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Archive for the ‘Children and Upper Cervical Care’ Category

United Cerebral Palsy

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Cerebral Palsy (CP) is the most prevalent lifelong developmental disability in the United States.  Recently I have seen a tremendous change in a patient with Cerebral Palsy and began investigating the impact that upper neck misalignments have on people diagnosed with CP.

Dr. William Amalu of the International Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association has published an amazing case study of a 5-year-old boy confined to a wheelchair with Cerebral Palsy, blindness, chronic ear infections, and severe seizures (30 per day).

After a thorough evaluation the patient was determined to have an upper neck misalignment and Dr. Amalu began a course of care.  After the first adjustment, the patient’s mother noted that he had his first good night sleep in weeks. After the second adjustment, the patient’s seizures reduced dramatically to only 10 per day, his vocal drone became a quiet intermittent moan, and he began to clap his hands. His mother noted that he had become more alert, continued to sleep more soundly, began sitting up and looking around, responded to sounds by looking toward the source, and continued with a decrease in seizures to only 5 per day.

During the third and fourth week of care the seizures continued to occur at 5 per day, but all grand mals had ceased. He was sleeping completely through the nights now.  For the first time in his life he said “dada”. By the end of the fourth week, his therapists suspected that his vision was suddenly improving.  A re-examination of the patient was also performed at this time. There were no signs of any: vocal drone, writhing motions, upper neck muscle spasms or tenderness, restricted neck ranges of motion, or ear fluid.  He was now capable of sitting up on his own and his mother reported that for the first time he pulled himself up and stood for over one minute. He began showing fine motor skills this week by grabbing his own pacifier and placing it in his mouth. The patient now showed avoidance to bright light, visual fixation and following, and normal direct and pupil reflexes. His mother noted that this was his first month free from ear infections in 9 months.

By the end of the fifth week of care the patient was seen by his neurologist and ophthalmologist. His ophthalmologist noted a drastic improvement with a recovery of central field vision. The patient’s neurologist reported that his CP had greatly improved and that he would be requesting further tests to evaluate his seizure condition.

The patient’s follow-up examination with his pediatrician noted that his ears were normal and that tubes would not be necessary.  During the time period between the seventh and twelfth week, the patient’s seizures steadily reduced to the point of staring episodes only.

There were no outward signs of seizures by the end of the twelfth week.  Over the next 10 months, the patient continued to improve. His neurologist slowly reduced his medication causing his staring episodes to go away. With further testing, the patient was eventually classified as non-epileptic and final withdrawal of all medication was made. He never experienced another episode of the ear infections. His vision improved to the point where he was prescribed glasses. The patient continued to learn simple words with clear pronunciation of “dada, mama, eat, and food”. His fine motor coordination improved such that he was learning to feed himself. The patient’s mother noted that he was also potty training. His gross motor coordination continually progressed to the point that he was able to walk slowly with the assistance of holding one hand.

Absolutely incredible!

Another study was published where seven patients were tested – two children and five adults. All patients in this study had improvements in many areas including decreased muscle spasms, improved sleep patterns, decreased irritability, decreased pain, and decreased incidence of respiratory and other infections. One child had four unsuccessful surgeries to correct strabismus (crossed eyes) after two adjustments, the crossed eyes were gone. The children were able to hold their heads up for longer periods and are making more attempts at crawling or standing with support. There is also improved clarity and volume of speech in patients with speech and hearing problems. With care, there is overall decrease in muscle activity at all levels and balance improved with eyes closed.

It is clear to see from this research that the connection between neurological conditions like Cerebral Palsy and the upper neck area should be investigated.  The brain stem dysfunction that is present with an upper neck misalignment is significant and a variety of different conditions can be caused or exacerbated by this type of a problem.

All Cerebral Palsy victims should be evaluated for upper neck misalignments and brain stem dysfunction as soon as possible.

If you are in Southern California go to www.nuccawellness.com if not visit www.nucca.org or www.upcspine.com

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

References:

Amalu, W. Today’s Chiropractic May / June 1998.  Cortical Blindness, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, and Recurring Otitis Media: A Case Study in Chiropractic Management.

