March 2019 Health Newsletter

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» Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure
» Reducing Risk of Recurring Low Back Pain for Office Workers
» New Study Finds Obese Seniors Can Improve Disability with Diet and Exercise
» Even Bad Cholesterol in the Moderate Range Can Spell Early Death

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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Reducing Risk of Recurring Low Back Pain for Office Workers  

Are you an office worker who has experienced low back pain in the past?  If so, you are at a significantly greater risk of future low back pain.  According to a one-year study of 669 healthy office workers, people who had previous episodes of low back pain were more likely to experience low back pain again.  The amount of recurring low back pain was also influenced by the frequency of work rest breaks as well as psychological stresses.  This study gives some clues as to how to avoid getting low back pain while at the office.

Here are some tips:

  • Take Frequent Desk Breaks. We are not talking about taking advantage of your employer and “shirking off” during the day for long periods of time. A quick break could simply be to stand up for a minute or two and stretch before returning to your work.
  • Reduce Workplace Stress. While some of this is out of your control, you can take some positive steps to reduce workplace stress. Speak up and ask for an extended deadline if the task needs it. Try to work out problems with coworkers respectfully and proactively.
  • Chiropractic Care. A qualified chiropractor can help you reduce low back pain when it happens and prevent it. Contact our office today for a no commitment consultation!

Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:JMPT. June 2018 Volume 41, Issue 5, Pages 405–412
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2019


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New Study Finds Obese Seniors Can Improve Disability with Diet and Exercise  

According to a new U.S. study, seniors age 65-79 may be able to improve their disability and lessen fatigue if they start exercising more.  Plus, if they cut calories, they may achieve overall improved health.  Researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina conducted the study. The experiment involved 180 obese senior adults from the age of 65 to 79 years-old.  Each participant was randomly given a 20-week task: Regular aerobic activity, or regular aerobic activity combined with cutting calories.  All 180 seniors focused on treadmill exercises at least 4 days per week. However, the group assigned to cut calories also were instructed to eat at least 250-600 fewer calories per day, as well.  According to the study, the group who exercised and cut calories was able to increase their exercise capacity (the body’s ability to supply oxygen to muscles during longer exercise sessions) by 14-16%.  Meanwhile, the seniors who only focused on aerobic exercise increased their exercise capacity by nearly 8%.  The researchers concluded, in general, people who cut a moderate amount of calories from their diets and complete regular aerobic workouts will see good results.  You don’t have to slash calories drastically, because this is difficult to keep up.  Best of all, anyone at any stage of life, even people who are both obese and elderly, will see health benefits from getting active and eating less.

Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:The Journals of Gerontology Series B, online July 5, 2018.
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2019


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Even Bad Cholesterol in the Moderate Range Can Spell Early Death  
Adults who don't keep their "bad cholesterol" numbers at bay, who are otherwise healthy, are far likelier to die early deaths from cardiovascular issues than those who keep their cholesterol in the "good" range.  A recent study from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center looked at data from over 36,000 patients with zero past incidences of diabetes or heart disease, including a low risk for heart attacks and strokes.  However, these patients had some level of LDL-C ("bad cholesterol" that can build up in your blood vessels), although it was low enough not to warrant prescription cholesterol medication, called statins.  The follow-up period for the study was around 27 years. During this time, over 1,000 people died from cardiovascular disease, while nearly 600 died from heart disease.  According to the study, the higher the person's LDL-C levels (ranging from 100 to 190 mg/DL), the higher their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or complications.  Usually, physicians don't prescribe statins unless the patient's cholesterol level reaches a threshold of 190 mg/DL.  This means even moderate levels of LDL-C can put you at risk.  Researchers say that the biggest takeaway from the study data is that a low risk for 10-year cardiovascular events does not mean the risk posed by higher LDL-C levels is wiped out.

Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:Circulation, online August 20, 2018.
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2019


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