Archive for August, 2010

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What causes Multiple Sclerosis?  Although it is obviously a multi-factorial condition one continuing connection has been investigated for nearly a century.  The link between head and neck trauma and multiple sclerosis.  Dr. Dan Murphy who is one of the preminent researchers in the field of whiplash has looked into the connection between MS and Whiplash…here are his findings… 


(1) Whiplash and other spinal trauma can initiate MS signs and symptoms in asymptomatic, perfectly healthy individuals. 

(2) Of those with MS, 25% have asymptomatic “silent” MS. 

(3) Whiplash and other trauma can adversely affect the course of benign MS. 

(4) The initiation of MS symptoms following trauma may manifest within hours, peak within days to weeks, and is rare after 3 months. 

(5) Breakdown in the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is an essential event in the development of MS. 

(6) Breaching of the BBB results in a pro-inflammatory cytokines immune system response. Consequently, I suggest that a logical aspect of management is chiropractic nerve function improvement (segmental, systemic, and postural chiropractic subluxation management), and the anti-inflammatory diet (more omega-3s with antioxidants and fewer excitotoxins, trans fatty acids, omega-6s, and saturated fats). 

(7) The whiplash trauma involved may be minor. 

Other authors note: 

1. “Direct impact to the head is not necessary for brain injury; whiplash injuries can also cause brain damage.” 

2. “The degree of associated bone and soft tissue injury has no bearing on the extent of the spinal cord injury or neurologic deficit.”  The fact that CNS trauma affects the deep cerebral white matter has also been demonstrated by MRI, even in patients who had experienced mild head injuries. Such white matter changes indicate alteration of the BBB.  Research on monkeys has shown that a blow to the occipital area altered the BBB in the medulla and in the cervical spinal cord.  

3. “Although there are many potential reasons for the BBB break, a simple model of traumatic damage could account for the commoner sites of lesions being in the highly mobile optic nerve and cervical cord, especially when tethered by the dentate ligaments. 

4. Any mechanism which physically destroys the components of the BBB will render the CNS open to the cellular and molecular constituents of the blood. This causes inflammatory participants to be rapidly delivered to the site of injury in a gross, nonspecific fashion. 

In another article the authors stated “We report here 39 cases in which definite multiple sclerosis (MS) was precipitated or exacerbated by specific hyperextension-hyperflexion cervical cord trauma.  Our data suggests that central nervous system (CNS) — specific acute physical trauma such as cervical cord hyperextension-hyperflexion injury (whiplash) may aggravate latent clinical symptoms in MS.”  These authors documented 39 patients who developed symptomatic MS or in whom a stable disease with minimal disability was converted to a rapidly progressive form within some days to weeks after an acute hyperextension-hyperflexion injury to the cervical spinal cord (whiplash type injury).  The authors cited 9 studies (1946, 1950, 1957, 1964, 1966, 1975, 1975, 1988, 1991, 1992) that support that specific CNS trauma may precipitate or aggravate MS.  They also stated “The cervical region is the commonest site of spinal cord involvement in MS and spinal cord atrophy provides the best correlate of the degree of disability. Thus, it would only seem logical that rapid progression of disability was a direct consequence of the cervical cord disease in our cases.” 

With still much to be determined between the connection between the Blood Brain Barrier, Chronic cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency and MS (see our other posts on MS for more details on CCSVI), the connection between trauma and MS remains an important one.  Can trauma to the head and neck create a structural problem that leads to CCSVI?  That is the question.  But wouldn’t it make sense to at least get your upper head and neck evaluated by a trained doctor who corrects structural problems in the upper neck?  Before doing a surgery trace back to the original cause…the head and neck injury and undo the damage that has been done with upper cervical care. 

Go to www.upcspine.com for a doctor in your area or if you are in the San Diego County area go to www.nuccawellness.com 
Dr. William R. Davis Jr., D.C. is a Oceanside Chiropractor and Upper Cervical Specialist. He is in private practice in Southern California in the city of Vista. He specializes in correcting problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems. More information can be found on his website at http://www.nuccawellness.com


Acute cervical hyperextension-hyperflexion injury mayprecipitate and/or exacerbate symptomatic multiple sclerosis 

Eur J Neurol 2001 Nov;8(6):659-64. Chaudhuri A, Behan PO 

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This is an posterior-to-anterior X-ray of a ca...

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The Problem    

Scoliosis is a disorder that causes an abnormal curve of the spine, or backbone. The spine has normal curves when looking from the side, but it should appear straight when looking from the front.”  (see picture) www.emedicine.net   According to WebMDIn about 80% of cases, the cause of scoliosis is not known.”  80%!  Wow that is a lot!  In 8/10 of the people who have been diagnosed with scoliosis or curvature in the spine the medical profession have no clue what causes it.      

