Practice Based Research
NUCCA & Migraines
Research has indicated a possible hydrodynamic mechanism that may contribute to the onset of a headache, in particular, a migraine headache. The central nervous system is housed inside the protective boney shield of the skull and vertebral column. Specialized venous drainage systems help to control fluid pressure (created by blood and cerebral spinal fluid) inside this closed system. Head and neck injuries can impair this drainage system and lead to alterations in intracranial compliance factors and autonomic dysregulation. This pilot study examines how an atlas misalignment correction in migraine patients effects intracranial compliance and demonstrated an improvement in the quality of life of the participants, with a reduction in headache-related disability.
NUCCA & Occlusion
In a 2016 study the relationship between a malocclusion and a misalignment of the craniocervical junction was examined. The craniocervical junction consists of the joints between the skull, atlas (C1) and axis (C2). Misalignments in this region can alter how the skull is balanced on top of the neck. In addition to creating strain in the muscles and ligaments of the neck, this malposition can also influence the function of the temporomandibular joint. In turn, this can result in stressed bite patterns (more commonly referred to as a malocclusion). The findings of this study suggest a possible link between head posture and occlusion and suggest that appropriate co-management of temporomandibular joint disorders between chiropractors and dentists may be warranted.
NUCCA and High Blood Pressure
A 2007 pilot study conducted by Drs. Bakris and Dickholtz demonstrated a reduction in blood pressure following an upper cervical adjustment. The degree of reduction varied among participants with the mean reduction being equivalent to taking two blood pressure medications. In addition, participants blood pressure remained reduced eight weeks later. Though more research is required, this provides exciting insight into a possible mechanical mechanism underlying high blood pressure and offers a gentle, non-invasive approach to treating it.