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April 2017 Health Newsletter


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» Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure
» For Low Back Pain, the ACP Recommends Drug-Free Treatments First
» Multi-Tasking Surgeons: What People Don’t Know
» Research Shows Link Between Obesity and Developing 11 Types of Cancer

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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For Low Back Pain, the ACP Recommends Drug-Free Treatments First
The American College of Physicians (ACP) recently released brand-new guidelines regarding treatment for low back pain.  The Annals of Internal Medicine published the ACP's updated guidelines, which are based on a "systematic review of the evidence." This means that a variety of studies were reviewed that examined the effectiveness of both non-drug and drug-based low back pain treatments. Overwhelmingly, non-drug treatments came out ahead.  The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) fully backs these new recommendations, as chiropractic champions treatments without drugs and conservative approaches to back pain. Likewise, the guidelines recommend trying treatments like acupuncture, massage, heat therapy, and others for relief. If these don't work, then patients can try treatments like muscle relaxants or over-the-counter pain medication, like ibuprofen.  For patients who still have pain after trying all of the above, prescription drugs like opioids should only be used as a final measure. The reason is that opioids are notorious for being highly addictive and come with a risk of overdose – negatives which make them highly undesirable and to be used in extreme cases as a last resort option. As the ACA notes, the ACP's guidelines push the current in the right direction, as chiropractic has been proven effective for a wide array of bodily pain. Common treatments include spinal manipulation, physical therapy, and a combination of healthy diet and lifestyle changes

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: American Chiropractic Association, online Feb 14, 2017.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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Multi-Tasking Surgeons: What People Don’t Know

A recent study by the Journal of the American College of Surgeons looked at how many people had heard of something called "overlapping surgery." Overlapping Surgery is when a surgeon performs a critical part of an operation, then leaves a non-critical part to a different surgeon in training, or a physician's assistant, so they can head to a totally different surgery and do the same thing. A common scenario is when the main surgeon leaves closing incisions to an underling so they can move to a different procedure with a different patient. According to the study, although common practice, only a tiny margin of the people surveyed had heard of this practice (4% out of over 1,400 respondents). Almost all of the respondents thought that the patient should be informed of it before going under the knife. Specifically, they thought that patients should know who will perform what aspect of the surgery, including who would be in the room and the role of trainees. Therefore, if you or a loved one is going under the knife, ensure to thoroughly ask who will be involved with all aspects of the surgery so you remain fully informed.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Journal of the American College of Surgeons, online Feb 11, 2017.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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Research Shows Link Between Obesity and Developing 11 Types of Cancer

According to a recent review of research by The BMJ, the tie between obesity and 11 different types of cancers has been strengthened. According to Reuters, the review looked at a larger group of hundreds of studies published in the past that specifically examined the relationship between obesity and 36 types of cancers. Scholars looked for signs that the already-established link between cancer and obesity had been exaggerated, and in the process found a stronger correlation between obesity and 11 specific cancers. In particular, cancers of the organs in the digestive tract as well as women’s reproductive organs were found to have the strongest links to obesity. These include kidney, colon, pancreas, and rectal cancer as well as bone marrow, ovarian, and breast cancer. In addition to these findings, the research review also found a strong connection between a high BMI (body mass index, which measures the ratio of weight to height) and cancers in the pancreas, kidney, esophagus, liver, and bone marrow. Excess weight carried around the midsection also has risk factors for cancer, as women with extra weight and belly fat were found to have an increased chance of developing endometrial cancer. In fact, the risk increases the higher the waist-to-hip ratio (the measurement for belly fat). The takeaway? People can lower their risk for cancer by staying at a consistently healthy weight.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: The BMJ, online Feb 28, 2017.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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