Research 2017-11-21T02:28:07+00:00

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research

Click this link to see a list of dozens of health problems and HUNDREDs of upper cervical chiropractic research articles! 

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Blood Pressure: This video and article describe the upper cervical adjustment lowering blood pressure equivalent to taking two prescription medications!  This made abcNEWS!

Multiple Sclerosis: Article describing upper cervical adjustments improving leg coordination, sleeping, hand and foot numbness, balance, gait, and visceral function with chronic Multiple Sclerosis.

  • Killinger LZ, Azad A. Multiple Sclerosis Patients Under Chiropractic Care: A Retrospective Study. Palmer J Res, 1997; 2(4):96-100.

Epilepsy“Upper cervical care to correct vertebral subluxation was administered to 15 patients, and all reported positive outcomes as a result of chiropractic care.” The study concluded, “chiropractic care was apparently effective in reducing the number of seizures associated with patients with post-traumatic neurologic disorder.

  • Pistolese RA. Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders: A Review of Literature Relative to Chiropractic Care of Children. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 2001; 24(3):199-205.

Otitis Media: 1.) In a study with subject size of 332 children….”Upper cervical adjustments seemed to be the primary intervention that helped these children.”  2.) An inner ear muscle named Tensor Veli Palatini is the only active opener of the eustachian tube.  This muscle is controlled by nerve fiber coming from the upper cervical area.

  • 1.) Fallon JM. The Role of the Chiropractic Adjustment in the Care and Treatment of 332 Children with Otitis Media. J Clin Chiropr Ped, 1997; 2(2):167-182.
  • 2.) Fallon JM. Chiropractic Care of 401 Children with Otitis Media: a Pilot Study. Alternative Therapies, 1998; 4(2):93.

Infantile Colic: 1.) Of 316 infants who received upper cervical adjustments, 94% had a successful outcome.  Average age of infants was 5.7 weeks old.  2.) This study compared chiropractic care to the prescription drug Dimethicone (Simethicone, Mylicon).  The study found the prescription drug to reduce average hours of colic per day by 38% while chiropractic care reduced average hours of colic per day by 67%.

  • 1.) Klougart N, Nilsson N, Jacobsen J. Infantile Colic Treated by Chiropractors: A Prospective Study of 316 Cases. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 1989; 12(4):281-288.
  • 2.) Wiberg JM, Nordsteen J, Nilsson N. The Short-term Effect of Spinal Manipulation in the Treatment of Infantile Colic: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial with a Blind Observer. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 1999; 22(8):517-521.

TinnitusThis article describes an Atlas Therapy (upper cervical) that some patients reported improvement with their tinnitus and muscle tension.

  • Kaute BB. The Influence of Atlas Therapy on Tinnitus. Int Tinnitus J, 1998; 4(2):165-167.

Vertigo1.) “Medical doctors recognize that dizziness disorders can have various etiologies, one of them is a disturbance arising form dysfunction of the cervical joint receptors.” 2.) This pilot study found that “cervical manipulation was the only treatment found to diminish the duration of dizziness and vertigo during the previous 7 days”.  Other methods tested were acupuncture and NSAID-percutan.

  • 1.) Orma E, Kaskemoja M. Postural Dizziness in the Aged. Geriatrics, January 1957:49-59.
  • 2.) Heikkila H, Johansson M, Wenngren BI. Effects of Acupuncture, Cervical Manipulation, and NSAID Therapy on Dizziness and Impaired Head Repositioning of Suspected Cervical Origin: A Pilot Study. Man Ther, 2000; 5(3):151-157.

Meniere’s“75% of Meniere’s Disease patients reported a strong associated between head and neck movements in the atlanto-occipital and atlanto-axial joints that triggered attacks of vertigo.”  This association can be managed with upper cervical chiropractic care.

  • Bjorne A, Berven A, Agerberg G. Cervical Signs and Symptoms in Patients with Meniere’s Disease: A Controlled Study. Cranio, 1998; 16(3):194-202.

Tension Headache: This study compared cervical spine adjustments to amitriptyline, an antidepressant occasionally prescribed for headaches and migraines, in their ability to reduce pain in patients suffering from tension headaches.  The study found that “after the cessation of treatment…..patients who received spinal manipulation therapy experienced a sustained therapeutic benefit in all major outcomes in contrast to the patients that received amitriptyline therapy, who reverted to baseline (pain) values”.

  • Boline PD, Kassak K, Bronfort G, Nelson C, Anderson AV. Spinal Manipulation vs. Amitriptyline for the Treatment of Chronic Tension-Type Headaches: A Randomized Clinical Trial. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 1995; 18(3):148-154.

Migraine:  1.) Study results suggest that the atlas realignment intervention may be associated with a reduction of  migraine frequency and marked improvement on quality of life. 2.) 31 patients suffering from “cervical migraines”.   Patients received 2 or 3 adjustments with complete relief of headache in 75% of subjects.

  • Woodfield, C., Hasick, G., Becker, W., Rose, M., Scott, J. Effect of Atlas Realignment with Migraine: An Observational Pilot Study. Biomed Research International. Volume 2015, Article ID 630472
  • 2. Vernon H. Spinal Manipulation and Headaches: An Update. Top Clin Chiropr, 1995; 2(3):34-36.

