Archive for the ‘Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia’ Category

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In the June 2011 edition of the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research.  Dr. Nimira Alibhoy DC presents the case of a 45-year-old female with a history of two major head traumas and 10 car accidents leading to complaints of an 11 year history of fibromyalgia.  The history from the study is quite remarkable:

The patient was a 45-year-old female who presented for chiropractic care with complaints of migraine headaches, chronic pain in the neck, upper and lower back, fibromyalgia, numbness in fingers, sciatica, right knee pain, depression, and duodenal ulcer. She attributes the following history to her condition.
She sustained a traumatic injury from diving head first into a shallow pool at the age of 15. This caused stabbing pain in her neck and back, as well as the inability to continue participating on the swim team. She was given Tylenol with Codeine for pain and attended physical therapy.

The patient was also in 10 car accidents over 25 years. The car accidents brought about right leg pain.  She experienced stabbing, tingling and numbness in her legs and back from her pregnancies. The patient was given cortisone injections in the groin to relieve the pain. She was diagnosed with fibromyalgia by her medical doctor. Five years after the diagnosis, she had another traumatic head injury, when she fell head first down a flight of stairs. This increased her sciatica, neck, and back pain. 

The patient had been to five chiropractors over 12 years, who provided temporary relief of her symptoms. She was in chronic pain and suffered from depression. She was given Vicodin, Flexeril, or Soma at different times for her pain and soft tissue injuries. Her activity levels were limited in that she could not use stairs, swim, or walk further than 20 feet. She used a wheelchair as it helped her complete her daily routine and limit her tiredness.

Over and over on this blog I have talked about the connection between head and neck trauma and the Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue type syndrome.  A history of head or neck trauma should always be investigated by an Upper Cervical Chiropractor trained in the detection and correction of the Atlas Subluxation Complex (A misalignment of the top bone in the neck).  This misalignment causes brain stem dysfunction which can lead to all sorts of changes in the way that all the body systems work.  Specifically important in patients diagnosed with Fibromyalgia is the brain stem connection to the immune system, circulatory system, respiratory system and digestive system.  Along with the connection of the brain stem with the postural muscles up and down the spinal column.

Here is the results for the patient in the study who was able to get the proper upper cervical chiropractic care needed to correct the underlying Brain Stem Subluxation.

Within six months of the first upper cervical correction, the patient revealed that she no longer needed wheelchair assistance. At the first re-evaluation, she reported that her fibromyalgia and left leg sciatica had resolved. She was able to move and perform basic daily functions and sleep in any position. She was feeling more relaxed and had more energy throughout the day. She stated that the sciatica in her right leg improved by 60% and was no longer on any medications. 

At second re-evaluation, she stated that her chronic back pain and headaches had resolved. She only continued to have minor right sciatica. By the fifth re-evaluation, 6 months into care, her knee tenderness had also resolved. Her sciatica on the right had 98% improvement.  She stated she was able to perform house and yard work. She was also able to swim, walk distances, and stand for long periods of time without taking Tylenol or Advil. The only complaint she had at this point was right hip pain.

Have you been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia?

Do you have a history of head or neck traumas?  Car Accidents?  Falls?  Other Head Injuries?

Then you owe it to yourself to find an Upper Cervical Specialist in your area.  If you are in the San Diego County area go to www.nuccawellness.com anywhere else www.nucca.org or www.upcspine.com

Get your life back!

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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So lets pretend you have a chronic neck or back pain, Fibromyalgia or another condition that has a lot of inflammation and swelling that goes along with it.  So your friendly MD puts you on Prednisone to help it…what’s the big deal?

Well, basically what Prednisone does is decrease inflammation while depressing your immune system.

Common Side Effects according to www.drugs.com include difficulty sleeping; feeling of a whirling motion; increased appetite; increased sweating; indigestion; mood changes; nervousness.

Severe side effects include severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); appetite loss; black, tarry stools; changes in menstrual periods; convulsions; depression; diarrhea; dizziness; exaggerated sense of well-being; fever; general body discomfort; headache; increased pressure in the eye; joint or muscle pain; mood swings; muscle weakness; personality changes; prolonged sore throat, cold, or fever; puffing of the face; severe nausea or vomiting; swelling of feet or legs; unusual weight gain; vomiting material that looks like coffee grounds; weakness; weight loss.

