January 2019 Health Newsletter

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Current Articles

» Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure
» How Chiropractic Care Can Help Relieve “Forward Head Posture”
» Kids Aren’t the Only Ones Who Need Less Screen Time
» Over One-Quarter of the Entire World’s Population Doesn’t Get Enough Exercise

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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How Chiropractic Care Can Help Relieve “Forward Head Posture”  

If you spend a lot of time at the computer or looking down at your smartphone, you may be dealing with "forward head posture." Fortunately, this condition can be corrected with the right chiropractic care which often includes therapeutic exercises and stretches. 
What Is Forward Head Posture?
Forward head posture refers to when our head is not positioned properly over the body and is too far forward. This is typically caused by too much screen time in today’s computerized world although spending too much time at a desk or writing by hand, knitting or sewing could also cause an issue over time. Our head should be balanced on the top of our neck. This is often described as how a golf ball sits on top of a tee. The ears should be in line with the shoulders, not in front. The neck has a natural "C" curve when viewed from the side when the head is in the proper position. When the head is too far forward, that natural "C" curve can be reduced or lost increasing the tension on the structures of the neck and upper back. This can cause the upper back to become excessively curved in it's natural reversed "C" shape resulting in a condition called "kyphosis." When forward head posture becomes the norm for your body, it can lead to chronic neck pain, headaches, and spinal disc problems.
The Solution for Forward Head Posture
Fortunately, chiropractic care can significantly help. Additionally, many chiropractors not only utilize chiropractic-specific spinal adjustments to help correct these postural abnormalities, but additionally employ the use of in-office and/or at home therapeutic exercise regimen. If you are suffering from headaches, neck pain, or shoulder pain or discomfort, contact us today for a no-obligation evaluation.

Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:JMPT: July–August, 2018 Volume 41, Issue 6, Pages 530–539.
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2019


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Kids Aren’t the Only Ones Who Need Less Screen Time  

A new doctor-authored resource for parents has some surprising news: Parents should limit their own screen time as well as their kids'. Here's why: Kids often mirror their parents' words and actions. According to Dr. Jenny Radesky, a co-writer of the resource in JAMA Pediatrics, this includes how parents interact with their smartphones – and how often. Dr. Radesky's research on the subject has revealed that parents preoccupied with their phones typically engage in less one-on-one interactions with their children, have more parent-child conflicts, and run into more behavioral issues with their kids. She also cites previous studies on TV-watching and parenting with similar results – parents who watched more television had kids who watched more television. Luckily, the parental resource Radesky co-authored with Dr. Megan Moreno has some suggestions for limiting your screen time and strengthening your family relationships. For instance, they recommend stepping back from your phone in instances where you would usually turn to it for stress-relief, distraction, or to avoid conflict. Instead, try something else, like breathing deeply. Engage with those around you and give them your full attention. The doctors promote establishing specific times when the whole family can unplug and do a single activity together. They also advise avoiding behaviors you wouldn’t want your kids to learn, like looking at your phone while driving your car, or ignoring others while using your phone.  In short, if you want your kids to learn good phone etiquette and safety, model it for them.

Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:JAMA Pediatrics, online August 27, 2018.
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2019


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Over One-Quarter of the Entire World’s Population Doesn’t Get Enough Exercise  

About 1.4 billion people around the globe – about one-quarter of all the adults on earth – aren't getting enough physical activity in their day-to-day lives. According to a study from the World Health Organization, people who don't exercise enough daily are at higher risk for cancer, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, to start. To keep healthy, you need a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous, strenuous activity every week. According to the 2016 study, only one-third of women and one-fourth of men were not getting the recommended amounts.  The countries with the highest rates of inactivity were mostly Middle Eastern, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq, as well as American Samoa. Over 50% of adults in these areas were not getting enough physical activity. Meanwhile, 40% of all U.S. adults, 14% of Chinese adults, and 36% of British adults were not active enough. In addition to the high rates of inactivity, the study found that these rates are staying stagnant despite growing research that proves how vital exercise is to health. In fact, inactivity is twice as high in richer countries versus poorer ones, and even increased during the years 2001-2016 by 5%. One big reason may be because sedentary occupations are becoming the norm in richer countries, while poorer countries have more active occupations.

Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:Lancet Glob Health 2018; 6: e1077–86.
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2019


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