Generally, the scoliosis is found when a child is examined for scoliosis in middle school.  But frequently scoliosis is undetected until adulthood.  Regardless, the earlier the curvature can be found the better.  If it is identified at 13 years of age and it is already 15 degrees…it would have been much better to find it at 7 years of age when it was 8 degrees don’t you think?  Especially if the underlying cause can be corrected and the progression of the scoliosis can be stopped.  Also the earlier the scoliosis is identified the more likely the condition can be reversed.     

Scoliosis has psychological consequences as well as physical consequences. Self image can be negatively impacted, especially in the formative adolescent years.  Scoliosis can be so mild that an untrained eye cannot see the curve, or it can be severe enough to cause deformity.  Children are often made fun of as a result of these deformities.    

The physical consequences are much worse though.  People with scoliosis are a greater risk of developing heart problems, breathing problems, osteoporosis, accelerated disc degeneration and spinal pain, reproductive function and pregnancy problems can be just some of the consequences associated with untreated scoliosis.    

The medical approach has 3 main strategies.  Wait until it gets worse!  Put a brace on the entire trunk for up to 23 hours a day!  Or dangerous surgery!  Doesn’t sound like fun to me!  Which of these approaches gets to the underlying cause?…none of them?  The medical approach is focused on the effects and not the cause obviously.     


The Upper Neck Connection     

Two medical doctors from Europe have done extensive research into upper neck problems in newborns and how that relates to the health of children.  Dr. Gutmann was researching the connection all the way back to the 1960’s… in 1987 Dr. Gutmann published his research linking the upper neck to problems ranging from scoliosis to ear infections, torticollis, colic and many other common childhood conditions.     

Dr. Biedermann also has published extensively on this subject and published his findings in 1992.  Between the 2 medical researchers they have studied over 1000 newborns and have observed a very high incidence of upper cervical misalignments on x-ray.  Gutmann found over 80% in his study had problems in the upper neck that needed to be addressed!  Birth trauma was the most common cause.  Forceps delivery, vacuum extraction and even just normal birthing methods with a woman flat on her back rather than in the standing position where gravity can work, can be an extremely traumatic experience for the head and neck of a newborn.      

It is reported that within the general population the incidence of Scoliosis is about 2.5% or about 25 per 1000 people.  However, that is only the people who are identified as having scoliosis and it only includes those that have a 10 degree curvature or more.  A 7,8, or 9 degree scoliosis can still have dramatic affects on the health of a person’s spine and body.  Also many individuals have no idea that they have a curvature in their spine until adulthood.  I have seen patients in my office who are in their 60’s who were unaware of a 10-15 degree scoliosis!     

If the weight of the head is not balanced over the spinal column due to accidents and injuries to the upper neck this will result in postural changes including head tilt, shoulder tilt, hips uneven, and leg imbalance.  The earlier the child develops this upper neck misalignment the more likely it is for them to develop a scoliosis when they hit their growth spurt.    



The Solution    

Early detection is the key to stopping the progression and possibly correct the scoliosis completely.  All children should be evaluated after birth and regularly thoroughout the childhood years for the presence of an upper neck misalignment that could start this process in their spine.  If a curvature is detected than the misalignment should be corrected as soon as possible.  If the scoliosis is already very advanced due to lack of evaluation, than the misalignment should still be corrected and maintained and postural exercises should be given in order to prevent future progression.  The longer the curvature has been there the more likely it will be to not correct completely.    

To find out more about upper cervical care in San Diego County go to www.nuccawellness.com or in other areas go to www.upcspine.com.    

Dr. William R. Davis Jr., D.C. is a Oceanside Chiropractor and Upper Cervical Specialist. He is in private practice in Southern California in the city of Vista. He specializes in correcting problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems. More information can be found on his website at http://www.nuccawellness.com




Biedermann H. Kinematic imbalances due to suboccipital strain in newborns. J. Manual Med (1992) 6:151-156.      

Gutman, G. Blocked atlantal nerve syndrome in babies and infants. Manuelle Medizin, 1987, 25, pp. 5-10. and Gilles et al, Infantile Atlantooccipital Instability, Am J Dis Child 133:30-37, 1979       

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan of a head

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As I continue to investigate the connection between Multiple Sclerosis and trauma to the head and neck…I came across this information linking whiplash and MS from 1996….check it out. 