Collins, KF et al. Chiropractic Pediatrics 1994; 1 (1):13-15

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human ear anatomy with detailed diagram
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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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Backpacks

Who hasn’t wondered whether small children lugging oversized, heavy backpacks to-and-from school might be risking serious injury to their growing spines and will one day suffer from serious back pain? 

Apparently, there is real cause for concern.

According to a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission study, more than 75% of students ages 8-12 suffer from increasing back pain inflicted by carrying their schoolwork and supplies in backpacks or similar totes.

Some of our younger elementary school students are literally carrying one third their body weight for prolonged periods of time and distance. That puts a lot of stress on a body in the midst of development 

And, the heavy burdens are not just affecting those students small in stature.

Student back injuries are now widespread. 96% of the pupils monitored regularly haul much too heavy a pack on their back.  In 2001 alone, 7,000 children went to U.S. emergency rooms for backpack-related injuries. And, 60% of orthopedic doctors contacted regarding the study reported that they have treated children suffering from back pain caused by their heavy bags.

The study alluded to this startling calculation:  A child carrying a 12-pound backpack, and lifting it 10 times per day for the entire school year, has carried and lifted a combined load of 21,600 pounds — the equivalent of 6 mid-sized cars.

What we say at Breath of Life is that children should not carry backpacks that exceed more than 10% of their body weight — which translates into a 5 to 10-pound load for elementary students.    

Even with the continued progression of electronic learning – which one would think leads to fewer books – the backpack has become a survival kit for the action-packed lives that today’s children lead during and after school hours.  Parents and teachers have to take an active role in limiting what we literally load onto these children. If were don’t address it now, the picture of a child carrying numerous books – which many have seen as a sign for a bright future – could foreshadow a painful outlook instead.

Has your child already began to complain of back or neck pain?

A misaligned spine that is carrying those heavy loads could be the reason.

It is much easier to grow healthy kids than it is to repair damaged adults.

Get your child’s spine checked today!

Reference Material:

“Backpack-Related Injuries Send 7,000 to ER,” Ancaster News, Ontario, Canada, Sept. 1, 2006.

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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Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbili...

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Many new Moms and Dads will ask if it is possible for an infant to be misaligned during the birth process.  Good question!

Modern birthing methods of having the Mom push the baby out without gravity working to your advantage, laying flat on your back is a prescription for increased force into the head and neck of the baby in and of itself.  But then you introduce all the drugs  used during the birth process, which includes an epidural which numbs the area that a woman typically would feel when pushing.  And the introduction of drugs like pitocin to induce delivery often before the baby is ready for delivery, can lead to prolonged labors and an increased likelihood of birth trauma.  Also the practice of a doctor pulling during delivery with 50-70 pounds of force into the infant’s head from the birth canal and instruments like forceps and vacuum extraction can lead to a variety of different birth injuries.  C-sections can also be very traumatic as the baby is pulled out of a small incision. 

So much so that women are told things like “yes your baby fractured their clavicle during the birth process, but that is normal.”

What?!  What is normal about a fracture during birth?  It may be common…but that doesn’t make it normal.

Now an important consideration is that not all infants are misaligned.  In fact, in my experience even with the severity of forces that are used in the majority of American births, most babies are not misaligned.  On average, of the babies that I have checked over the years only about 10-20% are misaligned at birth. 

But if a child is misaligned at birth it is critical to get that misalignment corrected as soon as possible.

A misalignment of the Atlas, the top bone in the neck (the most likely bone to misalign during the birth process) has been linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, colic, ear infections, acid reflux and many other neurological conditions related to brain stem dysfunction and accompanying symptoms.

So what are some ways that a parent may assess their own child to determine if their baby should be evaluated for an upper neck misalignment?

The easiest situation would be if your child begins to develop symptoms of any kind.  Such as ear infections.  If a child is having ear infections a frequent cause is a misalignment in the upper neck that leads to poor drainage of the ears because the nerves that control the ears begin in the upper neck.

