A recent article in the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research documented the positive effects of specific, upper cervical chiropractic adjustments on a 25- year-old female with high blood pressure, also known as hypertension and migraines.
A 25-year-old female with medically diagnosed hypertension presented to an upper cervical chiropractic office for treatment. The patient also had symptoms of migraine headaches occurring two times per week. She had been taking Hydrochlorothiazide for her hypertension.
A thorough history and examination were performed and her blood pressure was 134/98 mmHg. The patient was diagnosed with an upper neck misalignment and specific upper cervical x-rays were taken to confirm. Paraspinal thermography, supine leg length assessment, postural assessment and blood pressure measurements were taken at each follow-up visit.
The patient received upper cervical specific chiropractic care for twelve weeks. By the end of care the patient experienced a significant decrease in blood pressure to 114/80 mmHg and also experienced a significant decrease in both frequency and severity of migraine headache symptoms.
This case study is consistent with past research that has looked at the upper cervical spine, blood flow, migraine headaches and hypertension.
Researchers at the Hypertension Center at the University of Chicago Medical Center reported stunning reductions in the blood pressure of patients afflicted with hypertension following NUCCA chiropractic care.
In the study – published in the March 2, 2007 issue of The Journal of Human Hypertension and featured on WebMD, Good Morning America and other sources – 50 patients with hypertension were divided into two groups of 25 each. One group of 25 received a NUCCA spinal correction to the Atlas vertebra (uppermost bone in the neck). This vertebra holds up the head and only relies on soft tissue to maintain alignment. This misalignment usually goes undiagnosed and causes no pain or discomfort. The other group of 25 received a similar procedure but with no adjustment being given.
After 8 weeks of care, the 25 people in the group receiving the real chiropractic adjustments all showed a significant reduction in blood pressure compared to the group that received the sham adjustment. Those patients who got the real adjustment showed an average of 14 mmHg greater drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure count), and an average of 8 mm Hg greater drop in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom blood pressure number) over those who got the fake or sham adjustment.
Follow-up X-rays confirmed that the adjustments changed the position of the atlas vertebra among those in the study group. The study leader reported that the procedure had the effect of not one, but two blood pressure medications given in combination. And, his team reported no side effects whatsoever from the adjustment.
So if this NUCCA Procedure has been shown to reduce blood pressure, effect the blood flow from the brain in Migraine patients and influence many other conditions that effect millions of Americans...why hasn't hardly anyone heard of it?
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Dr. Dan Spinato of the San Diego Integrative Spine Center in San Diego, California is a Rancho Penasquitos Chiropractor and an Upper Cervical Specialist trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). Over the past 30 years, Dr. Spinato has helped many people find natural relief in San Diego, California. His upper cervical clinic also serves the communities of Rancho Penasquitos, Carmel Valley, Poway, Scripps Ranch and Rancho Bernardo. He is uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems, including migraine headaches, chronic neck and back pain, fibromyalgia, allergy and sinus problems and temporomandibular joint disorders. More information can be found on his website at http://www.powaychiropractor.net/
What is NUCCA
The National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA) is an organization of Doctors of Chiropractic dedicated to patient care, education and research.
Spinal health care using the NUCCA procedures focuses on detecting and correcting a small misalignment in the upper neck area. Gentle, non-invasive adjustments don’t require any turning, twisting or popping.
Your upper cervical spine (neck) area influences all areas of your body. Injury or chronic misalignments can cause headaches, migraines, neck pain, low back pain, weakness and more.
The NUCCA technique is currently offered by less than 1% of all the Doctors of Chiropractic.
Before the NUCCA procedure can be performed, I will sit down with you and discuss your history and symptoms. If I determine that NUCCA can help, a thorough examination and x-rays will be done. A complete report of your findings and treatment options will be discussed.
Precision x-rays are taken of the spine before any treatment begins. The adjustment is performed with the patient lying on their side and the doctor applying a very light pressure behind the earlobe. A full demonstration can be seen on the video above.
The NUCCA procedure can be summed up with 5 major distinctions as compared to traditional Chiropractic:
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