Whiplash Trauma and Multiple Sclerosis 

by Daniel J. Murphy, DC, FACO 

Multiple sclerosis linked with trauma in court case 

British Medical Journal, Vol. 313, 

November 16, 1996 

Reported by Bryan Christie 

A former policeman was awarded $820,875 in damages by a court which accepted that he developed multiple sclerosis after sustaining whiplash injures in a road accident

Although the judgment is controversial, it is expected to give rise to further legal action from patients with multiple sclerosis who suffered injuries before the onset of their symptoms. 

 The 49-year-old man developed symptoms within a week of injuring his neck during a crash and overturn motor vehicle accident. 

Neurologists who gave evidence on behalf of the officer told the court that they had seen people in which symptoms of MS developed within weeks of suffering whiplash injuries

One professor of neurology emphasized that such injuries could not cause MS by themselves but could bring on the condition in already susceptible individuals. He noted that the patient “might well have lived a normal life but for the injuries he sustained.” 

Dr. Charles Poser of the Harvard Medical School, said: “there were hundreds of such cases, too many to be caused by chance.” 

            The Judge (Lord) “accepted that the historical, anecdotal and experimental evidence supported the proposition that a causative factor in some cases” of MS, noting: “the medical witnesses “had all themselves seen cases where they had accepted that the onset or recurrences of symptoms had been brought about by trauma, especially whiplash injury. In my opinion, these circumstances are far too strong to be put down mere chance.” 

Trauma to the Central Nervous System May Result in Formation or Enlargement of Multiple Sclerosis Plaques Controversies in Neurology Charles M. Poser, MD; Archives of Neurology; Vol. 57 No. 7, July 2000 Dr. Poser is from the Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass. In this article, he notes the following: 

            In some patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), trauma may act as a trigger for the appearance of new or recurrent symptoms.   Only trauma affecting the head, neck, or upper back, which may affect the brain and/or spinal cord, can be considered significant.  This premise is based on the two considerations: 

            1. An alteration of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a necessary step in the pathogenesis of the MS lesion, and 

            2. Trauma to the central nervous system (CNS) can result in a breach of the BBB. 

            The fact that an alteration of the BBB is an important step in the formation of the MS lesion has been demonstrated many times by serial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies and from positron emission tomography (PET) studies. 

            The alteration in the permeability of the BBB for the development of MS is most frequently triggered by an inflammatory immunological phenomenon. 

            Poser notes others who contend: 

            1. Repeated episodes of asymptomatic breakdowns of the BBB eventually leads to demyelination and symptomatic relapse. 

            2. Without BBB penetration, myelin injury would not occur. 

            3. The fact that MS is focal could be explained by local breakdown of the BBB. 

            4. It is clear that a breakdown of the BBB is an early if not the first step in plaque generation. 

            “For many years, trivial head injuries such as concussion were considered to result only in physiological disruption of neural function without anatomical changes.” 

            However, both spontaneous and experimental concussive CNS injury can cause diffuse microscopic lesions of blood vessel walls that often escape notice on superficial examination of the brain. 

            “The effects of minor trauma on the CNS assume great importance because whiplash injury is a frequent result of minor vehicular accidents, in particular, the rarely mentioned minor rear-end collision.” 

Next time we will look into this link between minor rear end collisions, whiplash and MS a little closer. 

Dr. William R. Davis Jr., D.C. is a Oceanside Chiropractor and Upper Cervical Specialist. He is in private practice in Southern California in the city of Vista. He specializes in correcting problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems. More information can be found on his website at http://www.nuccawellness.com

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I have previously talked about a rare condition called Brachioradial Pruritis (BRP) on this blog and how NUCCA Spinal Care was able to get to the underlying cause of the condition and eliminate it by correcting problems in the neck (see https://nuccadoctordavis.wordpress.com/2010/03/05/nucca-and-brachioradial-pruritis/ for more info). 

The Journal of Dermatology describes Brachioradial pruritus (BRP) as a localized itching or burning sensation of the arm. BRP is an enigmatic condition with a controversial cause; some authors consider BRP to be a photodermatosis (sensitivity to sunlight leads to changes in the skin) whereas other authors attribute BRP to compression of cervical nerve roots (nerves in the neck).

Several dermatologists have done research into this condition that makes sense with what I am seeing in my office.  They sought to investigate the presence of neuropathy (nerve related problem) in patients with BRP.  They performed studies of the median, ulnar, and radial nerves (nerves leaving the lower portion of the neck that go into the arm) in consecutive patients with BRP, including measurement of sensory and motor function.

Included in the study were 7 patients, 5 men and 2 women, with an average age of 58.3 years (range: 42-72 years). Of the patients, 4 (57%) had abnormal responses on testing that were diagnostic for cervical radiculopathy, and 3 of these patients had prolonged distal latencies of the nerves tested, which may be interpreted as sensory motor neuropathy secondary to chronic radiculopathy.  The fourth patient had polyneuropathy secondary to diabetes mellitus.

