The procedure calls for adjustment of the C-1 vertebra or “Atlas” vertebra. This vertebra is often considered the “Fuse Box” of the body due to its placement at the base of the skull near the brain stem. At the base of the brain are two centers that control all the muscles of the body. If your Atlas misaligns and causes a pinch at this area, it may not cause pain but still can irritate those centers causing a variety of symptoms as well as increased blood pressure.

Specifically with high blood pressure it is believed that misalignment or injury to the Atlas vertebra can affect blood flow to the arteries at the base of the skull. Though this Atlas misalignment may not be the cause of high blood pressure in every patient, it is significant enough to be checked by a chiropractor to know for sure.

Read the following article section for more information.


Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure – Study Finds Special ‘Atlas Adjustment’ Lowers Blood Pressure

By Daniel J. DeNoon
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

March 16, 2007 — A special chiropractic adjustment can significantly lower high blood pressure, a placebo-controlled study suggests.

“This procedure has the effect of not one, but two blood-pressure medications given in combination,” study leader George Bakris, MD, tells WebMD. “And it seems to be adverse-event free. We saw no side effects and no problems,” adds Bakris, director of the University of Chicago hypertension center.

Eight weeks after undergoing the procedure, 25 patients with early-stage high blood pressure had significantly lower blood pressure than 25 similar patients who underwent a sham chiropractic adjustment. Because patients can’t feel the technique, they were unable to tell which group they were in.

X-rays showed that the procedure realigned the Atlas vertebra — the doughnut-like bone at the very top of the spine — with the spine in the treated patients, but not in the sham-treated patients.

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 blood pressure number).

None of the patients took blood pressure medicine during the eight-week study.

“When the statistician brought me the data, I actually didn’t believe it. It was way too good to be true,” Bakris says. “The statistician said, ‘I don’t even believe it.’ But we checked for everything, and there it was.”

Bakris and colleagues report their findings in the advance online issue of the Journal of Human Hypertension.