June 2019 Health Newsletter

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» Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure
» ACA Joins Voices Coalition to Increase Access to Non-opioid Pain Treatments
» Fit At 50 Means Less Chronic Disease
» Active Kids Think Better

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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ACA Joins Voices Coalition to Increase Access to Non-opioid Pain Treatments  

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has joined forces with Voices for Non-Opioid Choices ("Voices"), a nonpartisan coalition of more than 20 organizations committed to preventing opioid addiction before it starts by increasing patient access to non-opioid therapies and approaches for managing acute pain.  Chiropractors' use of spinal manipulation as a non-drug approach to back pain treatment is especially relevant in combating the U.S. opioid epidemic.  Low back pain is one of the most common conditions for which prescription opioid pain medications are prescribed even though research shows the drugs have limited effectiveness in relieving back pain and carry higher risks.  The Voices coalition seeks to increase access to multiple non-opioid and non-drug approaches so that patients can manage their pain more safely and effectively--particularly pain after surgery.  According to Voices, pain after surgery is a common path to opioid abuse, misuse and addiction, with about 3 million Americans becoming "persistent" opioid users each year following a surgical procedure.  The Voices coalition includes both patient and provider organizations such as the American Nurses Association, the Alliance of Orthopaedic Executives, the American Medical Women’s Association and the National Safety Council.  "We are excited to join Voices and its efforts to increase access to non-opioid approaches to pain treatment.  Chiropractic services and other non-drug approaches are an important first line of defense against pain," said ACA President Robert C. Jones, DC.  "Beyond the risks of addiction and overdose, prescription opioid medications that numb pain may convince a patient that a musculoskeletal condition such as back pain is less severe than it is or that it has healed. This misunderstanding can lead to overexertion and a delay in the healing process or even permanent injury."

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) is the largest professional chiropractic organization in the United States.  ACA attracts the most principled and accomplished chiropractors, who understand that it takes more to be called an ACA chiropractor.  We are leading our profession in the most constructive and far-reaching ways -- by working hand in hand with other health care professionals, by lobbying for pro-chiropractic legislation and policies, by supporting meaningful research and by using that research to inform our treatment practices.  We also provide professional and educational opportunities for all our members and are committed to being a positive and unifying force for the practice of modern chiropractic.

Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:Acatoday.com; May 20, 2019.
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2019


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Fit At 50 Means Less Chronic Disease  

In a finding that should come as a surprise to no one, a new U.S. study concluded that physically fit 50 year olds suffered less from chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and colon cancer, as they aged. The study of over 18,600 men and women, linked treadmill tests, done at the age of 50 and meant to establish cardiovascular health, to an additional 26 years of Medicare claims. Men in the lowest fifth of fitness scores in the initial evaluation experienced a rate of chronic disease of 28 percent per year. In contrast, the the rate of the top fifth was 16 percent per year. In women, the rates were 20 percent and 11 percent. Currently, national guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise per week. While the findings do not prove that exercise cuts the risk of chronic disease, it does appear that it makes a difference as we age. However, researchers added that the study did not take into account genetic and environmental factors which may affect the chronic disease rates.

Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:Archives of Internal Medicine, online August 27, 2012.
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2012


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Active Kids Think Better  

According to researchers, children who participate in moderate to vigorous physical activity not only benefit physically, they also improve their cognitive performance and brain function. Results from a new study involving 221 children aged 7 to 9 show regular participation in moderate to vigorous physical activity increases their ability to block out distractions, increase focus and improve their multi-tasking skills. U.S. and European exercise guidelines for children and teens currently call for a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day. If you're a parent with a child or teen, encourage and assist them in becoming and staying physically active. Enroll them in after school programs that involve physical activity. Get them into a sports league. Join the YMCA. Take them to the park. Play in the back yard. Be safe but definitely be active!

Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:Pediatrics, online September 29, 2014.
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2014


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