They authors concuded that BRP may be attributed to a neuropathy, such as chronic cervical radiculopathy. The possibility of an underlying neuropathy should be considered in the evaluation and treatment of all patients with BRP. 

In another study the Medical charts of patients with BRP seen in the Division of Dermatology of the University of Massachusetts Medical Center between the years of 1993 and 2000 were retrospectively analyzed. On the basis of clinical index of suspicion, some patients had undergone radiography of the spine.  Of the 22 patients with BRP, 11 had cervical spine x-rays. The x-rays showed cervical spine problems that could be correlated with the location of pruritus in each of these 11 patients.  All 11 showed the connection! 

The authors concluded “The main cause of brachioradial pruritus (BRP) is not known but there is evidence to suggest that BRP may arise in the nervous system. Cervical spine disease may be an important contributing factor.”

NUCCA Spinal Care is focused on correcting structural problems with the alignment of the head, neck and spinal column.  When the spine is misaligned it will cause degeneration of the spine and interference with the function of the nerve system.  Frequently in my office looking at the x-rays of hundreds of patients with upper cervical misalignments I will see that a majority of the degeneration is in the lower cervical bones…C5, C6 & C7.  This is the area where the nerves leave the spine and go into the arm and hand.  By correcting the alignment of the spine the pressure can be relieved and the degeneration and nerve irritation can be stopped.

If you have itching or burning in your arms or have been diagnosed with Brachioradial Pruritis than an upper cervical evaluation is warranted.  If you are in the San Diego CA area than go to our website at www.nuccawellness.com to find out about our evaluation special.  If you are not in the area go to www.nucca.org or www.upcspine.com to find a doctor in your area today!

Dr. William R. Davis Jr., D.C. is a Oceanside Chiropractor and Upper Cervical Specialist. He is in private practice in Southern California in the city of Vista. He specializes in correcting problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems. More information can be found on his website at http://www.nuccawellness.com

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 Jun;48(6):825-8.

J Am Acad Dermatol 2003 Apr;48(4):521-4

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 Dr. Davis here from Vista CA…

The advertisements are everywhere, at the supermarket, gas station, billboards, or TV, compelling us to ingest another pill for an ill. Nowhere is this more prominent than in the pain pill industry. We are told that simple pain relievers really do the trick to make that nasty headache go away. But have you ever thought about how you the consumer are being manipulated? These over-the-counter drugs are a booming industry and make huge profits for the companies that push them.  Pharmaceutical industry profit is 26.2 Billion a year!  It ranks #1 in profits of all industries.

Have you wondered why you don’t see an advertisement suggesting that you should see a doctor to get a proper diagnosis, to determine the cause of your headache? Instead, we self-diagnose and self-medicate all while finding no long-term solution for a chronic and long-term problem.

The first question a consumer needs to ask is,

“why do I have a headache?”

Why is my body signaling pain? Humans have a nervous system that warns us of problems by making us experience pain. The pain is a like a fire alarm. What would life be like if the fire department responded to a house fire by cutting the fire alarm? We’d still be in a raging inferno. But when pain is temporarily silenced with medicine, the cause of the pain continues. No one could seriously think that headaches are caused by a lack of ibuprofen in the diet? That would be outrageous! But these pain pills are consumed by so many of us, they have almost become part of the national diet. And of course the dirty little secret is that many of  us double and triple the dosages recommended on the bottle.

The warnings on the bottle don’t seem to help much either. Stomach bleeding, liver and kidney problems are all serious unintended consequences of taking these pills over a long duration.

So what’s a person to do? First, get examined by a doctor of chiropractic who specializes in the upper cervical spine.  The upper neck is the most common location for headaches to originate from and upper cervical specialists are the most qualified to correct problems in that area.  The doctor can also rule out rare things that can be causing the headache, such as high blood pressure or a brain tumor (very rare causes). Next, it’s important to realize that pain is a signal and should be embraced rather than ignored or suppressed.

Through natural upper cervical chiropractic care your headaches can go away without pain pills.  Look under the headache tab on this blog for more info and patient testimonials.

Just when you thought you checked everything…

have you checked to see if your head is on straight?

Go to www.nuccawellness.com for a current evaluation special to find the underlying cause of those chronic headaches today!



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Meniere’s Disease is defined by www.mayoclinic.com as a disorder of the inner ear that causes spontaneous episodes of vertigo along with fluctuating hearing loss, ringing in the ear (tinnitus), and sometimes a feeling of fullness or pressure in your ear.   

