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Sleep positions guaranteed to stress your back.
(c) Michael J. Summerville
When you think of the word “chiropractor” what kind of treatment do you anticipate? Most of us, myself included, associate a chiropractor with back or neck pain treatments. But according to the American Chiropractic Association, a chiropractor will treat not only disorders of the spine, but also the effects on general health associated with those disorders.

A new pilot (meaning a first time exploration, not a definitive conclusion) study conducted at the University of Chicago has shown a very specialized type of chiropractic called NUCCA to have potential for helping certain kinds of patients with high blood pressure to reduce their meds. The study randomized 50 patients with hypertension into 2 groups, one which received a NUCCA adjustment and the other that received a pretend (called sham) version. To keep it fair, no one involved in the study – patients, nurses, doctors, investigators - knew which patients would receive the real adjustment and which the sham. This is called blinding. The results of the study showed that those who received the real adjustment experienced a double digit change in their blood pressure (for the better). “The double digit change has the equivalent effect of taking 2 hypertensive medications together”, says the study’s principal investigator, Dr. George Bakris.

The theory behind the study is that by adjusting the very 1st vertebra, upon which the head sits (called the atlas), circulation in the arteries in the brainstem improves. In the medical literature the lack of circulation in these arteries has been linked to hypertension. NUCCA chiropractic, which has been around since the 1940s, specializes in adjusting only this very 1st vertebra.

The study’s principal investigator, Dr. George Bakris, Professor of Internal Medicine and Director of the Hypertensive Diseases Unit at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, calls the study and its results “novel”. He is in talks now with General Electric and the National Institute of Health to conduct a multi-center trial early 2008. Dr. Bakris told About.com, “if the results of the multi-center study are positive, there could be far reaching implications for a less invasive way to address high blood pressure in some patients”.

| What is Chiropractic? | Qualifications of Chiropractors | Back and Neck Treatments | Top Terms Used by Chiropractors | Types of High Blood Pressure

April 23, 2007 at 10:39 pm
(1) Peter says:

can you please give me the reference of this article
I would be curious to read about the meathods and actual results of the study

May 1, 2007 at 9:25 am
(2) William Esteb says:

More than likely, those who are incredulous about chiropractic producing positive whole-body effects overlook the fact that chiropractic is about restoring the integrity of the nervous system. The bones, whether the upper most, lower most or any in between are merely the protective “armor” for the nervous system. Chiropractors recognize that ultimately, blood pressure is a neurological function. So when the nervous system is disturbed, blood pressure and a whole host of other visceral and organic problems can manifest.

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