manipulation, massage, nutrition, and more, chiropractic care helps individuals manage both their pain and their lifestyle to improve and eliminate discomfort from the source. Particularly for those with mentally stressful jobs, good posture can be easy to forget about, for instance. Emphasis and instruction on proper techniques and form for employees who stand or sit at a computer for long periods of time is an excellent example of preventing musculoskeletal aches and pains from developing. By taking appropriate breaks and learning tips and methods for minimizing physical and mental stress at work, a doctor of chiropractic can help guide stressed out workers towards a holistic method of resolving their mental and physical fatigue.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2016 Jul-Aug;39(6):420-6.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2016


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Unsafe Drinking Water: Millions of Americans Exposed to Toxic Chemicals

There are three things humans need to survive: safe food, air and water. Unfortunately, with all of the pollutants in the environment, more and more people are being exposed to unsafe drinking water. A study conducted by Harvard researchers found that substances called PFASs (poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances) are showing up in drinking water. PFASs are used in fabricating commercial and industrial products, as well as aqueous film-forming foams (used in fire fighter training). These toxic chemicals are produced at industrial sites, military and fire rescue training facilities, wastewater treatment plants and airports. Over six million people live close to such facilities and are at risk for exposure. PFASs have been linked to testicular and kidney cancers, obesity, and the disruption of hormones. Because of their small size, toxic chemicals can quickly accumulate in a child’s body. Adults, on the other hand, need to be exposed to higher levels of toxins or exposed for longer periods of time before getting sick. Harvard researchers recently studied over 500 children, aged 13 years. They tested the concentration levels of PFASs, as well as tetanus and diphtheria antibodies. Children exposed to higher PFAS levels had a 25 percent decrease in antibodies. The theory is that PFASs interfere with a child’s immune function and reduce the effectiveness of vaccines. The best option is to purchase and use a quality water filtration system in your home, and maintain and change your filters as recommended. Then, simply pack water with you wherever you go within a PBA-free container. If purchasing bottled water, ensure you safely recycle all your plastic water bottles.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Environmental Health Perspectives, online August 9, 2016.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2016


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