Vertigo is the most distressing symptom of Meniere’s disease. Vertigo is a sensation of rotation or spinning. The vertigo can last from ten minutes to 24 hours. It may also be associated with nausea and/or vomiting. After the vertigo has gone away, most patients have imbalance and fatigue for one or two days until returning to normal.  Hearing loss is also an associated symptom of Meniere’s disease. Hearing loss usually fluctuates. In most cases hearing loss is only in one ear, but in rare instances, hearing loss can be in both ears. The hearing loss is typically in the low tones. If left untreated, hearing can drop until there is permanent loss in that ear. Pressure and/or fullness in the diseased ear are another complaint. This can occur before or during an attack. Tinnitus, or ringing in the ear, can also occur. This is often a result of the hearing loss.  

Some famous people thought to have Meniere's include Alan Shephard, Vincent VanGogh, Martin Luther, General Robert E Lee, Jonathan Swift and Julius Caesar.

Most normal individuals cannot appreciate the devastating impact of vertigo. The patient perceives that the world is spinning around them. Vertigo disrupts every aspect of life since the patient loses the ability to do anything normally, especially when movement is involved. It can totally incapacitate the individual, often confining them to bed. 

The Merck Manual states that the cause of Meniere’s disease is unknown; the pathophysiology is poorly understood, and the treatment empirical. Idiopathic endolymphatic hydrops is used interchangeably with Meniere’s disease in the literature. “What would cause an over production of endolymphatic fluid?” 

A theory proposed in the Upper Cervical Chiropractic community is that the most common cause of Meniere’s disease is a structural problem, i.e., an atlas (top bone in the neck) misalignment that is irritating the origin of a nerve that controls both equilibrium and hearing in the ear (Cranial Nerve VIII).  Misalignment between the atlas and Occiput can cause swelling in the immediate area, putting pressure on the nucleus of CN VIII and/or the auditory (Eustachian) tube.  Recently Dr. Michael Burcon investigated the effects of upper cervical specific chiropractic management of one hundred and thirty-nine patients medically diagnosed with Meniere’s disease.  

After upper cervical specific chiropractic care, one hundred and thirty-six out of the one hundred and thirty-nine patients presented with an absence or dramatic reduction of symptoms, especially vertigo…that’s 97%!. After two years, on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 representing the absence of the symptom and 10 being the worst imaginable, vertigo was lowered from an average of 8.5 to 1.4.  Prior to the onset of symptoms, all one hundred and thirty nine cases suffered cervical traumas; most from automobile accidents, resulting in previously undiagnosed whiplash injuries.                  

These improvements made a significant difference for 135 out of 139 patients, effecting whether or not they could work, drive and/or have a positive relationship with their spouse.  They might get dizzy, but would not have vertigo. They might get nausea, but would no longer vomit. For those that still had attacks, they occurred less often, lasted for a shorter duration and were not as intense. Recovery time was also significantly shorter. 

 Here an Example from Dr. Burcon’s study of a Typical Case History with Results  

 “Jack first presented with left-sided Meniere’s on June 11, 2001. He was diagnosed by an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist based on the results of a normal MRI of the brain, positive audiological examination for hearing loss, and an abnormal bithermal caloric test (ENG). He was referred to the Michigan Ear Institute, where endolymphatic sac decompression surgery was recommended. He declined surgery and received a letter recommending that he apply for disability benefits, which were granted by the State of Michigan. 

Case history included a rear ended type of automobile accident at 45 mph in 1980. Meniere’s symptoms started in 1994 with frequent bouts of vertigo lasting from one day to one week, accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Complaints included constant ear fullness and tinnitus, and frequent neck pain and headaches. 

Jack presented with a 1” short left leg relative to his right.  The next week he presented with his legs balanced and was vertigo free. His wife said that his voice had changed. He reported being able to walk four times as far.  At six weeks, according to his Meniere’s questionnaire, vertigo was down to 2 from 10, nausea/vomiting down to 0 from 10 and ear pressure 1 from 10 (10 being the worst possible). He went just over one year with no vertigo.”

 All patients with a history of vertigo or dizziness should be questioned about a history of trauma, especially whiplash from an automobile accident, contact sports injury, or serious falls. Patients often forget these accidents, thinking that they were not hurt because they did not break any bones and were not bleeding. Patients with a history of both vertigo and trauma should be referred to an upper cervical specific chiropractor for examination.

To find an upper cervical specialist in your area go to www.upcspine.com or if you are in the San Diego County area and are suffering with Meniere’s or Vertigo…call my office to arrange an evaluation…go to www.nuccawellness.com for more info. 