                           Reduction in Migraine symptoms following the Upper Cervical Atlas correction                            Reduction in Migraine symptoms following the Upper Cervical Atlas correction

Cervicogenic Headaches: “The headache group was found to be significantly different from the non-headache group in respect to forward head posture.”  This article goes on to explain that irritation of the upper cervical spinal cord and nerve roots leads to suboccipital muscle tension.  When this occurs the head and neck are shifted forward to balance the gaze of the eyes.  This results in joint dysfunction, leading to pain and further forward head posture.

  • Watson DH, Trott PH. Cervical Headache: An Investigation of Natural Head Posture and Upper Cervical Flexor Muscle Performance. Cephalgia, 1993; 13(4):272-284.

Pelvic Distortion: This article ties the link between postural distortion and pain.  The article concluded that as little as 1cm leg length discrepancy was significant enough to lead to postural distortion.  “The data indicates that pelvic distortion causes postural compensations that can result in joint degeneration and symptoms”.  Upper cervical chiropractic emphasizes the correction of posture in order to restore the body to proper balance, elimination joint degeneration.

  • Mahar RK, MacLeod DA. Simulated Leg-Length Discrepancy: Its Effect on Mean Cener-of-Pressure Position and Postrual Sway. Arch Phys Med Rehabil, 1985; 66(12):822-824.

Torticollis: 1.) This article states “the etiology of torticollis is an atlanto-axial rotatory subluxation”.  Medical doctors used x-rays and CT scans before and after treatment, in order to come to this conclusion. 2.) This article was written after a patient developed torticollis after their head was turned to the side during surgery.  The surgeon used a CT scan to conclude there in fact was a rotatory atlanto-axial subluxation.  The rotatory atlanto-axial subluxation is one of the primary factors corrected in an upper cervical adjustment.

  • 1.)  Leventhal MR, Maguire JK, Christian CA. Atlantoaxial Rotatory Subluxation in Ankylosing Spondylitis, Case Report. Spine, 1990; 15(12):1374-1376.
  • 2.)  Jensen JH, Noring E. Torticollis-An Unusual Origin. Ugeskr-Laeger, 1989; 151(15):950-951.

Dystonia: “This case study was the first to report in the medical literature showing an association between atlanto-axial subluxation and primary dystonia.”

  • Al-Jishi A, Sreekantaswamy. Dystonia Associated with Atlantoaxial Subluxation. Clin Neurol Neurosurg, 2000; 102(4):223-235.

Postural Dysfunction: “Subjects with more severe postural abnormalities, however, had a significantly increased incidence of pain”.  Bad posture leads to more pain!

  • Griegel-Morris P, Larson K, Meuller-Klaus K, Oatis CA. Incidence of Common Postural Abnormalities in the Cervical, Shoulder, and Thoracic Regions and Their Association with Pain in Two Ago Groups of Healthy Subjects. Physical Ther, 1992; 72(6):425-430.

Neck Pain: 1.) “patients with neck pain and spasm of the upper trapezius often assume a forward head position”.  2.) This study also found a relationship between anterior head carriage and cervical extension with neck pain.  This forward head position will only lead to further cervical joint dysfunction, and is uncorrectable without upper cervical correction.

  • 1.) Enwemeka CS, et al. Postural Correction in Persons with Neck Pain. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, 1986; 8(5):240-242.
  • 2.)  Haughie L, Fiebert I, Roach K. Relationship of Forward Head Posture and Cervical Backward Bending to Neck Pain. J Man Manipulative Therapy, 1995; 3(3):91-97.

TMJ Dysfunction: 1.)This author reviewed the literature that associated postural distortion with TMJ dysfunction.  This is what he found, “Postural distortion causes reduced muscular efficiency due to an increased demand for muscle action to maintain balance….this leaves the muscles susceptible to strain, spasm, and pain.”  This article is a great explanation of why postural distortion may cause of myriad of symptoms.  2.) This article discusses how forward head position leads to a retraction of the pterygoid muscles on the mandible.  This pulls the mandible retro to the disc, leading to TMJ pain and dysfunction.  The forward head posture must be corrected in order to eliminate the TMJ dysfunction.

  • 1.) Braun BL. Postural Differences Between Asymptomatic Men and Women and Craniofacial Pain Patients. Arch Phys Med Rehabil, 1991; 72(9):653-656.
  • 2.) Darnell MW. A Proposed Chronology of Events for Forward Head Posture. J Craniomandibular Practice, 1983; 1(4):49-54.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome: “Forward head position may also lead to thoracic outlet symptoms.  Because of increased tension in the anterior and lateral cervical musculature, the first and seconds ribs become elevated and may then compress the neurovascular components-the subclavian artery and vein and the brachial plexus.”

  • Darnell MW. A Proposed Chronology of Events for Forward Head Posture. J Craniomandibular Practice, 1983; 1(4):49-54.

Dysafferentation: First we must understand “The central neuromuscular mechanisms controlling the craniocervical posture are the same ones that determine the body posture.”  Our postural distortion is an adaptive and compensatory state, it happens gradually over time following a trauma.  “In this adaptive state, patients lack the cognitive ability to become aware of their malposition which, consequently, can not be self-corrected.

  • Gonzalez HE, Mannus A. Forward Head Posture: Its Structural and Functional Influence on the Stomatognathic System, a Conceptual Study. J Craniomandibular Practice, 1996; 14(1):71-80.

Spondylosis: This article came to a simple conclustion, “faulty posture can lead to the development of spondylosis”.  This is understandable since faulty postural typically adds more pressure to the weight bearing joints including the spine.

  • Seletz E. Whiplash Injuries. JAMA, 1958; 168(13):1750-1755.