Prolonged use of prednisone can cause adrenal glands to atrophy and stop producing cortisol.  That’s not good!  Patients are often told not to stop taking prednisone suddenly. The dose has to be tapered gradually to allow the adrenal glands, which have atrophied, time to recover. If not, the person could put themselves into an adrenal crisis (e.g., nausea, vomiting, shock).

So if you are put on any medication for any reason continue to seek the cause of the condition.  Especially if it is a drug as dangerous as Prednisone.

Do not just continually rely on a medication to cover up the effects but seek the cause.

If you have Fibromyalgia or Chronic Pain, please continue to read about NUCCA and seek answers.

It’s your body and your responsibility.

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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Structural diagram of guaifenesin. Created usi...

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Fibromyalgia is a complicated condition that can involve all body systems.  There are many so called medication cures available, such as Lyrica, Welbutrin and Guaifenesin.

The problem is no medication is without side effects despite what the websites tell you.  Today we are going to look at one of the most common medical treatments available Guaifenesin.

What is Guaifenesin?

According to drugs.com Guaifenesin is an expectorant. It helps loosen congestion in your chest and throat, making it easier to cough out through your mouth.  Guaifenesin is used to reduce chest congestion caused by the common cold, infections, or allergies.

“Use guaifenesin exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended.”

Do not give guaifenesin to a child younger than 4 years old. Always ask a doctor before giving a cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough and cold medicines in very young children. Drink extra fluids to help loosen the congestion and lubricate your throat while you are taking this medication. This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

The City of Hope’s Fibromyalgia Treatment Center website says “We now use guaifenesin for fibromyalgia because it has no side effects and is even safe for children.”

Really?  No side effects?  Safe for Children?

Well there might be some side effects such as dizziness; excitability; headache; nausea; nervousness or anxiety; trouble sleeping; weakness. 

And sometimes some…

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); difficulty urinating; fast or irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; seizures; severe dizziness, lightheadedness, or headache; tremor.

But other than that no big deal?!

Because it helps get rid of uric acid, guaifenesin was chosen in the 1990s for the experimental guaifenesin protocol – a treatment for fibromyalgia. Proponents of the guaifenesin protocol believe that it treats fibromyalgia by removing excess phosphate from the body.  However, a consumer alert on the Fibromyalgia Network’s website (http://www.fmnetnews.com/resources-alert-product6.php) states that Dr. St. Amand’s claims of guaifenesin’s effects on fibromyalgia are groundless, and cites double blind research by Robert Bennett, M.D. which found no significant differences between guaifenesin and a placebo in terms of any effect on fibromyalgia or its markers.

Could taking a medication that eliminates phosphates from the body be useful?  If the phosphates are the underlying cause of the Fibromyalgia symptoms then yes.  But even then, nutritional approaches could do the same thing without all of the side effects.

Fibromyalgia is obviously a multifactorial condition.  Chemical, emotional and physical connections are common.  But if the underlying cause is primarily related to the physical body then Guaifenesin or any other chemical approach will have little to no results.

Physical traumas especially to the head and neck are extremely important to make note of and to identify if an undetected injury to the brain stem could be the cause.  Brain stem pressure from a upper neck misalignment can be devastating to the human body.  All body systems can be effected. 

Here is an example.  Car crashes and dental work had caused the misalignment that Una was struggling with…or what her doctor’s called Fibromyalgia.  Here is her experience with the NUCCA method of spinal correction that gently and precisely removes pressure from the brain stem so the brain and body communication is restored…

“When I saw Dr. Davis for the first time, my entire body was racked with pain.  I had suffered with Fibromyalgia for 9 years!  At that time I was despondent and was on the verge of hopelessness.  Someone recommended Dr. Davis to me and I hoped and prayed that he would be able to help me. 

 After a thorough assessment he was able to help me!  My pain has decreased, my energy has increased, I am sleeping much better, my digestion has improved, my spirits are lifted, I feel younger, my activity levels have increased, my creativity and interest in new ideas has returned, my dependence on pain medications has decreased and my bladder function is better!

My activities that I do every day are so much easier-gardening, sewing, entertaining, concentration, participating in church activities, and even travelling.  Now that I am doing better physically and mentally the quality of my life and family has improved immensely.

