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Archive for the ‘Headaches’ Category

Brain Injury (journal)

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A recent case study published by the legendary Dr. Roy Sweat is linking head trauma, concussions and seizures together.  According to the case study there are about 500,000 brain injuries in the United States every year. Of the people hospitalized for a brain injury only 5-7% ever experience a seizure disorder from their injury. Seizures within the first week of a brain injury, in the elderly, and immediate seizures (within 24 hours of a brain injury), are more likely to lead to post concussion seizures.

Dr. Sweat’s patient had developed a number of symptoms as a result of the head injury 10 years earlier, where she slipped and fell getting out of the shower and hit the back of her head.  She immediately had a migraine and a seizure and was taken to the emergency room.  Later she was released after medical tests were normal.  She continued to have symptoms sporadically over the next 10 years finally getting progressively worse in the last part of the decade including:

  • Positional seizures (When bending forward she would experience a seizure that would leave her unable to walk or talk for several days)
  • A wide gait, left sided walking and swaying that got progressively worse
  • Extreme exhaustion
  • Restricted range of motion in her neck
  • Blurred vision
  • Blood Pressure fluctuations (Ranging from high blood pressure to low blood pressure)

After a thorough evaluation in an upper cervical chiropractic office the 76-year-old patient was found to have an Atlas Misalignment based on objective measurements.  She was then x-rayed and her misalignment was mathematically calculated to decide the type of correction that was necessary.

After her first Atlas correction she was able to look over her shoulders, her wide gait was improved. She was no longer feeling like a seizure was coming on.  After 2 months of care the patient was re-evaluated and the objective findings were much improved including neurological, muscular and postural testing. The patient had no seizures since the first correction, normal, pain-free neck rotation, normal walking pattern, increased energy, improved clarity and brightness in her vision and improved hearing. The patient has her blood pressure checked regularly with her family practitioner and no longer experiences blood pressure fluctuation.

So what about you?

Have you ever had a concussion?  Lost consciousness?  Had stitches to your head?

Has is that trauma effecting you?  Maybe you are having seizures or some other symptoms that are effecting the quality of your life.

Then an upper neck evaluation is extremely important.  There are very few doctors that have the training and experience required to properly evaluate and correct an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems called an Atlas Misalignment.

To find a doctor in your area go to www.upcspine.com or if you are in the southern california area go to 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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Bring it on: TUMS
Image by afagen via Flickr

How could Acid Reflux, Allergies and Headaches all be related?

Through the Brain Stem…

The Brain stem is an extension of the brain itself that extends down into the upper neck area (upper cervical spine).  The brain stem is susceptible to injury if the Atlas or Axis the top two bones in the spine are twisted or tilted as a result of traumatic accidents or injuries.  Most of these injuries are to the head or neck.  Examples would be car accidents, falls, diving accidents, surfing injuries, snowboarding falls, childhood falls from trees, off bikes, changing tables and more.

The common denominator is a injury that has torn loose the tissue that holds the spine in place in the upper neck which creates a weakness, which will allow the weight of the head (10-14 lbs) to become displaced from it’s normal position.  This misalignment of the head and neck relationship can be as little as 3/4 of degree and the brain will have to adapt to this new position.  Our eyes and ears are created to be balanced.  When the head is not balanced properly compensations will develop in order to rebalance the structure of the body and the eyes and ears through the righting reflex in the brain.  Without this compensation we would just fall over when we stood up in a gravity environment.

The longer this compensation exists the more our body must adapt to this structural misalignment.

Eventually we will develop symptoms as a result of nerve dysfunction.

Which symptoms?

That depends on the person and the nerves that are effected.

For instance the brain stem through the Vagus nerves controls the digestive system.  Dysfunction here can lead to conditions like Acid Reflux, constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and colic in kids.

The Brain stem also has a major impact on the immune system, has nerve connections to the sinuses and the ears, eyes, nose and throat and lungs.  This would explain the changes that we see with allergies, sinus problems, frequent colds and flu and breathing conditions like asthma.

And what about headaches?

Headaches can be caused by both the blood flow and nerve flow changes from the brain to the body and head and face when the brain stem function is altered.

So what can happen when the brain stem pressure is removed through the correction of an upper neck misalignment by a qualified upper cervical specialist?

Amazing things!

