Research Articles

How Chiropractic Care Can Help Autistic Children

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When your child is diagnosed with autism, you may be left with many questions regarding cause, treatment and support. With so much mystery surrounding what causes autism, no cures and no medication options, it’s not always apparent what you can do to help your child which can oftentimes leave you feeling powerless.

As a parent, it can be a challenge to navigate so we are here to break it down and tell you how chiropractic care can help autistic children.

NOTE: chiropractic care is NOT a cure for autism, but we have found significant reduction in symptoms and improved motor/sensory function which allows these patients to live a much easier life.

What is autism?  

“Autism is a complex neurobehavioral condition that includes impairments in social interaction and developmental language and communication skills combined with rigid, repetitive behaviours. Because of the range of symptoms, this condition is now called Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)”* Typically signs of autism start to show in the first three years of life.

What are typical symptoms of autism?

Children with autism have difficulties with social interactions and may be unable to express themselves verbally or physically. They may avoid eye-contact, show lack of empathy, have a language delay, and/or avoid playing with others. They may engage in repetitive behaviours and fixate on routines or objects.

How can chiropractic care help autistic children?

Chiropractic adjustments help restore proper function including the sensory, motor and the overall nervous system. Many sensory and cognitive functions are located in the spine so when stress or spinal misalignments (subluxations) are removed, there are significant improvements in overall bodily and neurological function.

In a study involving a non-verbal 4-year-old autistic boy, 15 visits to the chiropractor led to improvements in language development, sociability and cognitive skills.** Another study involved a 3 year old girl who was “non-verbal, had compulsive  disorders, daily rituals, head banging and violence. After chiropractic, care began within one month her parents and teacher noticed a 30% improvement socially. After one year of care, an 80% improvement was noticed. Head banging and other rituals diminished by 50% with less violent behavior.”***

There is more evidence that chiropractic care can help improve symptoms of autism. Find out how chiropractic adjustments can work for your child, book a consultation today.

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How to Boost the Learning Potential in Your Child

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As parents, we want our kids to excel in school so we spend hours sitting across the table from them to help with homework and we spend money on tutors for various subjects. Despite our efforts and good intentions, our children may be struggling to learn and process information. It may be difficult to identify the issue preventing our children from learning and oftentimes children may be mistakenly diagnosed with ADHD. Before starting them on medication, it might be worth seeking chiropractic care for children.

Chiropractic care for children helps promote a fully functioning central nervous system which supports their ability to learn and process. Every chiropractic adjustment acts as a reset button to maximize health and healing in the body. In fact, a study with approximately 100 volunteers conducted an EEG before and after receiving chiropractic adjustments. Post chiropractic treatment EEG scans “revealed improvement in all areas of the volunteer’s brain function.”* This means brainwaves and the activity shown in the brain was significantly improved after spinal adjustments. When brain function is improved overall health improves but so does the ability to learn and retain information.

Research conducted by Swiss chiropractor Yannick Pauli, DC, president of the Swiss Chiropractic Pediatric Association confirms “chiropractic adjustments, even when no back problems are evident, can improve the function of the spine and strongly stimulate nerve pathways to the cerebellum and other parts of the brain. The cerebellum plays a vital role in learning. It helps the brain coordinate and integrate the various sensory information, as well as to increase the processing speed of the brain. In the case of children, this may, in turn, help brain functions necessary for learning.” **

If you are concerned that your child is struggling in school and their grades are not reflective of their true potential, please visit Jassal Chiropractic to learn more how chiropractic care can assist in the journey!

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What is the Webster Technique and How It Can Help your Pregnancy?

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Pregnancy is a miraculous, joyous time for many mothers-to- be. But it’s also a time of morning sickness, swollen ankles and achy muscles. There are big changes happening in your body as a baby grows, internal organs shift to make room and hormones spike, so it’s not a surprise that you can become imbalanced and experience spinal and pelvic misalignment. This misalignment can cause lower back pain and achy hips that can become more uncomfortable as the pregnancy progresses. Not only that, but pelvic misalignment can reduce the space within the pelvis  and restrict baby’s movement in the uterus leading to a tendency toward the breech position in the last trimester.