Or if your baby has colic.  Colic is frequently related to a vagus nerve irritation from an upper neck misalignment during birth.  Once the misalignment is corrected.  The colic often will go away immediately.

Or a variety of other symptoms that most pediatricians and parents will think that the child needs medications to cover up rather than seeking the underlying cause.

But if you have a seemingly healthy child who has not developed any symptoms yet then you can look at a few different things.  Such as when the baby lays flat on their back do they have a tendency to always have their head turned in one direction?  Or can you feel if the musculature in the lower back area near the pelvis is symmetrical from side to side?  Or can you feel that one side is much tighter than the other?

If you are unsure about any of these things find a local upper cervical chiropractor in your area to check your baby as soon as possible.  It can make all the difference in the world for the growth, development and the health of your son or daughter.

The other wonderful aspect of finding problems early in the life of your child is that the frequency needed of an adjustment.  A infant corrected at birth or within the first year of life may be able to hold that one adjustment for months if not years.  So get your kids checked…there really is no downside to having a properly aligned spinal column and properly functioning brain and nerve system.

And a skilled upper cervical chiropractor will be able to correct this misalignment without any popping, cracking or twisting of the spine.  A gentle and precise force to realign the atlas is the key.  Find out more at www.nuccawellness.com

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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An infant

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Do babies need upper cervical chiropractic care?

It depends…are they misaligned?

Not all children are misaligned.  In my experience approximately 50% of the kids that I evaluate are misaligned.  In babies it is an even lower percentage.  But when the spine is misaligned as a result of birth trauma it can have significant effects shortly after birth.  Colic and other digestive conditions, ear infections, sleeping problems and more have been associated with upper neck misalignments.

An example is found in the January 28, 2011 issue of the scientific periodical, the Journal Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health.  There is a case study documenting improvement in a child with gastroesophageal reflux disease, constipation, and head deformation undergoing chiropractic care.

The authors of the study explain that the American Academy of Pediatrics defines gastroesophageal reflux (GER) as the passage of gastric contents into the esophagus while GER disease (GERD) is the presence of symptoms or complications from GER.

In this case, a 5-month-old girl was brought in for chiropractic care with gastroesophageal reflux, constipation and a deformed head known as “plagiocephaly”. The girl had been suffering with GERD since birth and was experiencing approximately 8-10 regurgitations per day consisting of 2-4 tablespoons of gastric content. The history noted that the reflux was exacerbated by movement of the baby or sitting up on her own for over 5 minutes. The infant girl was breast-fed since birth and her diet was supplemented with small amounts of baby oatmeal.

A chiropractic examination was performed and showed multiple areas of muscle tightness, reduction in joint movement and muscular asymmetry. Palpation of the spine also showed areas of spinal fixation and muscular changes. It was determined that vertebral subluxations were present in the infant’s spine.

Chiropractic care was initiated on this infant girl to correct the subluxations and correct the subsequent nerve system interference. As a result of care, the child’s medication for the reflux disease was reduced and eventually eliminated. The study also notes that her constipation was resolved, her muscle tone had returned to normal and her head asymmetry was significantly reduced.

Should all infants be checked for spinal misalignments?

Doesn’t it make sense for a child to grow up with an aligned spine?

What’s the worst that could happen the infant is evaluated and found not to be in need of any care.  Or a problem is identified in a little spine that would have negatively impacted the rest of that person’s life.

To me it just makes sense…what about you?

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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First cervical vertebra, or Atlas

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Epilepsy or Seizures are a problem for many Americans.  Frequently a person will be prescribed medications to cover up the effects of the seizures.  Many people do not want to just cover up the symptoms but try to find the underlying cause of the seizures and eliminate it.  Seizure medications do have serious side effects in many people including liver problems, blood disorders, rashes and altered thinking patterns.

In the February 3, 2011 issue of the Journal Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research, a case study research article documents the improvement of a 9-year-old girl with Occipital Lobe Epilepsy undergoing upper cervical chiropractic care. In this case, improvement was shown with specific chiropractic adjustments being rendered to the upper cervical (neck) spine.

