Are There Benefits to Chiropractic Care Beyond Low Back and Neck Pain?

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The benefits of Chiropractic care for low back and neck pain have been well established, but is there scientific evidence of success in treating other symptoms? Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP discusses several studies of Chiropractic care for other health conditions.

Because Chiropractors focus on the nervous system which controls, regulates, and coordinates all of the body’s functions, they frequently achieve unexpected results far removed from the spine.

Chiropractors are the leaders in relieving neck and back pain, headaches, sciatica, and whiplash. Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin Chiropractor and Naturopath Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP relates that patients also often report improvements for allergies, asthma, carpal tunnel, colic, digestive problems, ear infections, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, and many other health problems. What evidence is there for Chiropractic care beyond spine-related pain?

While Chiropractors are often thought of as "back doctors", they are actually neurological specialists with an orthopedic focus on improving nervous system function to improve overall health. Because Chiropractors focus on the nervous system which controls, regulates, and coordinates all of the body’s functions, they frequently achieve unexpected results far removed from the spine.

The October 2013 issue of the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine published a preliminary study on the effects of Chiropractic care on high blood pressure. Twenty-four African American patients over 40 years and diagnosed with either prehypertension (120-139/80-89) or hypertension stage 1 (140-159/90-99) received Chiropractic care by student interns at the Sherman College of Chiropractic teaching clinic in Spartanburg, South Carolina. When the entire group of participants were analyzed, the average systolic pressure decreased from 135.5 to 132.3 and the average diastolic pressure decreased from 81.0 to 78.1, which approached statistical significance of not being due to chance.

When the four participants with body mass index values farthest from the average group values were removed from the study and the data reanalyzed, the study became statistically significant with only a 4% risk of the results occurring due to chance. Average systolic pressure decreased from 136.3 to 130.2 and average diastolic decreased from 81.5 to 77.1. The research was titled "Blood pressure changes in African American patients receiving chiropractic care in a teaching clinic: a preliminary study". The researchers admit that there were several weaknesses in their study: the sample of patients was not randomized, there was no control group for comparison, confounding determinants such as diet and exercise were not accounted for, and interns rather than experienced doctors rendered the care.

A previous study titled: "Atlas vertebra realignment and achievement of arterial pressure goal in hypertensive patients: a pilot study" published in the Journal of Human Hypertension, March 2007 was much more promising. A double blind, placebo-controlled study adjusting only the atlas (top vertebra in the spine) was done in an experienced doctor’s office. Fifty participants were randomized between those receiving treatment and those receiving a sham procedure. After 8 weeks of treatment, systolic pressure was decreased an average of 17.0 in the treated group compared to 3.0 in the placebo group. Diastolic pressure decreased an average of 10.0 versus 2.0. The marked and sustained blood pressure reductions were similar to the use of a two-drug combination therapy.

The Journal of Manipulative Physiologic Therapeutics published "Significant changes in systolic blood pressure post vectored upper cervical adjustment vs resting control groups: a possible effect of the cervicosympathetic and/or pressor reflex" in February 2001. Test 1 compared 40 participants with signs of upper cervical dysfunction with a control group of 40 participants without such signs. Test 2 was a controlled clinical trial of 30 participants with upper cervical dysfunction serving as their own controls. In test 1, those receiving upper cervical Chiropractic care displayed a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure compared to the controls, especially in those of greater age and higher initial blood pressure. In test 2, there was no significant changes in systolic pressure while resting, but systolic pressure dropped significantly after the Chiropractic adjustment of the atlas. It was admitted that the findings were weakened by lack of randomization, blinding, and a control group receiving manipulation.

While more in-depth studies need to be done, the preliminary results indicate that there are good indicators that Chiropractic care can be beneficial for lowering high blood pressure in many cases.

Using the latest research findings, Moellendorf Chiropractic Office, Ltd. uses a comprehensive package of Chiropractic care, decompression traction therapy, active therapeutic movement training, cold laser therapy, and nutrition for the natural treatment of neurological conditions, neck and back pain, and other health conditions without drugs or surgery. Additional information about Chiropractic, Naturopathy, and other forms of natural health care has been provided by Moellendorf Chiropractic Office, Ltd. at

About: Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP

Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP attended the University of Wisconsin—Superior where he majored in Physics and Mathematics, with a minor in art photography. While attending the University of Minnesota—Minneapolis, he assisted in research on ribosomal proteins. Completing his Chiropractic studies at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, he graduated Cum Laude (with high honors) in 1983. He started Moellendorf Chiropractic Office, Ltd. in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin in 1983. In 1996, Dr. Moellendorf was awarded his Doctorate in Naturopathy from Trinity School of Natural Health. In 2001, he received Chiropractic’s most prestigious award, the honorary Legion of Chiropractic Philosophers degree, for his thesis "The Workings of Innate Intelligence in Obsessive/Compulsive and Addictive Behaviors." This paper was chosen for publishing in the book Philosophic Contemplations vol. 2 in 2002. In June of 2012, Dr. Moellendorf authored his first book titled Healthcare’s Best Kept Secret which can be ordered on Amazon. Dr. Moellendorf can be contacted by phone (920) 493-2126, fax (920) 743-1145, email jgmoellendorf(at)itol(dot)com, his website at, or send a carrier pigeon to 44.84722N and 87.36416W.

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