Fortunately, prenatal chiropractic care can give you some relief and can promote a healthy pregnancy and easier birth for you and your baby. The Webster Technique is a chiropractic technique which establishes balance in the pelvis and reduces stress to the uterus and supporting ligaments and muscles.* When the ligaments supporting the uterus are balanced and relaxed, the baby has more room and a greater chance of moving into the correct position for birth.*

During birth, babies who are in a breech or posterior position can cause concern and difficult labours for mothers oftentimes leading to back labour and sometimes C-Sections. “Optimal baby positioning at the time of birth also eliminates the potential for dystocia (difficult labor) and, therefore, results in easier and safer deliveries for both the mother and the baby”.* Through chiropractic treatments, you can help your baby assume the best possible position and can help minimize the stress on the mother’s body.

Fostering optimal conditions for the baby and mother are the ultimate goal of prenatal chiropractic care so we invite you to book your consultation now to find out more.

*Source: http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/chiropractic-care-during-pregnancy/

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Children, Germs, and Their Immune System

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chiropractic for kids

If you are surrounded by the sound of sniffles and sneezes, then you know it’s cold and flu season. When your child is in school or daycare, it seems as though the season never ends! As parents, we obsess about protecting our children and preventing them from getting sick. We carry hand sanitizer in our purse and antibacterial wipes in the glove compartment of our car, yet we still live in fear of our child coming down with a bug.

So, how can we promote health and empower our children to not fear germs? Simply avoiding or killing germs in our environment doesn’t actually help children stay healthy and in fact, it can have the opposite effect, creating an over-sterilized environment, resulting in weak immune systems.

As Chiropractors, we promote health through a preventative, proactive approach to building healthy immune systems. Our immune system is controlled and coordinated by the nervous system. Therefore, it’s not surprising that children and adults who have received chiropractic treatments experience fewer infections. In fact, adjustments can have such a positive effect on immune function that the number of hospital visits, surgeries and medicines prescribed were reduced by more than half when chiropractic treatments were received even on a sporadic basis*.

chiropractic for kids 1

Chiropractic doesn’t cure illnesses, but instead works as a preventative measure by improving the performance of natural functions in the body to enhance the nervous system and strengthen immunity. Chiropractors take lifestyle, like sleep, stress factors and the importance of wholesome foods, into consideration when assessing patients, which is something often overlooked by doctors during routine check-ups.

Regular adjustments and holistic lifestyle recommendations restore wellbeing and reduce illness and therefore reduce a parent’s concern. Let’s stop worrying about our children licking the shopping cart handle, eating dirt, playing in the park (or literally putting everything in their mouth), while empowering them with a developed immune system, just letting them be kids!

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Computer Scans Available at our Office

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Example of a Core Score

Daily stresses caused by work postures, old injuries, fatigue, medical usage and even poor dietary choices can become expressed in the muscles and joints of your spine. These stressors can literally strain the nerves of the nervous system, which control your health. The added nerve tension can lead you to feel tired, run down and prone to pain and other symptoms. Chiropractic researchers have developed technologies that can detect where harmful tension is building up within your spinal cord. By utilizing three important spinal-neural tests which consist of: Pulse Wave Profiler, Surface EMG and Thermal Scan, COREScore is able to measure the tension in your muscles and nerves while watching your heart rate. This allows Dr. Jassal to identify where stress is changing your spine and how deeply that stress is affecting your health.

Call us today at our Vancouver clinic to see how chiropractic can help you with stress!

references:

www.claclarity.com

The Impossible Dream: Overcoming Insomnia

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Insomnia?

Current studies report up to 30 percent of North Americans are currently suffering from insomnia. Insomnia can be a difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Some people lie in bed for hours before properly falling asleep; others fall asleep only to wake up a short while later, unable to fall back to sleep. This is a chronic and severe problem in our society.  A good night’s sleep is essential to the Wellness lifestyle.

One quarter of the population takes prescription and/or over-the-counter drugs to help them sleep. Insomnia drugs have many serious side effects including cognitive impairment, falls, tolerance and dependency, withdrawal, plus they tend to leave people drowsy and lethargic after constant use. Some people taking medication do not show significant sleep improvement, and sometimes experience further decrease in their quality of sleep due to suppression of REM cycles.