Dr. William R. Davis Jr., D.C. is a Carlsbad Chiropractor and Upper Cervical Specialist. He is in private practice in Southern California in the city of Vista. He specializes in correcting problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems. More information can be found on his website at http://www.nuccawellness.com  



Cervical Specific Protocol and Results for 139 Meniere’s Patients, Michael T. Burcon, B.Ph., D.C. 

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As I continue to research the correlation between head and neck trauma, CCSVI and Multiple Sclerosis the research is more and more compelling.  I have been looking into the research of Dr. Charles Poser of Harvard Medical School who has been looking into this connection for more than 20 years…here is a portion of an article from www.braininjury.com

For over a century, patients and physicians have dealt with the phenomena that suggests that trauma may proceed the onset of MS or may aggravate ongoing MS. Because of the variability of the course of MS, there is some controversy regarding the causation between physical trauma and onset or aggravation of MS. However, more recent studies have shown that trauma to the head and neck does indeed bear a relationship to the aggravation of or creation of MS.

A 2001 article in the European Journal of Neurology (A. Chaudhuri and Behan). In the conclusion of the paper it is noted:

Like infection, which will trigger MS symptoms only in a portion of a patients [10% (McAlpine et al, 1965) – 48% (Sibley and Foley, 1965)], cervical cord hyperextension – hyperflexion injury is likely to unmask or worsen the natural course of MS in a sub group of affected patients with an underlying diathesis. This may be important because of the prevalence of asymptomatic (“silent”) MS has been estimated to be about 25% of that diagnosed invivo (Engell, 1989). We make it clear that we do not propose physical trauma in any form causes MS per se. Physiologically, CNS – specific trauma produces focal reaches in the BBB [brain-blood barrier] and induces metabolic changes by activating the stress response. In addition, focal trauma also enhances the expression of nitric oxide synthase in the CNS microvasculature. In susceptible individuals, these effects might unleash critical changes in the level of pro-inflammatory cytokines and nitro oxide, this triggering MS symptoms ab initio or aggravating symptoms of pre-existing latent disease.

Dr. Charles Poser of Harvard Medical School has long been a proponent of the link between trauma and MS. As he notes in his enclosed paper entitled “Trauma to the Central Nervous System May Result in Formation or Enlargement of Multiple Sclerosis Plaques,” “In some patients with MS certain types of trauma may act as a trigger at sometime for the appearance of new or recurrent symptoms. Only trauma affecting the head, neck or upper back, that is, to the brain and/or spine cord can be considered significant.” (Published in the Archives of Neurology, July 2000). Dr. Poser goes on to talk about the effects of whiplash on the central nervous system and outlines the existing extensive medical research that back up the correlation.” 

This is prior to Dr. Zamboni’s research in the past year or so.  But according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society website Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI), is a reported abnormality in blood drainage from the brain and spinal cord, this may contribute to nervous system damage in MS.  CCSVI has been getting a lot of press recently because Dr. Paolo Zamboni from the University of Ferrara in Italy published his initial findings in June 2009 from a study of approximately 65 patients.  Based on the results of preliminary research which has been published in respected peer journals, Dr. Zamboni and others have recommended larger scale studies to determine if CCSVI may be treated through an endovascular surgical procedure, which involves inserting a tiny balloon or stent into blocked veins in order to improve the flow of blood out of the brain and spinal cord.  This procedure produced complete remissions in MS in 90% of the participants of the study!

So if it is well-known in the literature that “cervical cord hyperextension – hyperflexion injury is likely to unmask or worsen the natural course of MS in a sub group of affected patients..”.  Why aren’t patients with MS and CCSVI finding out if the MS is traumatically induced and could be corrected with realignment of the upper cervical spine?  As Dr. Poser said “Only trauma affecting the head, neck or upper back, that is, to the brain and/or spinal cord can be considered significant.” 

If you look at an Upper Cervical Specialist like Dr. Erin Elster’s research with trauma and multiple sclerosis where she found that 90% of patients diagnosed with MS have had a trauma to the head or neck prior to the onset of the symptoms. And when x-rayed these patients have a clearly misaligned spine that is putting pressure on the nervous system and the blood vessels.  Dr. Elster’s was correcting the underlying cause of the vessels malformation!  After administering treatment to correct their upper cervical injuries, 40 of 44 (91%) MS cases showed symptomatic improvement and no further disease progression during the care period of 5 years.

Now more research is needed…but doesn’t it make sense to begin with the least invasive procedures available to deal with CCSVI and MS?  There are already reports of many side effects and complications associated with the endovascular procedure designed to correct the CCSVI.

If you have had a head or neck trauma prior to the onset of your MS…even if it was 10 or 15 years prior…which was common with the patients in Elster’s study… an upper neck misalignment could be the underlying cause.

