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Archive for August, 2011

human ear anatomy with detailed diagram
Image via Wikipedia

Meniere’s Disease, Cochlear Hydrops, Tinnitus, hearing loss, chronic ear infections and even vertigo can frequently be related to trauma to the nerves from the upper neck (lower brain stem area) that go into the ears.  Upper neck trauma can lead to a variety of different ear problems due to the neurological connection.  Dr. Michael Burcon in Michigan has done excellent work in researching the connection between the upper neck and conditions like Meniere’s Disease, tinnitus, vertigo and others.

Burcon has established a link to these conditions with whiplash injuries that misalign the base of the skull with the top of the neck creating a lesion affecting the Eustachian tube. About half of these traumas are caused by car crashes and the other half from injuries involving head trauma. Burcon believes that the correlation was not made because it takes an average of fifteen years from the time the patient was injured until the onset of symptoms.

Patients typically get diagnosed with these conditions in middle age. Their injuries most often happened during high school or college years from a car accident, sports injury or fall on their heads. Few patients list these old injuries on their doctor’s admission paper work. In fact, they have often forgotten about them, believing they were not hurt if they were not admitted to the hospital.
It is possible to have fewer than the four classic symptoms of Meniere’s Disease (hearing loss, fullness, tinnitus, and vertigo) yet be diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease; this is sometimes said to be “atypical” Meniere’s Disease.  Some Meniere’s Disease patients experience hearing loss, fullness, and tinnitus with no vertigo at all, a condition sometimes described as “cochlear hydrops.”

That is the situation with one of our recent patients.  Will had been diagnosed with Cochlear Hydrops by his EENT and told that it would continue to get worse and there wasn’t much he could do about it.  After reading an article that I wrote about upper cervical and Meniere’s disease, he found some hope.  After his initial 6 weeks of care Will had noticed a 90% improvement in his ear symptoms and chronic neck pain!

When the cause is addressed amazing recovery can take place.  But the cause has to be identified and addressed.

Have you been diagnosed with Cochlear Hydrops, Meniere’s, vertigo or other ear related conditions?

Have you ever had your upper neck thoroughly evaluated to see if the underlying cause could be there?

In Southern California give us a call 760-945-1345 or go to www.nuccawellness.com

Anywhere else in the world go to www.nucca.org or www.upcspine.org

Correct the cause and end the suffering!
Dr. William R. Davis Jr., D.C. is a Vista 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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Cranial Nerves

Image via Wikipedia

Cranial Nerve Compressive Syndromes such as Trigeminal Neuralgia, Bell’s Palsy, Hemifacial spasm or palsy and others.  Are among the most devastating of all health conditions both in pain and social impact. 

The medical approaches to these conditions are extremely invasive, including botox injections.  Botox, or Botulinum toxin as it is known in the scientific community, is a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. 

Another possibility for patients suffering from these types of conditions is a type of brain surgery called Microvascular decompression is a neurosurgical procedure that can have serious complications including death, stroke, hearing loss and facial weakness.  The surgery itself can cost as much as $70 K and has about a 20% success rate. 

If a person has a history of head or neck trauma another question should be asked.  

Is the dysfunction of these cranial nerves related to a misalignment of the upper neck?

New research is suggesting just that.  A recent article published in the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research  entitled Resolution of Hemifacial Spasm Following Specific Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care.  Dr. Lucian Henry describes a case study of a 48-year-old male who was able to find the solution to his condition without Botox, brain surgery or any of the side effects.

Here is his story…

48-year-old male presented with left hemifacial spasms of one-year duration, accompanied by neck pain and tension. He reported a tic causing the left eye to blink that sometimes forced the eye to almost close.  He described constant neck pain, centrally located, with tension and grinding on movement.  

He received a total of three chiropractic adjustments over a 13-day period of time, after which time he had a complete resolution of his symptoms. At a 3 month follow up the patient was still asymptomatic.

If you have these types of conditions get your upper neck properly evaluated by a specialist in the detection and correction of these misalignments in the upper neck.

If you are in the Southern California area go to www.nuccawellness.com for more info.  If you are located anywhere else in the country go to www.upcspine.com or www.nucca.org to find a specialist in your area.

Dr. William R. Davis Jr., D.C. is a Vista 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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sleeping

Sleeping on Your Stomach

This is the one habit that is the most harmful to the health and function of our spine and our nervous system.  When the head is turned to the side and then the weight of the body is placed upon it…the muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints, discs, nerves, etc. are compressed.  The application of this stress of stomach sleeping will lead to an acceleration of degeneration of the discs and joints.  Some of the worst degenerative disc disease that I have seen in the spine is in those that have spent their life sleeping on their belly.  We spend a third of our lives sleeping!
 
So if you shouldn’t sleep on your stomach…how should you sleep?  Flat on your back is best.  Some people will find that placing a pillow underneath the knees will be more comfortable.  You should always sleep with only one pillow under your head though so the neck is in a relaxed position.  If you are unable to sleep on your back then the next best option is on your side.  When you are sleeping on your side, you want to make sure that your head and neck are in as an aligned position as possible.  You should only use one pillow that is thick enough to support between your shoulder and your head.  Most people have a pillow that is too thin to sleep on your side…so there head is side bent all night.  The most vulnerable position for the neck to be in is side bent or extended.
 
 
Popping or Cracking Your Neck
 
This habit, which can feel good at the time will lead to hypermobility in the joints and more and more instability over time as this habit has a tendency to make you want to do it more and more.  This is a sign that your spine is probably extremely misaligned and should be evaluated asap.
 
 
 Laying on the Couch with Your Head Propped up on the Arm
 
Here is that vulnerable position again.  A side bent head is much more likely to cause a misalignment, especially when kept in this position for 30, 60 minutes or longer why you watch TV.
 
 
Sedentary Jobs/Lifestyle
 
The longer you sit the more your posture begins to breakdown.  If you are sitting for a few minutes it is much easier to keep a good posture.  When you sit for hours the chances that your posture is breaking down is very high.  So tip #1 is to sit as little as possible.  If you can stand to do a task then do it.  A least once per hour you want to get out of your chair and walk around and change the posture that you are in…something that helps you to remember to do this is to drink lots of water…which is tip #2.  Drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day…preferrably more.  A good rule of thumb is to only drink water and drink about 1/2 of your body weight in ounces per day.  So if you weigh 150 pounds then you should drink 75 ounces of water per day.  The more you weigh the more you need to drink to be healthy.  So if you are drinking water all day then you will need to get up and go to the bathroom which will greatly benefit your spine as well…it’s a win-win.  The third tip is to change positions as much as possible when you are sitting.  Change the angle of your chair, the height of your chair, move things around throughout the day.  Your body gets bored sitting in the same position all the time!
 
 
Never Ever Exercising
 
The less we exercise the more the joints of the spine begin to stiffen and deteriorate.  So move around!  Our bodies were made to move!  The best exercise is the one that you will do consistently.  Fast walking, swimming, elliptical etc.  Pick a cardiovascular exercise and get going.
 

Dr. William R. Davis Jr., D.C. is a Vista 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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