Amanda is a patient of ours who at only 21 years of age had had several head and neck traumas beginning in early childhood.  These conditions in Amanda’s body where leading to a daily dependence on Tums and Advil to just get through the day.

Thank God that is all over now.

Here is Amanda’s story.

When I first came into this office I was hoping to get rid of my acid reflux, because every night when I laid down I would get it regardless of what I ate.  I also headaches, terrible allergies and generalized pain and aches throughout my body.

Now only 6 weeks into my care I sleep better at night, my sinus passages are clear, my breathing has improved.  No acid reflux!  I haven’t had an episode in weeks.  I no longer need to take the Tums or the Advil that was just normal to me before.

I am happier in general because all of my pain and discomfort is gone!  My work and service to the Lord has improved, I am more willing to take the extra step and go the extra mile.

You may think that there is no cure for the problem that you are dealing with, your normal doctor may think that you are being ridiculous, but NUCCA care is the cure…at 21 years old I have never felt so good!

I truly love the friendly atmosphere and the fact that Dr. Davis took the time to listen to the frustrations I had with my body and has done everything he could to help.

Are you ready to feel good again or maybe for the first time?

Get your brain stem evaluated in a NUCCA office today!

In the San Diego County area go to www.nuccawellness.com to find out about our evaluation special.

Anywhere else go to 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

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A blue folding lightweight wheelchair.

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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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my brain

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Have you been asking this question?

How long have you suffered?

In the Journal of the American Medical Association it was once stated “Headaches are not headaches at all but really a pain in the neck.” Seletz E. Whiplash Injuries. JAMA, 1958; 168(13): 1750-1755

So why is most headache help focused on numbing the head?

The most common form of migraine treatment today is the use of prescription drugs. Not only are these medications costly, but they also can cause numerous, negative side effects.

Common drug therapies and their side effects.

| Imitrex | Maxalt | Zomig | Relpax |

  • Abnormal Sensations (tingling, burning)
  • Dizziness (Vertigo)
  • Weakness
  • Neck, Jaw, and Throat Pain
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal Pain

But what if there was a way to get the underlying cause of the Migraines? 

Not just cover it up but eliminate the Migraines completely by getting to the reason why you are getting the headaches?

Is it possible?

For many of our patients Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care has been the missing piece of the puzzle.

Upper Cervical Chiropractors have helped thousands of patients reduce the frequency and intensity of their migraine symptoms. Because the upper cervical region of the neck (C1-C2) is more susceptible to injury than the rest of the spine, upper cervical chiropractors have found a link between a misalignment of the upper neck area and migraine and other chronic headaches.

But the big factor with Migraines is blood flow.  Or more properly the improper flow of blood from the brain.  Upper Cervical Chiropractic adjustments in migraine patients are improving blood flow on before and after phase contrast MRI’s.

There is currently a large study beginning in Canada looking at this connection between the blood flow in the jugular veins and upper neck misalignments.

Recently one of our patients sent me this message on Facebook…

“After seeing Dr. Davis, I was migraine free. After suffering for over 10 years, this was truly a life changer!”

Joe Rangel 

Here is another one from a teacher from Valley Center that she posted on City Search.

“I came to Breath of Life after having migraines for years. I got the point where I was in constant pain. After my first few visits to Dr. Davis my headaches went away. It has been almost 2 years, and I can honestly say that I have only had a few headaches. I went from having a few a week to a few a year. That has been amazing for me and my family.”

Katie Aguilar

So what are you waiting for?

The science is showing the connection and if you want to hear from more real people like you who have found the help that they needed than read some more below.

You can read more of our reviews on City Search here

http://sandiego.citysearch.com/profile/616213820/vista_ca/breath_of_life_chiropractic.html

We also have lots of reviews on Google

http://maps.google.com/maps/place?hl=en&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&cp=14&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&wrapid=tljp1305160587910014&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=vista+ca+chiropractor&fb=1&gl=us&hq=vista+ca+chiropractor&hnear=Escondido,+CA&cid=17773705681265573225&ei=fCvLTaLlFqjZ0QGU24CaCQ&sa=X&oi=local_result&ct=placepage-link&resnum=1&sqi=2&ved=0CDAQ4gkwAA

On Insider Pages

http://insiderpages.com/doctors/breath-of-life-chiropractic-vista

And On Yelp

http://www.yelp.com/biz/breath-of-life-chiropractic-vista

So before you pop those pills for those recurring Migraines…give us a call instead and maybe you to could end those Migraines forever! 