These pharmaceuticals are trying to replace the melatonin that is normally produced in the body in response to daylight cycles. Melatonin activates and helps regulate your body’s sleep patterns and other natural rhythms. If you are using drugs to help you sleep, your body does not respond to produce the proper amount of melatonin when the sun rises and sets, so you will feel drowsier during your waking hours. Prolonged sleeping pill use becomes addictive for the body because it shuts off its own production of melanin to rely on outside sources.

As with all health issues, the best cure is to look at the cause of the problem. The main cause of insomnia is chronic stress, usually in the form of excess and constant mental or emotional stress. When a person is consistently in a state of stress their body is always on the edge waiting to respond and deal with stimuli. The body is not interested in going to sleep because it fears the body is in danger. This is why someone will go to bed and just lay there – even though they’re lying down, the mind is too active and pumping out stress hormones such as cortisol.

Cortisol suppresses the immune system, shuts down the reproductive system, increases blood pressure, counteracts insulin (thus causing hypoglycemia) and decreases metabolism. You can see how just one simple stress hormone can cause terrible disease in the body!

The best way to overcome insomnia is to use natural methods. Meditate to calm your mind. Take deep breaths, read calming books and affirmations, take a bath and relax! You could read to your kids or go get some fresh air. Relaxing your nervous system through chiropractic, yoga and massage will also help. Absolutely do not eat, watch TV or go on the computer… it is important to make the time to consciously do something that makes you happy and relaxed before going to bed.

Many of our patients note that the most exciting thing to happen after their first adjustment is that they sleep extremely well that night.  Over time, and as you progress into a schedule of wellness care, your body will be much better at resolving your daily stresses so that you can get a better night’s sleep.

Webster Technique for Pregnancy

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Webster Technique for PregnancyCurrently 10% of our patients are expecting mothers.  Pregnancy is a very important time to be under chiropractic care as it supports the changes that your body is going through; it also helps your body to function better so that you can provide a better environment for the growing fetus.  There are additional benefits to prenatal chiropractic, including optimal pelvic alignment for fetal movement and position – this makes for a quick and easy childbirth, too!  Our mums usually labour for only 1-4 hours if they follow their recommended care plans.

Dr. Jassal is certified in the Webster Technique for pregnancy. Contrary to what some people will have you believe, Webster is a technique only for your pelvis and the ligaments supporting your uterus – it aligns your own body so that the fetus has the freedom to move on its own. The chiropractor does not move, manipulate or adjust the fetus itself.

Below is a small abstract outlining the effects of Webster Technique for pregnant women with abnormal fetal positions. If you are curious about whether Webster adjustments would help you with your pregnancy, please call us to book your complimentary consultation.

The Webster Technique: Results From a Practice-Based Research Network Study

Joel Alcantara DC Bio Jeanne Ohm DC Bio  Derek Kunz BS Bio.  Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic ~ Volume 2012 ~ Issue 1 ~ Pages 16-21  

Objective:  To contribute to evidence-based practice, the use of Webster Technique is characterized in a chiropractic practice-based research network.

Methods:  In an exploratory study, we sought data from pregnant subjects under chiropractic care that included their sociodemographic information, previous prenatal care and abnormal fetal positioning prior to after care with the Webster Technique.

Results:  A convenience sample of 81 pregnant women receiving chiropractic care comprised the study subjects.  The average age of the patients was 32.4 years.  Previous or concurrent care included external cephalic version, slant board, acupuncture, moxabustion, homeopathy and various forms of exercises. Based on 63 of the 81 subjects, we found  70% of the subjects with abnormal fetal pregnancies reporting a correction to the vertex position.

Conclusion:  The preliminary results of our study contributes to evidence-based practice that pregnant women with abnormal fetal positions may derive benefits from chiropractic care using the Webster Technique.

Body, Mind and Chiropractic

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By Christopher Kent, DC, Esq.