 Please do not hesitate to see Dr. Davis and get evaluated.  Doing so will be one of the most important steps you will take to improve your quality of life.  When you are in pain it can take your joy, peace and interest out of life, it suppresses your creativity and also it effects others around you.

 I have really enjoyed the whole experience at Breath of Life, from the way Dr. Davis greets you with his pleasant smile and the professional and courteous way in which the whole staff cares for you. 

 I rate my experience on a scale of 1-10 as a 10++.”

              Una C.                                    Oceanside CA

If you have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and have a history of head or neck trauma then find a NUCCA doctor in your area and get to the cause of the problem without drugs or side effects.  www.nucca.org

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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Fibromyalgia is a little understood illness that still has the stigma of not being a real disease to many ignorant people and doctors.  However, people who do have fibromyalgia would argue that the reality of their life with fibromyalgia includes pain, stiffness, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping.  As a recent patient told me “everything but my eyeballs hurt!”  I have also been told by patients that it feels like you have the flu…achy all over…but it never goes away!  Perhaps studies of the brain changes and chronic pain may help researchers and doctors better understand illnesses like fibromyalgia.  The latest research is suggesting that fibromyalgia has a connection with the central nervous system and is the result of a malfunction, or dysfunction, of the central nervous system.  A. Kuchinad and colleagues studied 10 women who had fibromyalgia and compared them with 10 women who did not have the illness. Among the women with fibromyalgia, Kuchinad’s team found a reduction in brain tissue that wasn’t found in the controls. This finding was backed up by yet another study not long after.  Other research has shown awake like brain activity in patients with Fibromyalgia when sleeping.  No REM sleep leads to the unrefreshed sleep common with the condition. 

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is another syndrome that has its skeptics.  There is no test for IBS (nor for fibromyalgia). Diseases that have no tests are diagnosed through exclusion. This means that doctors must do
tests to rule out all other possibilities and IBS is only diagnosed when all other illnesses are ruled out.  People with IBS experience pain and cramping, and diarrhea or constipation, or both. As with fibromyalgia, brain imaging of patients with IBS has found a loss in brain tissue and the patterns are very similar to fibromyalgia and other chronic pain issues.

So what is wrong with the central nervous system with people who are suffering with these mysterious conditions?

Frequently, an undetected head or neck injury that is affecting the brain is the cause.  A Brain Stem Subluxation causes pressure on the central nervous system at the level of the atlas (top bone in the neck).  When accidents and injuries tear loose the connective tissue that holds the spine together it will create a weakness and allow the spine to break down and lock into a stressed position.  The most vulnerable area of the body to trauma is the upper neck because it is the most movable area of the entire body.  If that top bone is misaligned it disrupts the function of the central nervous system.

I have seen hundreds of patients with brain stem subluxations in my practice and frequently it is an underlying cause of conditions like Fibromyalgia and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  For instance my patient who 3 months ago said that everything but her eyeballs hurt…reported today that 80 % of all the Fibromyalgia symptoms are gone!  This is a condition that she has struggled with for over 9 years and has seen a half a dozen different doctors. 

What has happened to her body?

Due to a head trauma that had occured earlier on in her life, her head and neck were significantly misaligned and that misalignment was causing pressure into the brain stem.  As the pressure has been removed her body has begun the healing process.  The longer that nervous system has been dysfunctional the longer it takes to heal.  But at 3 months she has already had a dramatic decrease in pain and stiffness, can sleep through the night and has near normal energy. 

Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome have similar results.  As the nervous system begins sending the proper messages to the digestive system again…digestion frequently becomes normal.

So does this type of treatment help everyone with Fibromyalgia and Irritable Bowel Syndrome?  Of course not!  Nothing is 100%.  But if you have had a head or neck trauma prior to the onset of the symptoms then Upper Cervical Chiropractic could be the answer.

Here is a quick way to see if you may be a candidate.  Postural problems are common with Upper Neck Misalignments.  So stand in front of a mirror and close your eyes.  Bring your head down and back up and then open your eyes.  Do you notice that your head is tilting to one side?  Are your shoulders level?  It is not definitive…but if you have a history of any type of head or neck trauma then the chances that you are a good candidate go up dramatically.  Sometimes it is difficult to remember head or neck traumas especially if they have been years or even decades earlier.  So here are some questions to ask yourself.  Have you had a concusssion?  Been knocked unconscious?  Had stitches to your head?

