Clerico Chiropractic Inc.

Cervical Adjustments Shown to Reduce High Blood Pressure

Can Correction of a Misaligned Atlas Reduce Blood Pressure? Results of University of Chicago Pilot Study Are Promising

In a pilot study conducted at the University of Chicago, a one-time specialized chiropractic adjustment, delivered to patients suffering from high blood pressure and misaligned C1 vertebrae, resulted in significant reductions in diastolic and systolic BP compared to controls. According to a press release from the University of Chicago Medical Center, Office of Public Affairs, the decrease in BP was equivalent to that seen with concurrent administration of two blood pressure drugs. None of the patients took any antihypertensive medications during the study period.

The study was led by George Bakris, MD, director of the Hypertension Center at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Study participants were referred to Dr. Marshall Dickholtz Sr., a Chicago-area chiropractor and member of the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA), for cervical assessment, including paracervical skin temperature determination, postural analysis, pre-alignment craniocervical X-rays, and supine leg-length check. NUCCA practitioners focus on precise manual adjustment of the Atlas.

Half of the 50 patients received a NUCCA adjustment, while the remaining half received a sham procedure, carefully designed to mimic the actual adjustment in order to ensure blinding. This was possible due to the delicate nature of the C1 adjustment. The primary outcome measure, assessed after eight weeks, was change in systolic and diastolic BP compared to baseline readings. Average age of the study participants was 52.7 years; 70 percent were male.

At week eight, differences were noted in systolic and diastolic BP when comparing the adjustment group with the control group (patients receiving the NUCCA adjustment: ?17?9 mm Hg systolic, ?10?9 mm Hg diastolic; patients receiving sham treatment: ?3?11 mm Hg systolic, ?2?7 mm Hg diastolic). Additionally, patients administered the NUCCA adjustment showed 0.04 degrees lateral displacement of C1 after eight weeks, compared to 1.0 degrees at baseline. By comparison, patients in the control group had an average of 0.5 degrees displacement after eight weeks, compared to 0.6 degrees at baseline.

The study authors emphasize that ?[while] the mechanism as to why this improvement in blood pressure occurs is unknown and cannot be determined by this study ? the data presented, however, raise a number of important questions including a) How does misalignment of C1 affect hypertension?; and b) If there is a cause and effect relationship between C1 and hypertension, is malposition of C1 an additional risk factor for the development of hypertension?? A larger clinical trial is being planned to address these questions.


1. Bakris G, Dickholtz M, Meyer PM, et al. Altas vertebra realignment and achievement of arterial pressure goal in hypertensive patients: a pilot study. Journal of Human Hypertension, March 2, 2007 (advance online publication). 2. ?Special Chiropractic Adjustment Lowers Blood Pressure Among Hypertensive Patients With Misaligned C-1 Vertebra.? Press release from the University of Chicago Medical Center, Office of Public Affairs, March 14, 2007. 3. For additional information about the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association, visit

Chiropractic treatment is as SAFE as any treatment offered by primary-care medical doctors. The results were published online in the peer-reviewed journal Spine, available by subscription. The study was the work of an elite multidisciplinary team of researchers and clinicians led by Task Force President Scott Haldeman, MD, Phd, DC, of Santa Ana, Calif. Among the key findings of the task force were: ? No ?best? treatment exists. Use a variety or combination of therapies, according to what the patient wants. ? Cervical manipulation is a reasonable option for Grades 1 and 2 pain. The task force concluded the risk of vertebrobasilar (VBA) stroke associated with a visit to a chiropractor appears to be no different from the risk of stroke following a visit to an MD?s office. The full report is available through Spine, Sources:; The Bone and Joint Decade Task Force on Neck Pain.

Valuable information regarding common drug interactions with common supplements

Tulsa World


Dear Pharmacist, I take eight different medications and six supplements each day. I worry constantly that they will interact. Please tell your readers what some of the most common interactions are? -- K.S., Decatur, Ill.

Clip this article, or forward it to someone you care for, because it just might save a life. I'm going to give you a "safety checklist" of common drug-herb interactions, and there is a huge section devoted to this in my book, "Drug Muggers.

Alcohol: The world's most famous liquid muscle relaxant, alcohol slows the heart rate down. If you combine it with sleeping pills or narcotic pain-relievers, it can stop the heart! It's also dangerous to combine it with beta blockers (blood-pressure meds).

Grapefruit: a delicious fruit that when juiced, provides powerful anti-cancer flavonoids and antioxidants. Like a few other fruits, it can block a biochemical pathway in the liver that causes the levels of medications to rise (rather than getting broken down and cleared out of the body). Some drugs that interact with grapefruit include oxycodone (Percocet), estrogen-containing hormones, most statin cholesterol drugs, sildenafil (Viagra), diazepam and some antihistamines. The interaction may occur even if you wait several hours after your medication.

Ginkgo biloba: famed for it's ability to sharpen memory by increasing blood flow to the brain. If you are taking a blood thinner, like warfarin, aspirin or Plavix, then you may experience enhanced blood-thinning effects which may lead to easy bruising and internal bleeding.

Pomegranate or grapefruit juice: Chock full of antioxidants and heart-healthy nutrients, but it might spike the level of sex pills (Cialis, Levitra or Viagra) causing headache, indigestion, flushing, heart palpitations or visual disturbances.

Stinging nettle: It helps men with prostate problems and women with overactive bladder. Thing is, it has this lovely benefit of slightly lowering blood sugar. If you take stinging nettle while also taking diabetic medication, your blood sugar may drop too low so monitor carefully or avoid the herb.

Iron or zinc supplements: Wonderful to help improve immunity and rev up thyroid production, but these can block the actions of many popular antibiotics including Cipro and Levaquin.

St. John's wort: Fantastic for boosting mood and reducing pain. It can increase levels of other drugs, causing them to spike so high that you get dangerous side effects. This doesn't mix well with digoxin, omeprazole (Prilosec), MAO anti-depressants, oral contraceptives, alprazolam (Xanax), and drugs used for HIV/AIDS.

Ginseng, ma huang or bitter orange, caffeine: Found in many diet pills, these stimulate the body so avoid if you take breathing medications such as inhalers (bronchodialators) or theophylline.

Arginine: Very popular natural amino acid that helps erectile dysfunction and improves blood flow to the heart. It's wonderful that arginine also reduces blood pressure, but if you take this with nitroglycerin or isosorbide drugs, it can result in dangerously low blood pressure.

Chiropractic Flexion Distraction Shown Superior to Physical Therapy for Back Pain.

Flexion distraction is a commonly used form of chiropractic care, with utilization rates of 58%. However, according to the authors of the current study, no randomized clinical trial has assessed the effectiveness of this treatment. Two hundred and thirty-five subjects who were previously randomized to either chiropractic care (flexion distraction) or physical therapy (exercise program) were followed for one year via mailed questionnaires to assess levels of pain and dysfunction.

Results: Subjects had a decrease in pain and disability after intervention, regardless of which group they were in. However, during the year after care, subjects who received chiropractic care (flexion distraction therapy) had significantly lower pain scores than subjects who received physical therapy (exercise program).

The authors conclude: "Flexion distraction was found to be more effective in reducing pain for 1 year when compared to a form of physical therapy."

Cambron JA, Gudavalli MR, Hedeker D, McGregor M, Jedlicka J, Keenum M, et al. One-year follow-up of a randomized clinical trial comparing flexion distraction with an exercise program for chronic low-back pain. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, September 2006;12(7):659-68.