By Michael Dorausch, D.C.
There’s been plenty of articles circulating the Internet and appearing in numerous healthcare publications, since a recent research study regarding chiropractic adjustments and the lowering of blood pressure, began appearing in the news media.
Someone brought a June 2007 magazine article to my office, bringing this particular topic to my attention again. The article suggests that just one upper cervical adjustment visit to a chiropractor could result in a blood pressure drop equal to taking two hypertension medications at once, that according to research from the University of Chicago Medical Center.
According to the article, the study focused on an upper cervical adjustment, targeting the first bone in the neck, also known as the Atlas vertebrae, and often referred to by many chiropractors as the most critical vertebrae to be adjusted, when seeking to improve one’s health and wellbeing.
The article says that the research study involved 50 participants, all who had a history of high blood pressure. In the study, half of the people received an upper cervical standardized chiropractic adjustment, and the other half received a sham treatment.
According to the research, eight weeks after the adjustments were made, those who had a genuine Atlas vertebrae adjustment, showed an average 14 mm Hg drop in systolic blood pressure, and an average of 8 mm Hg drop in diastolic blood pressure.
The study’s authors apparently didn’t discuss how aligning the Atlas vertebrate may lower blood pressure, but past research has shown that injury to the top bone in the neck can decrease blood flow in the arteries at the base of the skull.
This comes as nothing new to chiropractors, but it’s nice to continue to see research studies on the topic. I remember being in hospitals in Panama City, Panamá, as part of a volunteer program that provided free chiropractic care to the people of that country, and having medical doctors fascinated by the changes seen in blood pressure, after a single chiropractic adjustment to the first bone in the neck. On one particular trip I made to that country, with a group called the CREW, the director of medicine at a large hospital in Panamá, would have himself, his staff, and every patient in the hospital, receive a chiropractic checkup, and adjustment if needed, each day.
Interesting how health care is different when you remove political boundaries.