The Body/Mind Connection

The scope of chiropractic is as broad as the scope of influence of the nervous system. Although many chiropractors tend to focus on disorders associated with the physical body, particularly musculoskeletal pain syndromes, abnormal nervous system function may also affect emotional and psychological health.

Research is providing chiropractors with information about how the stress response is mediated by the autonomic nervous system1 and how afferent input from the spine affects brain function.2-3

Rome published a two-part series reviewing neurovertebral influence on visceral and autonomic function.4-5 This is the most comprehensive review I have seen on the topic, featuring more than 1,100 references. Rome notes: “Attempts have been made to classify conditions addressed by spinal manipulation into Type M (musculoskeletal) and Type O (organic). However, it seems that this is the only area in the health sciences where such a classification has been suggested. If categorization is necessary at all, then virtually all conditions should be basically ‘Type N’ (neurological) as nominated by Leach, as essentially all conditions would have a neurological element … the weakness of a Type M/Type O classification renders it superfluous, if not meaningless. A ‘Type N’ designation would highlight the importance of total body considerations in such an extensive and integrated model of health care, as well as the encompassing influence and the integrative action of the nervous system.”

Among Rome’s conclusions: “It is the emphasis on a localized ANS connection with the spine which would differentiate the chiropractic health care profession from others in the manipulative and manual therapies field. It must be appreciated that this association implies more than a musculoskeletal connection, and thereby may have the potential to influence neurophysiology and consequently homeostasis, which could contribute to overall patient well-being.”5

There is a small, but growing body of evidence concerning the relationship of the spine, vertebral subluxation, chiropractic care, and psychological and emotional health. The following sampling is not a comprehensive review; it is merely to whet your appetite on the subject. A systematic review examined psychological outcomes in randomized controlled trials of spinal manipulation. The study concluded: “There was some evidence that spinal manipulation improved psychological outcomes compared with verbal interventions … The clinical implications are that physical treatments, such as spinal manipulation have psychological benefits.”6

Genthner, et al.,7 reported on a series of 15 patients with a history of depression. The Beck Depression Inventory II was used to measure the baseline level of depression and any post-care changes following orthospinology care. A paired t-test demonstrated significant improvement in depression test scores.

Other articles addressing mental health issues and chiropractic care have been published, ranging from single case reports to randomized clinical trials. Favorable responses were reported in persons with conditions including addiction,8 depression,9 ADHD,10 autism,11 dyslexia and learning disabilities.12 Additionally, published papers report changes in general health measures in chiropractic patients using the RAND-36 and Global Well Being Scale (GWBS),13 changes in domains of health-related quality of life among public safety personnel undergoing chiropractic care,14 and chiropractic care for patients with cancer-related traumatic stress symptoms.15

More than 38 years ago, my first chiropractor explained that everything we experience is processed through our nervous system. When our perception of the world is distorted by nerve interference, it compromises our ability to respond appropriately. He noted that in addition to damaging our physical health, it could result in impaired psychological and emotional function as well. Finally, he opined that when this happened to a significant number of people in a society, a sick society would result.

The distinction between Type O (organic) and Type M (musculoskeletal) disorders is illusory. Chiropractic care is concerned with the totality of the human experience. By analyzing and correcting vertebral subluxations, a patient is placed on a more optimum physiological path. This brings the individual closer to the definition of health promulgated by the World Health Organization: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”16

References

1.Lee R. “The New Pandemic: Superstress?” Explore, 2010;6(1):7-10.

2.Carrick FR. Changes in brain function after manipulation of the cervical spine. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 1997;20(8):529-45.

3.Kelly DD, Murphy BA, Backhouse DP. Use of a mental rotation reaction-time paradigm to measure the effects of upper cervical adjustments on cortical processing: a pilot study. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 2000;23(4):246-51.

4.Rome PL. Neurovertebral influence upon the autonomic nervous system: some of the somato-autonomic evidence to date. Chiropr J Aust, 2009;39(1):2-17.

5.Rome PL. Neurovertebral influence on visceral and ANS function: some of the evidence to date, part II: somatovisceral. Chiropr J Aust, 2010;40(1):9-29.

