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Dr. Edward J. Hartey

600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Matamoras, Pa 18336

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Chicago Study Documents Effectiveness of Upper
Cervical Adjustment in Reducing Blood Pressure
in Hypertensive Patients

   A pilot study by the University of Chicago has documented that one chiropractic adjustment of a misaligned Atlas vertebra significantly reduces blood pressure in people with hypertension. The study was published in the March 2, 2007 issue of the online Journal of Human Hypertension. 

   According to lead author George Bakris, MD, director of the hypertension center, anecdotal reports have linked blood pressure and neck pain for years. After being approached by a family practitioner, he and his team, with the help of lead chiropractic clinician, Marshall Dikholtz, DC, decided to put this theory to the test.

   The study included 50 hypertensive patients. Half the patients received specific atlas adjustments and the other half received a "sham intervention" designed to be indistinguishable to the patients from an authentic adjustment. Patients were assessed immediately after, as well as at the end of eight weeks of treatment.

   Patients who received the chiropractic adjustment saw an average 14 mm Hg greater drop in systolic blood pressure and an average 8mm Hg greater drop in diastolic blood pressure than patients who were in the sham group and did not get the chiropractic adjustments. None of the patients took blood pressure medications during the eight week study.

   In commenting on the study's results Dr. Bakris said, "We were shocked to find out that we got more than double what we expected in blood pressure reduction." Patients who received the chiropractic adjustments in this study, he said, did not need to resume taking blood pressure medicine as the effect lasted for months.

   These findings are significant as they further demonstrate the benefits of chiropractic care which go beyond back pain, neck pain and headaches.


   "The findings of this pilot study represent the first demonstration of a sustained BP lowering effect associated with a procedure to correct the alignment of the Atlas vertebra. The improvement in BP following the correction of Atlas misalignment is similar to that seen by giving two different anti-hypertensive agents simultaneously."

  "This reduction in BP persisted at 8 weeks and was not associated with pain or pain relief or any other symptom that could be associated with a rise in BP."

   Data linking changes in Atlas anatomy and posterior fossa circulatory changes associated with hypertension date back more than 40 years.

   "What is clear is that misalignment of the Atlas vertebra can be determined by assessment of the alignment of the pelvic crests. This should be considered in those who have a history of hypertension and require multiple medications of treatment. Additionally, it should be considered in those with refractory hypertension and a history of neck injuries, independent of the presence of pain. Note that pain was not present in any of the patients randomized in this study."