Breath of Life Upper Cervical Chiropractic         760-945-1345
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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Initianal diagnosis of scoliosis: dorsal and f...

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Many patients who have scoliosis (Curvature in the spine) will struggle with a distorted body image.  They may feel that it is difficult to dress the way they want to.  Kids growing up may ridicule them for their appearance and many other unfortunate events.

That was Abby’s situation.  For 23 years she had struggled with a warped body image because of underlying upper neck misalignments that led to her developing a Scoliosis.  The scoliosis and upper neck misalignments led to a variety of different health problems.  Even with the healthiest diet, a great exercise program and regular stress relieving activities her health continued to deteriorate. 

Here is her story…

“My whole life has been plagued by symptom after symptom; headaches, breathing trouble, allergies, foggy memory and a warped body image.

At 23, after months of misaligned yoga practice that precipitated my problems, I realized that my problems may have started at birth. My birth was very traumatic, my mom labored for 2 days and then I eventually had to be delivered via emergency c-section.

When Dr. Davis showed me my x-rays it all started to make sense. Since birth my C-1 (top bone in my neck) was out of balance.

After only 1 month of care, I feel literally brand new. My body is healing itself, finally. I walk straight, use both my hands normally, look straight forward instead of my head my turned to the right.

All the problems I had decided I had inherited and must resign myself to live with are disappearing! My heart grows every day, I am literally a happier person.

Dr. Davis has my greatest thanks and most sincere blessing.”

Abigail E.            April 2011

Who do you know that struggles because of an obvious curvature in the spine?  Scoliosis can frequently be helped significantly by balancing out the head using specific upper cervical adjustments.  The sooner the condition can be detected the more likely you will have a significant reduction in the scoliosis.

The longer you wait the worse it gets.  So don’t put it off any longer. 

Find a NUCCA Chiropractor in your area and get your head on straight.  www.nuccawellness.com  or www.nucca.org

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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A diagram of the forces on the brain in concussion

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For years I have been asking my patients if they have a history of head and neck injuries including, car accidents, falls, times where they have been knocked unconscious, had a concussion or stitches to their head.

Why?

When accidents and injuries tear loose the connective tissue that holds the spine in place it creates a weakness, which allows the spine to break down and lock into a stressed position.

The area of  the body that is the most vulnerable to injury and has the most far reaching effects is the upper neck.  The top bone in the spine,  the atlas sits right underneath the skull and when the tissues around it become stretched and damaged the weight of the head will be shifted from center.

Once the position of the head is altered the position of the eyes and ears is altered as well.  The brain will initiate a reflex called the righting reflex in order to balance the eyes and the semicircular canals in the ears with the horizon.

The problem is now the head is slightly off center and the spine must adapt to that position by twisting and turning the remaining structure of the spine.  This will lead to tilting of the shoulders, the hips and imbalance all the way down to the legs leading to an unequal distribution of weight.

Body imbalance can lead to a variety of different health problems, but frequently has the same root cause…

The original head or neck injury created a misalignment of the Atlas bone at the base of the skull which led to the subsequent problems with the structure of the body, nerve and blood flow from the brain to the body.

Here is a great example from a recent research article published in the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research ~ January 6, 2011

A 23-year-old female patient presented for upper cervical chiropractic care five months after a slip and fall that resulted in a concussion.  The patient presented with symptoms of vertigo and headaches consistent with post concussion syndrome.  The patient had a longstanding history of headaches that were exacerbated by the concussion and a new complaint of positional vertigo that occurred immediately following the trauma.  Significant body imbalances were noted including a leg length difference.  Specific Upper Cervical X-rays demonstrated an upper cervical misalignment.

She began to receive Upper Cervical Specific Chiropractic care and the headache and vertigo was gone immediately following the first adjustment. Post X-Ray evaluation showed a significant improvement in the alignment of the head and neck.  The follow up examination the following day revealed a significant decrease in muscles spasm in the neck and the legs were balanced. 

