The above headline comes from a March 16, 2007 article on WebMD. The article is dependant on research done at the Hypertension Center at the University of Chicago Clinic and published within the March 2, 2007 publication of the Journal of Human Hypertension.
Within this study, 50 patients with hypertension were divided into two categories of 25 each. One number of 25 received a particular light force chiropractic adjustment (administered with a chiropractor) to the Atlas vertebrae (uppermost bone in the neck). Another number of 25 received a similar procedure however with no adjustment receiving. Researchers called this procedure the "sham adjustment". Because the kind of adjustment given was very light force, the patients involved with this research would never know when they were receiving the real or sham adjustments.
The outcomes were surprising to even the medical researchers conducting the study. After 2 months of care the 25 folks the audience finding the real chiropractic adjustments all showed a significant reduction in blood pressure when compared to group that received the sham adjustment. Those patients who got the actual adjustment showed typically 14 mm Hg greater drop in systolic blood pressure (the very best number inside a blood pressure level count), as well as an average of 8 mm Hg greater drop in diastolic blood pressure level (the underside blood pressure number) over those who got the fake or sham adjustment.
In the interview with WebMD, study leader George Bakris, MD commented, "This procedure has got the effect of not one, but two blood-pressure medications succumbed combination. And it appears to be adverse-event free. We saw no negative effects and no problems."
Once they first analyzed the information, Dr. Bakris and the statistician had trouble believing the information. He noted, "When the statistician brought me the information, I actually didn't accept is as true. It had been way too good to be true. The statistician said, 'I don't even believe it.' But we checked for everything, there it had been."
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X-rays were used to confirm the chiropractic adjustments actually changed the positioning of the Atlas vertebrae. Dr. Marshall Dickholtz was the chiropractor who performed the specific adjustments and commented in WebMD, "At the base of the mind are two centers that control all of the muscles of the body. If you pinch the base of the mind -- when the Atlas gets kept in a situation less than one half a millimeter from line -- it does not cause any pain but it upsets these centers."
Despite the overwhelming results, the authors from the study were cautious within their conclusions and posed several questions. They commented, "The mechanism why this improvement in blood pressure level occurs is unknown and can't be determined by this study". They continued, "The data presented, however, raise numerous important questions including: a) How does misalignment of C1 affect hypertension?; and b) If there is an underlying cause and effect relationship between C1 misalignment and hypertension, is malposition of C1 one more risk factor for the development of hypertension?"