Back in 2007 a paper was published, Atlas vertebra realignment and achievement of arterial pressure goal in hypertensive patients: a pilot study suggesting that NUCCA manipulations of the neck can lower blood pressure.

NUCCA was discussed at length at SBM and this particular study was evaluated in my 17th Quackcast and found to be wanting.  The study, not my quackcast.

It was a pilot study and as a result 2.8 million dollars in an NCCM grant was given to Palmer Chiropractic College, part of which was to further evaluate NUCCA's effect on hypertension based on this lousy study.

That is a lot of money for pseudo-medicine.

I wonder where all the money went as there has not been a published follow-up in PubMed and no study I could find on NIH reports. Maybe they took the $148,435 for planning and gave up? I don't know and will have to do further investigation.

In place of the elaborate theater of NUCCA, we have to instead settle for Effect of Spinal Manipulation of Upper Cervical Vertebrae on Blood Pressure: Results of a Pilot Sham-Controlled Trial.

They used the Toggle Recoil Technique, a form of

upper cervical technique developed by B.J. Palmer which utilizes a quick thrust and release.

Watch the video. Man are chiropractors deluded if they think toggle recoil that will do anything. Equally interesting is a film of the man himself, BJ Palmer, doing the toggle recoil and, unlike most chiropractic videos today, not on a pretty female half his age.

One practitioner notes un-ironically of toggle recoil

Many patients feel as though very little or nothing has happened

It suggests that the patients are more aware of what is happening than the chiropractor. Certainly it is true when applied to the treatment of hypertension:

Six weeks of toggle recoil spinal manipulation did not lower systolic or diastolic blood pressure when compared with a sham procedure.

But more amazing was

Our results do not support a larger clinical trial. Further research to understand the potential mechanisms of action involving upper cervical manipulation on blood pressure is warranted before additional clinical investigations are conducted.

I think this is the first time ever a pseudo-medicine paper concluded that because the preliminary study is negative, no further studies need be done.