Find out if you could be helped today…go to www.upcspine.com or www.nucca.org to find a doctor in your area.

Dr. William R. Davis Jr., D.C. is a Carlsbad Chiropractor and Upper Cervical Specialist. He is in private practice in Southern California in the city of Vista. He specializes in correcting problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems. More information can be found on his website at http://www.nuccawellness.com  




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Dr. Davis here from Vista…there is a debate in the public and in the medical community as to whether neck pain can cause anxiety or does the anxiety cause the neck pain.  From my experience in my practice I would say that it’s a little bit of both.  Frequently though a patient will have a head or neck injury and this will create a cascade of health problems.  When accidents and injuries tear loose the connective tissue that hold the spine in place it creates a weakness, which allows the spine to break down and lock into a stressed position.  Once that happens the function of the nervous system is disrupted.  Nerves do 4 primary things in our body…

  1. Every movement we make
  2. Everything that we sense and feel
  3. The control and regulation of all body systems
  4. Our ability to relate to the world around us

The fourth factor is the one that can be the most devastating in an Atlas Misalignment that is disrupting the function of the nervous system at the Brain Stem level.  Frequently I will hear things from patients such as “I feel disconnected from the world around me” or “I have a hard time thinking clearly”…in James’s case he realized after the fact that he was not as present with his family as he would like to be.  Well all that changed when he got his head on straight…because when the head is on straight…everything changes!!!  Check out his story below…

“I was referred into Breath of Life by my wife with neck pain and headaches, low energy, and anxiety.  My neck had been bothering me for over 20 years.

 Since being under care I have much more energy, less anxiety and almost no neck pain or headaches.  And I have only been a patient for about a month or so.  I now feel like I am much more present with my family and more able to do my job.  I never realized how much the neck pain and swelling was taking on my system.  I am feeling very excited about the success I have had at Breath of Life!

 I would encourage anyone who is struggling with their health to just give it a shot and don’t over think the process.  Let your body tell you if you are getting results.

 Dr. Davis and Linde have always been so welcoming and friendly.  I always feel very comfortable and relaxed when I come into the office.  I can also tell that Dr. Davis has a real passion for helping his patients and that is refreshing in this day and age.”

James L.           August 2010

I love helping people like James get back to living the lives that they want to live.  He is better at work and at home since his Atlas was corrected.  To find out more about NUCCA click on a link above or go to www.nuccawellness.com

Dr. William R. Davis Jr., D.C. is a Oceanside Chiropractor and Upper Cervical Specialist. He is in private practice in Southern California in the city of Vista. He specializes in correcting problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems. More information can be found on his website at http://www.nuccawellness.com

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Dr. Davis here from Vista CA…

Frequently in my practice I will see certain symptoms go together…see our post on the distribution of nerves to see why (https://nuccadoctordavis.wordpress.com/2010/07/16/pinched-nerve-or-nerve-interference-part-1/).  One that will commonly go together is sinus problems, neck problems and headaches.  When these symptoms are present the underlying cause is frequently an upper neck misalignment that is putting pressure on the nerves in that area.  As these spine and nerve problems are corrected the nervous system will begin to function better and frequently the symptoms will go away.  The maybe it will go away philosophy doesn’t work…logic tells us that if what’s causing it doesn’t go away…it doesn’t go away either!  Here is one such example from our office this past week…. 

“I came into the office with constant neck and shoulder stiffness.  It started about 8 years ago and was getting worse.  By the time I came into see Dr. Davis I was seeing the pain travel down between the shoulder blades and down the right arm.  I also had severe sinus congestion and fatigue. 

 Since beginning care not only can I move my head and neck more freely and the pain is much better but I am sleeping so much better, handling stress more effectively, my sinus congestion and headaches are significantly decreased.  I have had fewer colds and flus and even my balance is significantly improved!

 I feel so much better overall!  More relaxed, rested, I can walk and move around much easier.  I am so much more comfortable physically since I am in alignment.”

Sandra S.                     August 2010

Isn’t it time to find out what’s causing that health problem that you are suffering with?  Check out our evaluation special at www.nuccawellness.com to see if NUCCA Chiropractic care is right for you.

