A placebo-controlled study suggests that a Nucca adjustment can significantly lower high blood pressure,.
“This procedure has the effect of not one, but two blood-pressure medications given in combination,” says study leader George Bakris, MD, director of the University of Chicago hypertension center.
Eight weeks after receiving the adjustment, 25 patients with early-stage hypertension had significantly lower blood-pressure than 25 similar patients who underwent a sham chiropractic adjustment.
X-rays confirmed that the procedure realigned the Atlas vertebra — the top bone of the neck.
Compared to the sham-treated patients, those who got the real procedure saw an average 14 mm Hg greater drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure count), and an average 8 mm Hg greater drop in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number).
None of the patients took blood pressure medicine during the eight-week study.
This study was published in the Journal of Human Hypertension
Atlas Adjustment and Hypertension
The Nucca procedure employs precise measurements to determine a patient’s Atlas vertebra alignment. If realignment is deemed necessary, the chiropractor uses his or her hands to gently adjust the vertebra.
What does this have to do with high blood-pressure?
Bakris notes that some researchers have suggested that injury to the Atlas vertebra can affect blood flow in the arteries at the base of the skull. Dickholtz thinks the misaligned Atlas triggers release of signals that make the arteries contract.
It is pretty clear that some kind of head or neck trauma early in life is related to this.