Most doctors will do a complimentary consultation to see if you are a candidate. 

Don’t give up hope…there is a cause behind every effect in the body. 

Just when you thought you checked everything…have you checked to see if your head is on straight?

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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Tired Woman

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Dr. Davis here from Vista California…

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and a similar condition called Fibromyalgia are 2 very common conditions seen in an upper cervical chiropractic office.  What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?  The Mayo Clinic describes it this way…

“Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that may worsen with physical or mental activity, but doesn’t improve with rest. Although there are many theories about what causes this condition — ranging from viral infections to psychological stress — in most cases the cause is still unknown.  Because its symptoms are difficult to measure, CFS wasn’t widely accepted as a real medical condition for several years. Today, however, doctors and researchers agree that this chronic condition should be taken seriously.”

So if most people get tired they rest and they get more energy.  But if you have chronic fatigue than your batteries don’t recharge the same as other people.  You can lay down for a nap or sleep 8 hours at night and still wake up as tired as before!  How frustrating!

Frequently what we find with patients is Chronic Fatigue will be associated with an undetected brain stem injury.  The Brain Stem is very important for regulating our energy level.  If the brain stem is not functioning the way it was designed you will have a hard time recovering.

When someone has accidents and injuries that have torn loose the connective tissue that holds the spine in place it will allow the spine to breakdown and lock into a stressed position.  The area of the spine that is most frequently affected is the upper neck area because it is the most movable and the most vulnerable to injury.  Once this upper neck area is misaligned it will begin to affect the function of the brain stem.  This brain stem pressure can lead to a variety of problems including dysfunction with the release of cortisol.  Altered cortisol levels can have many different effects on both the mind and the body for more info on that look at our post from a few weeks ago on cortisol and chiropractic here  (https://nuccadoctordavis.wordpress.com/2010/11/02/cortisol-chiropractic-and-the-chronic-stress-response/)

One of the top NUCCA doctors in the world Dr. Marshall Dickholtz Sr. along with a medical doctor and a psychiatrist did some very interesting research several years looking at the connection between the upper cervical spine and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  Here’s what the found when they compared quality of life measurements using a survey called the SF-36 six months after the initial correction to normal subjects:

  • Physical Functioning increased from 58% to 85%!
  • General Health improved from 35% to 55%
  • Vitality improved from 17% to 55%
  • Social Functioning increased from 40% to 70%
  • Mental Health improved from 50% to 70%

In addition both the quality and quantity of sleep improved based on all testing and there was significant decrease in sleep medication usage.  And maybe most remarkable all subjects in the study found a normalization of cortisol levels in the morning and evening readings at 6 months into care!  Amazing improvement!

Here is an example from my office of a person with severe chronic fatigue who was able to get back to a normal life  after beginning care.  Mary was in bed up to 2 days at a time if she did any activity!  If she went to the store and came back she would have to lay down for days!  The last time we heard from Mary she was keeping a schedule that she could never imagine before having her upper cervical injuries corrected.  Here’s Mary story in her own words…

“I have had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for the past 12 years and if I had a busy day it would take me up to two days to recover!  I have also had serious chronic muscle pain, leg pain, headaches, sleep problems an inability to take walks for exercise. 

 The first thing that changed was my energy level…since the first treatment, I began to notice that I only needed to lay down mid-day for a short time to recover…rather than the 2 days that I used to need just to get through the day.  I also noticed my headaches disappeared immediately.  My muscle pain has definitely improved and I use much less prescription pain killers.  My body feels “smooth” or at peace all over after an adjustment…wonderful!

I would encourage anyone to come see Dr. Davis.  Especially anyone like me that has had long standing chronic health issues, don’t believe your body will stay the same and/or continue to deteriorate…there is great hope!!!  The most enjoyable part of Breath of Life is the true, genuine and tender concern for the patients which you experience the moment you first step into the office and it never quits.  Dr. Davis is a true Godsend and I am privileged to have him for my Doctor.”

Mary M.  San Diego CA

If you are struggling with Chronic Fatigue like Mary was there is hope!  Go to www.nuccawellness.com to find out more information and to schedule your appointment today.

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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Hind- and mid-brains; postero-lateral view. (L...