6.Williams NH, Hendry M, Lewis R, et al. Psychological response in spinal manipulation (PRISM): a systematic review or psychological outcomes in randomized controlled trials. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 2007;15:271-283.

7.Genthner GC, Friedman HL, Studley CF. Improvement in depression following reduction of upper cervical vertebral subluxation using orthospinology technique.” Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, Nov. 7, 2005.

8.Holder JM, Duncan Robert C, Gissen M, Miller M, Blum K. Increasing retention rates among the chemically dependent in residential treatment: auriculotherapy and (in a separate study) subluxation-based chiropractic care. Journal of Molecular Psychiatry, March 2001;6(suppl 1).

9.Desaulniers AMJ. Effect of subluxation-based chiropractic care on quality of life in a patient with major depression. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, April 23, 2008.

10.Lovett L, Blum CL. Behavioral and learning changes secondary to chiropractic care to reduce subluxations in a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: a case study. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, Oct. 4, 2006.

11.Khorshid KA, Sweat RW, Zemba DA, Zemba BN. Clinical efficacy of upper cervical versus full spine chiropractic care on children with autism: a randomized clinical trial. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, March 9, 2006.

12.Pauli Y. The effects of chiropractic care on individuals suffering from learning disabilities and dyslexia: a review of the literature. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, Jan. 15, 2007.

13.Blanks RHI, Dobson M. A study regarding measures of general health status in patients using the Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique: a follow up study. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research,1999;3(2):1.

14.McAllister W, Boone WR. Changes in physical state and self-perceptions in domains of health related quality of life among public safety personnel undergoing chiropractic care. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, Aug. 6, 2007.

15.Monti DA, Stoner ME, Zivin G, Schlesinger M. Short term correlates of the Neuro Emotional Technique for cancer-related traumatic stress symptoms: a pilot case series. J Cancer Surviv, 2007;1:161-166.

16.World Heath Organization definition of health. www.who.int/about/definition/en/print.html

Chiropractic and Neurological Dysfunction in Children

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The Effects of Chiropractic Treatment on Students with Learning and Behavioral Impairments due to Neurological Dysfunction

School Children

Chiropractic Can Help with Learning Disabilities

In this study of 24 learning impaired students, half received chiropractic care and the other half, who were either on medication or receiving no treatment at all, were used for comparison. The case histories that follow were obtained from the above paper.

Case C-91: A high school student who was failing three subjects, with a history of failure, low morale, discipline problems, poor coordination, and a long history of clinical and medical treatment. After chiropractic care the student was passing all subjects, highly motivated, showing improved coordination and able to participate in athletics. All medications were dropped.

Case C-92: Also a high school student on 20mg. Ritalin and on Dilantin. She was non-motivated, negative, passive, nonverbal, and failing in high school work despite placement in special classes. After chiropractic adjustments the student was taken off  Ritalin, began talking and expressing herself, and showed improved reading comprehension and reading speed.

Case CE-92: An elementary student who was extremely hyperkinetic, irritable, and he had severe behavior problems at home and school. Grades were marginal to failing. Al-though the boy was only 8 years old, Ritalin had been increased from an initial 5mg. to a total of 70mg./day with steadily diminishing results. (70mg. approaches danger level as a dosage). At the conclusion of chiropractic care, the Ritalin had been entirely discontinued and coordination was improved to the extent that the student became an able Little League ball player. His attitude was excellent, grades were up an average of one letter grade, and the student was considered free of all limiting factors. Behavior at home and school was exemplary.

Case CE-101: An elementary student. This student was marginally passing his courses. There was a four year history of marginal accomplishment in school. He was nervous, underweight and suffered from insomnia. Medication was briefly tried but the student’s emotional control became poor and he frequently wept. The medication had to be discontinued. After chiropractic care there was a marked reduction in nervousness and great improvement in emotional stability. His mother reported that his appetite was now normal and he began enjoying school during the last month.

Case C-93: A high school student. Initially on heavy dosages of medication, non-motivated with a long history of clinical evaluation and treatment. The girl was failing most school subjects, marginal in others, and withdrawn. After chiropractic adjustments, her self-confidence improved; she was passing all subjects. All medication was discontinued after four months of treatment. A vocational goal was established.