The patient’s fourth visit was two weeks following the first adjustment and at that time the patient reported a slight nagging headache had begun earlier that day, rated at 2/10, but she did not have any symptoms of vertigo.  The patient’s care was continued on a frequency of twice per month for evaluations and progress monitoring. She was evaluated with Atlas Orthogonal protocol for necessity of adjustment and her symptoms were monitored at every evaluation. She continued to report a complete resolution of vertigo and intermittent headaches rated as 2/10 that occurred at an average of two hours/day.

Who do you know that has had a concussion?  Do they have a chronic health problem?  Is there a connection to the upper neck?

Only an upper cervical specialist could tell you. 

Find out more at www.upcspine.com or www.nucca.org or if you are in the San Diego County area give us a call

760-945-1345

 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:

Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research ~ January 6, 2011

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care of a Patient with Post Concussion Syndrome, Positional Vertigo and Headaches

Alisha Mayheu DC & Matthew Sweat DC

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Generic regular strength enteric coated 325mg ...

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Although most people get the occasional headache, there are people who experience headaches for more than 15 days (or more) each month. They are said to have chronic headaches. It is estimated that between three to five percent of people worldwide have chronic headaches.  There are several subtypes of chronic headaches, such as chronic migraine, chronic tension-type headache, medication overuse headache, and hemicrania continua (a headache that only affects one side of the face and head).  The most common subtypes are the chronic tension type and the medication overuse type.  There is a significant difference between the two headaches though. While it can be difficult to treat the tension type headaches, it’s relatively simple to treat the medication overuse headaches.  These headaches go away if the patient stops taking analgesics (pain killers). 

Researchers examined the brains of people with either tension type headache or medication overuse headaches and compared them with people who didn’t have headaches.  The researchers found that neither patients with medication overuse headaches nor the controls had any changes in brain tissue, but patients with tension type headaches didAnd, the longer the patients had their headaches, the more tissue was lost in the brain While investigating patients with episodic headaches and patients with tension type headaches, researcher M.S. Matharu and colleagues fond that patients with episodic headaches didn’t have any brain changes, while, as expected, those with tension type headaches did have changes. These findings were challenged by other researchers who came up with different findings. 

Migraines are more than just severe headaches.  Migraines are in a class by themselves.  The only thing they have in common with headaches is the head pain. A migraine usually, but not always, involves a severe, unilateral (one-sided) headache that is often described as pulsing or throbbing. In addition to the pain, many people with migraines also become very sensitive to light (photophobia), sounds, and odors. They may also be nauseous and vomit.  Many studies have been done on migraineurs, people who have migraines. This research has shown that there are changes in the brains of migraineurs, much like those with other chronic pain. Although there hasn’t been a connection made between the changes in the brain as a result of the pain, researchers have found that these changes may actually have a part in causing the migraine pain.

Spine University’s Guide to Neuroplasticity and Chronic Pain Compliments of: Spine University M.A. Rocca and colleagues studied 16 patients with migraines and they also found changes in their brain tissue. Two other studies compared patients with migraines to control subjects who didn’t have migraines.  Both studies also found brain changes in the migraineurs.  When interpreting the study data, Rocca’s group suggested that the changes could have been caused by the repeated pain attacks on the brain. However, the pattern of the tissue changes seemed to be more in line with the idea that they are caused by the duration of pain, not the frequency.  An interesting issue though is that migraines tend to come less often as people age and researchers aren’t sure how this is connected to the changes in the brain.

When the upper cervical spine is misaligned the blood flow is changed from the brain.  That is being demonstrated with Phase Contrast MRI on the arteries and veins from the brain to the body.  Altered blood flow can change the brain.  Our brain needs proper blood flow in order to function properly.  The longer the misalignment has been present the more damage is done.

If the upper neck has become misaligned due to accidents and injuries than a change is happening in the brain.  This brain research is showing how those with chronic headaches are suffering brain damage as a result of the chronic headaches.  Do you see the connection?  Misalignment causes altered blood flow…the brain needs blood in order function properly…without proper venous drainage many people begin to suffer with headaches.  Correct the cause by realigning the upper cervical spine with a precise upper cervical procedure such as NUCCA, Orthospinology, Atlas Orthogonal or Advanced Orthogonal and the blood flow begins to change.  Headaches frequently go away and the brain begins getting proper blood flow again so that it can heal.

For many people it is as simple as that! 

I have seen a 90-95% success rate with patients with headaches of all types in my clinic.

If you have chronic headaches find an upper cervical specialist in your area and correct the cause!

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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