An important, collaborative research project studying
the effect of upper cervical chiropractic care on 165
people with high blood pressure in the Quad Cities is
underway at Palmer. Researchers at the Palmer Center
for Chiropractic Research (PCCR) clinic facility and
collaborating institutions are conducting the clinical
study, which has the potential to significantly impact
the treatment of hypertension.
The study, called Chiropractic for Hypertension in
Patients (CHiP), involves the Palmer Center for
Chiropractic Research, Mount Sinai Medical Center,
Miami, Fla., and Terrace Park Family Practice Clinic
at the Trinity Bettendorf Campus, Bettendorf, Iowa.
CHiP is being directed by project co-leaders Palmer’s
Vice Chancellor for Research and Health Policy,
Christine Goertz, D.C., Ph.D., and Gervasio Lamas,
M.D., a cardiovascular scientist at Mount Sinai Medical
Center in Miami. In addition, Joseph Bergstrom, D.O.,
Trinity’s director of medical education in its family
practice residency program, is performing the blood
pressure screenings and physical examinations
for eligibility. Quad-City cardiologist Michael Giudici,
M.D., FACP, FACC, FHRS, serves on the study’s Data
and Safety Monitoring Committee.
According to Dr. Goertz, high blood pressure has been
diagnosed in approximately 73 million Americans.
Of those who receive medical treatment for the disease,
only about 30 percent of them achieve desired blood
“This should be an interesting trial,” added Dr. Giudici.
“Work to date has shown that blood pressure responds
to other non-pharmacologic interventions such as diet,
weight loss, exercise, stress reduction and yoga. There
is also some interesting early data on blood pressure
response to slowing respiratory rate. Palmer has put
together an impressive team of researchers and the
infrastructure needed to perform this and other studies.”
According to Dr. Lamas, “The concept that manipulation
of the upper cervical spine could reduce blood
pressure is both novel and appealing at the same time.
It is novel because of its originality of thought, and
because it is backed up by preliminary data. It is appealing
because any treatment for high blood pressure that
does not expose patients to drugs and their side effects
should be investigated. I really look forward to … seeing