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January 2017 Health Newsletter


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» Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure
» Pediatric Chiropractic Care: Is It Safe?
» Opioid Pain Killers and Crash Risk in the Elderly
» What Mattress Is Best For Your Back Pain?

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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Pediatric Chiropractic Care: Is It Safe?

Chiropractors are no strangers to the question: "Is chiropractic care safe for children?" Extensive research on the subject of chiropractic care and techniques tailored to the unique bodies and needs of children indicates yes. One common concern regarding pediatric chiropractic care is based upon a misunderstanding that everyone, regardless of age, receives the same techniques and treatments. However, just as a child sees a pediatrician, receives child-appropriate doses of medications, and responds differently than adults to different medical treatments, so too do children require tailored chiropractic care. The field of pediatric chiropractic care is enormously large and effective, and has helped children across the globe. And just as different bodies young and old have different needs, chiropractors modify techniques depending on the age and development of the child. Childhood chiropractic care has resulted in high improvement of conditions from musculoskeletal pains to GI ailments, and has been employed to successfully treat childhood asthma as well as pain in the back, joints, and soft tissues. This summer, the Chiropractic Board of Australia and the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) released statements about the safety and efficacy of pediatric chiropractic care, asserting that the practice is gentle and effective. The ACA further cited over 115 years of scientific literature investigating adverse events in pediatric chiropractic care, and illustrated that such adverse events were "exceedingly rare." Pediatric chiropractic care has been demonstrated as an important component of childhood health care, and supports the wellbeing of young people through safe, gentle, and effective treatments.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JMPT Volume 39, Issue 6, Pages 401–410
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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Opioid Pain Killers and Crash Risk in the Elderly

Opioid use has been in the spotlight recently. From over-prescription, to abuse and addiction, to devastating long-term effects, the conversation about these controversial medications has even reached the federal level through opioid legislation. But the drug is now receiving attention in a new topic of discussion: motor vehicle accidents. A new study from the Oxford Journal Age and Ageing has demonstrated a possible link between opioid use and increased vehicle crash risk for individuals 50-80 years old. The results of this study demonstrated that older drivers using opioid medications doubled their risk of a single-vehicle crash against those using non-opioid analgesics. Previous studies have also suggested possible increased risk associated with driving while taking opioids, which further reinforces the known risks of opioid medications. For doctors of chiropractic, seeing patients who are taking opioid medications is all too familiar. This is because opioids are very commonly prescribed for back and neck pain, and are often taken long-term. However, these drugs can have devastating side effects such as depression, dependence, and even damage to the brain. Fortunately, chiropractic care presents a solution. Rather than prescribing long-term medications or invasive procedures, chiropractic care relies on non-invasive, sustainable, and effective treatment measures that don't just mask the symptoms of pain, but treat the actual source of discomfort. Particularly for the elderly, the understood risks of opioid usage are increasing. But chiropractic care presents a solution that is safe and effective for all ages, eliminating the risks associated with these medications, and resolving pain from the source. By minimizing or eliminating the need for pain medications, chiropractic care can effectively increase safety for elderly patients and increase their quality of life.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Age and Aging, online July 26, 2016.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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What Mattress Is Best For Your Back Pain?
According to a recent study, waterbeds and body-conforming foam mattresses appear better for those individuals who suffer from back pain as compared with hard mattresses. The study included more than 100 subjects who were randomly assigned a waterbed, body-conforming mattress or hard mattress. Subjects slept on their assigned mattresses for 30-days and were evaluated by researchers before and after the 30-days. Things evaluated included the subjects' reported back pain levels, daily functioning and amount of sleep achieved per night. While researchers found no significant difference between those sleeping on waterbeds and those sleeping on foam mattresses, they did find them both superior to the hard mattress. And while everyone responds differently, those suffering from back pains who sleep on a hard mattress may wish to consider changing to a softer, less stiff foam containing mattress or perhaps even those once very popular waterbeds.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Spine. 33(7):703-708, April 1, 2008.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2008


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