The study notes that epilepsy is a condition characterized by two or more seizures, brief attacks of altered consciousness and abnormal motor activity. The worldwide population with epilepsy is estimated to be 10.5 million, 25 percent of whom are children under the age of 15.

In this case, a 9-year-old girl was brought to the chiropractor by her mother. The child was suffering with uncontrollable blinking of the left eye. She had been previously brought to a neurologist who diagnosed the girl with occipital epilepsy. The neurologist recommended an anti-convulsion medication but the girl’s mother decided to seek upper cervical chiropractic care rather that subject her daughter to drug therapy.

The girl started suffering from uncontrollable eye blinking approximately two weeks before the visit to the chiropractor. Additionally, she had shown other associated symptoms including seizures, tics, spasms, dizziness, and fainting. Other conditions the patient suffered from included constipation, seasonal allergies, rashes, itching, and skin lesions.

A upper cervical chiropractic examination was performed that included a variety of specific procedures including x-rays designed to look for misalignments in the upper cervical spine. These tests confirmed that the girl was a candidate for upper cervical chiropractic care. Care was initiated with a specific adjustment to the top of the neck.

Within six days of the initial visit, the girl’s mother reported that the left eye blinking had decreased in frequency. Shortly thereafter, it was noted that her symptoms were progressively decreasing and were only present at night. After two months of care, the eye blinking had completely stopped. The blinking only returned once after that but disappeared again following another adjustment.

In his conclusion, the author summed up this case and explained how chiropractic can help those with epilepsy by saying, “The relationship between an upper cervical subluxation and epileptic conditions in children exists but remains elusive. Evidence from this case supports the elimination of the upper cervical subluxation in the resolution of occipital lobe epilepsy signs and symptoms. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder and it is the opinion of this author that it should be treated conservatively in children before medical and surgical intervention.”

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

References:

http://uppercervicalsubluxation.health.officelive.com/2011_1053_occipital_lobe_epilepsy.aspx

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Woman pregnancy month by month.

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Back pain in pregnancy is very common. It is estimated that between 50% and 80% of women experience some form of back pain during pregnancy.  Such pain can range from mild pain associated with specific activities to acute back pain that can become chronic back pain if not properly addressed.

Studies show that lower back pain in pregnancy usually occurs between the fifth and seventh month of being pregnant. In some cases, pregnancy pain in the lower back can begin as early as 8 to 12 weeks after becoming pregnant.  Women with pre-existing lower back problems are at higher risk for back pain, and their back pain can occur earlier in the pregnancy.

Neck and Mid-Back pain are also common during pregnancy.  When a woman’s body begins to change during pregnancy, pre-existing spinal misalignments have a tendency to get worse.  As the center of gravity begins to change, ligamentous structure and hormones begin to be altered.

Most women respond very well to upper cervical chiropractic during pregnancy.  conditions like sciatica, back and neck pain, digestive issues and headaches are just a few of the conditions that pregnant women see terrific results.

The results of upper cervical chiropractic is an aligned spine and pelvis which can make for a much easier delivery for both Mom and baby.  Recently had a Mom who was properly aligned with her second pregnancy.  She reported that the delivery was much easier and required no forceps or vacuum extraction.

In my office we are blessed to help many women who are pregnant with a variety of different health issues.  Frequently we can work without x-rays initially based on the situation.  Ivette is one of our patients who began her care when she was pregnant and is so glad that she did.  Here is her story…

“When I first started my treatment with Doctor Davis I had problems with my upper back and neck area, my lower back and my right hand would get numb and there were times when I couldn’t move it at all.  I also had a lot of digestive problems.

 I decided to come because my Mom was doing so well with her therapy.  When I first came in I was 2 months pregnant with my second child and immediately I started to notice a difference in all of the symptoms. 

 Even my morning sickness greatly improved!

 I would not only recommend the therapy that NUCCA Chiropractors offer but I would highly recommend Dr. Davis’s office.  The whole staff truly cares about their patients.

 Now thanks to them I am finally in control of not only my health but also my life!”

If you or someone you know is pregnant, it’s a great time to get your spine in proper alignment!

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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