October 2018 Health Newsletter

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» Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure
» National Chiropractic Health Month Starts October: Get Moving!
» Women: Want to Avoid Heart Failure? Try Walking

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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National Chiropractic Health Month Starts October: Get Moving!  
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and chiropractors nationwide are promoting the benefits of movement to overall health as well as the prevention of back pain during National Chiropractic Health Month (NCHM) in October. This year’s theme, “Move 4 Life,” encourages people to move more now so they will be able to move better later and avoid chronic and painful conditions associated with sedentary lifestyles.

For information on the benefits of movement and tips on how to stay active and prevent injury, visit www.acatoday.org/NCHM and follow ACA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram--look for the hashtag #Move4Life. (Those who would like to help promote NCHM can also find a campaign toolkit with information and resources to share on social media and in their communities.)

Research shows there is a worldwide pandemic of increasing inactivity. In the U.S., only about half of all adults get the recommended amount of physical activity, putting them at greater risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes as well as falls and low back pain.

“The bones, muscles and joints that make up our body’s musculoskeletal system require regular movement to stay healthy and function properly. As we age, we are more at risk of developing low back pain and joint problems if we do not get enough physical activity,” said ACA President N. Ray Tuck, Jr., DC. “With their non-drug approach, chiropractors help people move better by relieving back and joint pain and improving joint function.”

ACA offers additional information on how to get and stay moving:
  • Good nutrition, ergonomic workspaces and proper lifting and movement techniques can go a long way in helping people to strengthen their spines and avoid disabling injuries and chronic back pain, which often prevent regular physical activity.
  • Consider weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, which help maintain bone density over a lifetime and keep our skeletal bones healthy and strong.
  • When busy schedules are the obstacle, a re-examination of personal priorities is sometimes necessary to restore balance in life; make time for healthy habits such as physical activity.
  • Back pain is one of the most common conditions for which prescription opioids are prescribed. It was once believed that pain medication and bed rest were the best course of action for low back pain, but research today supports first trying non-drug options for pain management, while remaining as active as possible, before moving on to other options.
Doctors of chiropractic practice a hands-on, drug-free approach to health care and pain relief that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. In addition to their expertise in spinal manipulation, chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, and to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling. For more information, visit www.acatoday.org/patients.

Author:American Chiropractic Association
Source:Online, acatoday.com. September 25, 2018.
Copyright:American Chiropractic Association 2018


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Women: Want to Avoid Heart Failure? Try Walking  

New research suggests that women who exercise regularly, including walking, may lower their risk for heart failure. The study from researchers at the University of Buffalo in New York looked at over 137,000 women aged 50-79, of which over one-third had high blood pressure and other heart disease risk factors such as smoking and diabetes. After a follow-up period of 14 years, researchers found that the women who got some form of physical activity were less likely to suffer from heart failure (11%). Women with the highest levels of physical activity, meanwhile, were the least likely to suffer from heart failure (35%), as compared to women who got no exercise at all. In addition, women who got the most physical activity were the least likely to develop a sub-type of heart failure called reduced ejection fraction (32%) as compared to women who never exercised. 33% of the same group of women were also the least likely to develop another sub-type of heart failure called a preserved ejection fraction. One of the biggest findings from the study, however, is that walking works just as well as other forms of exercise, including more vigorous types. To discover how much exercise the women got, researchers studied answers to a questionnaire about exercise that every participant completed. As it turns out, walking was the most common type of physical activity reported.

Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:JACC: Heart Failure, online September 5, 2018.
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2018


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