Recently, a patient at Meridian Chiropractic Clinic mentioned that she had just been to her primary care physician for treatment of a bad cough. While there, her doctor commented that her blood pressure was a little high and put her on medication to lower the blood pressure. Her doctor also commented that she may need to be on this medication for the rest of her life to control the blood pressure numbers.
However, in March 2007, an article was written on WebMD about a study that was done that proved a certain chiropractic adjustment can significantly lower high blood pressure without medication.
Fifty patients with early stage high blood pressure were chosen for the study. Eight weeks after undergoing the procedure, 25 patients had significantly lower blood pressure that 25 similar patients who underwent a sham chiropractic adjustment. Because patients cannot feel the techniques, they were unable to tell which group they were in.
Follow up x-rays showed that the procedure realigned the C-1 vertebra – the donut-like bone at the very top of the spine – with the spine in the treated patients but not in the patients who received the sham adjustment. Those patients who got the real procedure saw an average 14mmHg greater drop in systolic pressure (the top number) and an average drop of 8mm Hg greater drop in diastolic pressure (the bottom number).
The adjustment calls for precise measurements to determine the patient’s vertebra alignment. If realignment is necessary, the chiropractor uses his hands to gentle move the vertebra. The procedure has the effect of two blood pressure medicines given in combination and there were no side effects of adverse reactions to the adjustments.
None of the patients took blood pressure medicine during the study.
The procedure calls for the adjustment of the C-1 vertebra called the Atlas. This vertebra holds up the head, just as Atlas held up the world in Greek mythology. Dr. Marshall Dickholtz, the chiropractor that performed the procedures in the study, refers to the Atlas vertebra as “the fuse box to the body”.
“At the base of the brain are two centers that control all the muscles of the body. If the Atlas gets locked into a positions as little as half a millimeter out of line, it doesn’t cause an pain but can upset these two centers”.
So, the next time you think of going to your Indianapolis chiropractor for your back pain or neck pain, ask him about other complaints you may have and what he can do to help. You may just be pleasantly surprised!