Spinal Alignment And Hypertension

High Blood Pressure And Spinal Misalignment LinkedInvestigators in Chicago have recently outlined remarkable results in their investigation of high blood pressure and neck alignment.High Blood Pressure And Neck Adjustment Study

The study demonstrated that a simple but specialized chiropractic neck adjustment could dramatically lower some patients' blood pressure just as well as treatment with multiple pharmaceutical therapies.

The pilot study, reported in the Journal of Hypertension, enrolled 50 stage 1 hypertensive patients with misaligned C1 (Atlas) vertebrae.

The subjects were 70% male, had a mean age of 52.7 years of age (+/- 9.6 years), had not been treated with antihypertensive drugs or were previously "washed out" of high blood pressure medication. They were then randomized, in a double blind fashion, into two groups:

Group 1 - Received a neck adjustment (National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Procedure) to the C1 (Atlas) vertebrae by a chiropractic specialist.Group 2 - Received a "sham" procedure which was indistinguishable from the adjustment performed on Group 1 (to the subjects).Both groups received no antihypertensive medications and were reevaluated at 8 weeks.

Results revealed that there were significant differences in both systolic (the top number) as well as diastolic (the bottom number) blood pressure readings as follows:

Group 1 - Systolic reduction by -17 +/- 9 mm Hg (an average of 14 mmHg). Diastolic reductions by -10 +/- 11 mm Hg.Group 2 - Systolic reduction by -3 +/- 11 mm Hg (an average of 8 mm Hg). Diastolic reductions by -2 +/- 7 mm Hg.The investigators concluded that there were marked and sustained reductions in blood pressures comparable (similar) to the use of two drug combination therapy.

The relationship between the Atlas vertebrae (C1) and high blood pressure requires further study but it is theorized that a misaligned Atlas triggers the release of signals that make arteries at the base of the skull contract.

A larger trial is planned to answer further questions prompted by these results regarding the exact cause and effect relationship between C1 (Atlas) alignment and hypertension.

Atlas Vertebrae Or C1 Vertebrae Misalignment Information

The C1 vertebrae or Atlas vertebrae is named as such due to its location at the very top of the spine as it "holds up the head". Misalignment of the Atlas vertebrae may be painless and go undetected as it relies on muscle and ligaments to retain alignment.

Symptoms of Atlas (C1) alignment problems are detected as follows:

Lying in a supine position, the patient will have differing leg lengths.Heel positions (in the lying supine position) will change with head turns (turning left or to the right).Diagnosis would be verified and confirmed by xray.

Proper chiropractic guidance should be sought as the correction for C1 (Atlas) misalignment is a highly specialized maneuver that only a limited number of those in the chiropractic profession perform.


University of Chicago

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