Case CJ-95
: A junior high school student. He was hyperkinetic almost from birth and had a traumatic early developmental history with suspected neurological problems. Although of above average intelligence he was passing only two subjects, both marginally. He was starting to become a discipline problem, making little or no effort in school. After chiropractic care, fine and gross motor coordination improved markedly. He began taking an interest in athletics and played Little League on a team that placed third in the state. Effort and motivation improved to the extent that plans to send him back to a lower grade were dropped and he was promoted. Reports at the third week of school indicated that his academic progress was excellent after a late summer remedial program.

Case CE-102
: An elementary student who had been diagnosed by numerous clinics as minimally brain damaged, retarded and/or suffering from neurological dysfunction. He also suffered from severe emotional problems. After chiropractic he showed great improvement in self-confidence. He began to take part in public speaking in school. Mental ability tests indicated that the student was at normal grade level except for deficiencies in reading.

Walton EV.   Int Rev of Chiro 1975;29:4-5,24-26.

Chiropractic Can Reduce High Blood Pressure

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High Blood Pressure

Lower Your Blood Pressure With Chiropractic!

The US Food and Drug Administration has a standard for determining the efficacy of new hypertension drugs: it requires “a blinded design with a placebo-subtracted reduction in diastolic BP of 5 mm Hg or more and be free of serious side effects to be approvable.”

With that guideline as their standard, a group of researchers from the University of Chicago set out to determine if chiropractic adjustment of the atlas could reduce blood pressure in patients with hypertension. The authors summarize the relationship between the first cervical vertebra (C1) and hypertension:

“Unlike other vertebrae, which interlock one to the next, the Atlas relies solely upon soft-tissue (muscles and ligaments) to maintain alignment; therefore, the placement of C-1 is pain free and thus, remains undiagnosed and untreated, whereas health-related consequences are attributed to other aetiologies.”

“Minor misalignment of the Atlas vertebra can potentially injure, impair, compress and/or compromise brainstem neural pathways. The relationship between hypertension and presence of circulatory abnormalities in the area around the Atlas vertebra and posterior fossa of the brain has been known for more than 40 years.”

In this study, the researchers took 50 patients with Stage 1 hypertension who had either never been on hypertensive drugs or who had stopped taking hypertensive drugs for at least two weeks.

All of the patients were evaluated by a chiropractor for misalignment of C1 using radiographs and leg-length checks. Half of the patients received spinal manipulation of the C1; the other half received a sham treatment that was indistinguishable from a real treatment by the patient.

The diagnostic procedure was conducted at intake, after the treatment and at eight weeks.

The authors found that the patients who received the chiropractic treatment experienced a dramatic drop in average blood pressure compared to the control subjects:

Control

Treatment

BP Baseline

145.3/91

147/92.5

BP End of Study

142.1/89.2

129.8/82.2

The drop in blood pressure was so impressive the authors state that it “is similar to that seen by giving two different antihypertensive agents simultaneously.”

Furthermore, 85% of the patients needed only one treatment to realize the improvement in blood pressure.

In addition, the study also documented the degree of pelvic misalignment and the position of the C7 vertebra; these measurements are used with this particular method of chiropractic to diagnose dysfunction of the C1 vertebra. Just as they found with the results for blood pressure, the degree of misalignment was reduced dramatically in the treatment group, but not the control group.

“As discussed in the Methods section of this paper, techniques are now available to screen for atlas misalignment. This type of screening should be the responsibility of the primary care physician and should be performed on patients who have a history of head and neck trauma even if it is deemed insignificant. Those patients who present with pain related to head and neck trauma should not be screened. At a time when the prevalence of hypertension is increasing and its control more difficult due to a variety of factors, linking the correction of C1 misalignment to the subsequent lowering of BP may represent an important advancement in the screening of such patients.”

Bakris G, Dickholtz M, Meyer PM, Kravitz G, et al. Atlas vertebra realignment and achievement of arterial pressure goal in hypertensive patients: a pilot study. Journal of Human Hypertension 2007;21:347-352.