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Dr. Davis here from Vista California

How does a Brain Stem Subluxation (a problem in the upper neck) cause you to not be able to sleep?  Are you a person who has a hard time falling asleep?  Staying asleep?  Or you just can’t turn your brain off?  Maybe you do sleep but you wake up in the morning just as tired as you were when you went to bed?  Even when you get enough sleep?

It has been known for some 40 years that waking and consciousness depend upon nerve cells within an area of the brainstem called the reticular formation. The Brain stem is a part of the brain that dips down into the top part of you neck (upper cervical spine).  These nerve cells activate portions of your brain that produce wakefulness and in turn sleep.

Magoun states that the central reticular formation of the brain stem exerts ascending (up to the brain) and descending (down from the brain) influences upon the cerebral cortex and upon the motor outflows from the spinal cord.  Tractionization of the brain stem by a misalignment in the upper neck causes a disruption in the function of the reticular formation of the brain stem resulting in a variety of postural changes verified by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research Foundation. 

So when a person has accidents and injuries that tear loose the connective tissue that hold the spine in place it will create a weakness and allow the spine to begin to breakdown and lock into a stressed position.  And this is a progressive condition…so the longer the spine is left in that state the worse it gets.  This tractionization on the brain stem is the underlying cause of the sleep problems in so many of our patients.  A Simple postural and neurological evaluation by an upper cervical specific chiropractor will tell you whether or not you have this common condition.

Who do you know that isn’t sleeping?  We spend a third of our lives in bed…how important is it to our work, family, and personal lives that our sleep is good and restful?

If your life is not what it should be because of sleeping problems, then you should be evaluated by an Upper Cervical Specialist as soon as possible. 

Get your head on straight and get back to sleeping the way that you should.

Find out more info at www.nuccawellness.com for those in Southern California.

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



God Bless and Be Well,

Dr. Bill Davis

Upper Cervical Specialist

Breath of Life Chiropractic













1. Magoun, H.W. (1968) Brain stem, Encyclopedia Brittanica, Vol. 4.

2. http://www.sleephomepages.org/sleepsyllabus/e.html




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Occiput Atlas

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Dr. Davis here from Vista CA… 

One of the most common symptoms that a person that has an Atlas Subluxation Complex will complain of is fatigue or low energy.  Frequently a person will be struggling with another health issue such as headaches, neck pain, numbness  or something else and they will just casually mention that they are also fatigued regularly.  An Upper Cervical misalignment will cause pressure on the brain stem.  Brain stem pressure causes all kinds of conditions in the body including low energy.  The good news is that when the brain stem pressure is removed and the body begins to heal…one of the first consequences is increased energy!  Here is one such story from our office this week…Liz was sick and tired of being stuck in a sick and painful body…thank God her Mother who has been a NUCCA patient for about 30 years told her about our office… 

My Mom referred me to Dr. Davis because I had constant upper back and shoulder pain, numbness and stinging in the arm.  I was unable to turn my neck for days or weeks at a time.  I was also having lower back pain and random sharp pains, throbbing aches throughout my body.  After sitting for 15-20 minutes…when I went to get up I would feel like a really old car that needed some warming up to get going! 

Now ALL OF THESE PROBLEMS ARE GONE!!!  Even my hot flashes are less intense, no more pain pills J  And I have 10 times the energy that I did before seeing Dr. Davis! 

If you are sick of being trapped in your sick and painful body…try NUCCA with Dr. Davis!!!  It’s nice to see a doctor who looks you in the eyes and actually listens to what you are saying and feeling…that’s rare these days!  

I would say to someone unsure about treatment…step outside the regular medical box and give NUCCA a try…”you’ll be shouting from the rooftops…because you’ll feel better!” 

Thank you Linde for always being so sweet and helpful and thank you Dr. Davis…I feel wonderful!!  NUCCA Rocks!!!” 

                                                                                                                                                      Liz A.  September 2010 

What a blessing it is to take care of someone like Liz!  She loves to tell people about NUCCA!  She has already referred 4-5 people to our office in just the past few months since she has been under care.  If you can relate to Liz’s story than NUCCA may be the answer to your health problems as well!  Find out more at www.nuccawellness.com or www.nucca.org or www.upcspine.com

Getting your head on straight, changes everything! 

Dr. Bill Davis 

Upper Cervical Specialist 

Breath of Life NUCCA Chiropractic 


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