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Robert C Kessinger DC Bio, Michael F. Anderson DC Bio, Jarod W Adlington, DC Bio

Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research ~ May 9, 2013 ~ Pages 32-42


Objective: This paper reports thermal pattern analysis and heart rate variability outcome on three cases undergoing an upper cervical chiropractic technique.

Clinical Features: Three patients who had never received upper cervical chiropractic care were examined both pre and post adjustment using the Tytron C-4000 paraspinal digital infrared instrument and the BioSuite HRV to assess autonomic nervous system function via heart rate variability.

Interventions and Outcomes:  Cervical radiographs, paraspinal digital infrared imaging, and pelvic balance leg length inequality were used to confirm upper cervical subluxation. Analysis was applied to determine pre-adjustment cervical thermographic pattern. A heart rate variability test was also preformed pre-adjustment. A Knee Chest Upper Cervical Specific adjustment was administered to the C1 region of the spine in all three cases.  The three patients were then instructed to lie in a supine position for 45 minutes. The patients were then re-tested for pelvic balance leg length, re-scanned with the Tytron C-4000 instrument, and post tested with the HRV unit. Subjective findings improved following care as well as a concomitant reduction in pattern and improvement in heart rate variability findings.

Conclusion: In these three cases there appears to be a relationship between the improvements in bilateral skin temperature pattern analysis and heart rate variability following an upper cervical chiropractic technique. It is feasible that upper cervical chiropractic care can have a positive effect on the autonomic nerve system and there may be a connection between pattern reduction and improved heart rate variability. Further study is recommended.

Key Terms: chiropractic, pattern analysis, heart rate variability, upper cervical, vertebral subluxation, thermography, knee chest adjustment.

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