Dr. Davis

Upper Cervical Specialist

Vista CA


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Dr. Davis here from Vista CA…Here is a follow-up to our recent post…a little a long and a little technical but very informative…

Upper Cervical Chiropractic has been demonstrated in the medical journals to be a very effective approach to restoring proper neurological and structural integrity to the body after a whiplash injury.  In fact The Journal of Whiplash and Related Disorders, a peer-reviewed publication, documents the effectiveness of upper cervical chiropractic care in the care of post whiplash patients.  The entire research article is available as a pdf file

Whiplash Facts*:

  • There are 7-8 million motor vehicle crashes (MVC) in the U.S. per year
  • 3 million of those involve whiplash injury
  • 42,000 are killed each year
  • 50% of those injured have long-term symptoms
  • 10% of those injured become disabled
  • 45% of chronic neck pain sufferers attribute the problem to past Motor Vehicle Crashes

*Statistics come from the Spine Research Institute of San Diego, an internationally recognized organization committed to preventing crashes and reducing its burden as an epidemic.

Following a head or neck trauma such as a whiplash type injury one area that is commonly damaged is the proprioceptive system of the neck.  Proprioception is your body’s ability to perceive your position is space.  The upper cervical spine has the most dense collection of proprioceptors in the body.  When these proprioceptors are damaged people tend to have an increase sensitivity to pain stimuli which can lead to chronic pain.  An Upper Cervical Corrective Procedure is designed to correct this underlying cause in order to restore proper neurology and physiology to the body.  This underlying proprioceptive imbalance could be the reason why Upper Cervical Care is so effective in helping those with whiplash injuries.    

A study done in June 2005, that was published in Spine demonstrated some key points regarding a small muscle in the upper neck called the rectus capitis posterior minor (a major proprioceptive muscle) and how chronic neck pain and headaches can follow Whiplash type injuries:

1) The rectus capitis posterior minor tendon fuses with the spinal dura.
2) The rectus capitis posterior minor tendinous fibers, fascia and the perivascular sheathes form the posterior atlanto-occipital membrane.
3) The posterior atlanto-occipital membrane fuses with the spinal dura.
4) The nuchal ligament does not attach to the spinal dura.

1) Connections between the spinal dura and muscles / ligaments in the posterior atlanto-occipital interspace may transmit forces from cervical spine joints to the pain-sensitive dura, generating cervicogenic headaches.
2) The tendinous fibers of the rectus capitis posterior minor muscle fuse with the spinal dura via the posterior atlanto-occipital interspace.
3) This study clearly demonstrates that the rectus capitis posterior minor tendon fibers are directly continuous with the spinal dura via the posterior atlanto-occipital interspace and become a part of the spinal dura.
4) The direct continuity of the rectus capitis posterior minor muscle to the spinal dura prevents dural enfolding and injury during extension of the head and neck.
5) When the rectus capitis posterior minor muscle extends the cranio-cervical junction, a small portion of its muscular fibers simultaneously contract to pull the spinal dura posteriorly, preventing dural enfolding and dural injury.
6) Static strain and/or trauma to the rectus capitis posterior minor muscle may stimulate the pain-sensitive dura, generating a cervicogenic headache.
7) The rectus capitis posterior minor fascia is the main connective tissue structure in the posterior atlanto-occipital interspace, and that the rectus capitis posterior minor fascia and muscle are the main contributors to posterior cranio-cervical stability.

[Hack GD, Koritzer RT, Robinson WL, et al. Anatomic relation between the rectus capitis posterior minor muscle and the dura mater. Spine 1995;20:2484-6.]
The original study by Hack (above) documenting a connection between the rectus capitis posterior minor muscle and the spinal dura mater through a connective tissue bridge was published in 1995, and at that time I proposed the following:

1) The spinal dura is innervated with pain afferents.
2) Contraction of the rectus capitis posterior minor pulls the spinal dura into a safe position so that is does not enfold into the spinal cord causing cord injury or injury to the dura itself.
3) Whiplash extension injuries occur so quickly (taking less than .1 seconds) that the rectus capitis posterior minor muscle does not have enough time (requiring about .2 seconds) to contract and pull the spinal dura to safety.
4) The resulting injury to the pain sensitive dura could be a cause of post whiplash headache.

This study supports the contention that chronic upper neck postural stress and distortions can cause chronic stress on the spinal dura mater.  Only an Upper Cervical Corrective Procedure such as NUCCA is effective at correcting this underlying problem.  Find out more at www.nuccawellness.com or call the office for an evaluation today to see if NUCCA could help you….760-945-1345.


Journal of Whiplash & Related Disorders, Vol. 5(1) 2006
Available online at http://www.haworthpress.com/web/JWRD

Configuration of the Connective Tissue in the Posterior Atlanto-Occipital Interspace Spine Volume 30(12) June 15, 2005 pp 1359-1366 Nash, Lance MSc; Nicholson, Helen MB, PhD; Lee, Antonio S. J. MSc; Johnson, Gillian M. PhD; Zhang, Ming MB, MMed, PhD

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