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Archive for the ‘Migraines/Migraine 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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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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Dwyane Wade.

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One of NBA Basketball‘s most exciting players Dwyane Wade continues to battle migraine headaches after sitting out Saturday night’s game against Toronto, ESPN reported.

“Most of the time it lasts for four days,” Wade said. “This time, the effects are going into the third day. I’m doing everything with the doctors, but there are certain things you can’t control.

Or can you?

Is it possible that there is an underlying cause associated with your migraines Dwyane?

If you got to the underlying cause would it be possible to prevent these migraines?

Would it be possible to eliminate them completely?

Dwyane Wade is a very physical player.  He frequently dives on the floor and has had several head and neck traumas over the years.  Here is one example of Wade whacking his head on the ground in the playoffs a few years ago.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3ksc5_bpYw

What happens when you get head and neck traumas?

Well these accidents and injuries can tear loose the connective tissue that holds the spine in place and create a weakness, which then allows the spine to breakdown and lock into a stressed position.

Now I am sure that the Miami Heat have a staff Chiropractor, as almost all professional sports team do.  But to get to this problem he may need a more advanced approach than general chiropractic.  Learn more from a recent WebMD story http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/news/20070316/chiropractic-cuts-blood-pressure

If Mr. Wade has a misalignment in the upper neck at the base of the brain, blood flow has been shown to be effected.  Research is demonstrating that these misalignments in the upper neck at the level of the Atlas can be an underlying cause with several vascular conditions such as Migraine Headaches, High Blood Pressure, Multiple Sclerosis and others.  The veins that drain the brain are not working the way that they are supposed to be.

The main way that this takes place is the physical trauma associated with head and neck injuries.

The only way to safely, precisely and gently realign the spine is by acquiring precise upper cervical x-rays.  Once the upper neck is viewed from all three directions then a plan can be put together to correct this complex condition.  The NUCCA procedure is very effective at restoring the upper neck to it’s proper alignment.

In the Miami area I would recommend Dr. Justin Brown, http://www.familyspinalcare.com/

Dwyane Wade…why don’t you get checked and get back on the court…the Heat need you!

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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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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Troy Aikman, American football quarterback.

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Dr. Davis here from Vista CA…

I was recently watching a you tube video where Troy Aikman describes his battle with Migraine headaches and how now that he is on the right medication everything is alright (see the video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3XMafyMCYM).  What is the logical fallacy in that thinking?  If you have the right medication everything is okay.  Well what does medication do on its most basic level?  Is it really better living through chemistry?  Let’s a take a look.

When drugs (chemicals) are put into the body your body’s chemistry will be altered.  We already have a lot of chemicals in there and adding some more will alter the levels.  This is the effects of a medication…altered body chemistry.  Some of the effects are desired and some are not.  This is the difference between desired effects and side or adverse effects.  It is like the example of Viagra.  It was originally tested as a blood pressure medication.  However during the clinical trials the desired effect of lowering blood pressure wasn’t happening…however something was happening to the male participants!  After a change in the marketing voilà!!!  We now have a new erectile dysfunction medication.  The side effect has become the desired effect!

There are 13,000 prescription drugs on the market.  According to a 2009 Congressional Budget Office study, the pharmaceutical industry spends about one-third of its $20 billion direct-to-consumer advertising budget on just 10 drugs. Medicines for erectile dysfunction, depression, cholesterol and high blood pressure tend to get big campaigns.  But headache medications also get more than enough money for advertising.  All that marketing has convinced millions of Americans including Troy Aikman that drugs are the answer to symptoms. 

Now if you just want to get rid of the symptoms and not address the cause, than medicines are good for that.  Migraine headaches are not caused by a lack of Imitrex or any other medication in the body, that I can guarantee.  Imitrex can with certain people cause many of the symptoms of Migraine headaches to go away, but it does not get to the cause of the headache…regardless of the advertising and marketing.

So it comes down to a personal choice.  Do you want to cover up the symptoms or find out the cause?  If you choose to cover up the symptoms…what happens if a year down the road after your body begins to build up a tolerance, that medication doesn’t work anymore and now you have to take Vicodin or some other narcotic…would you do that ?

The medical approach is a way to look at health called the outside in approach.  Something is happening to your body and you need to add something to your body in order to change the symptoms.  Alter the chemistry.

Now there is a different approach, it is called an inside out approach.  This approach looks at what you already have inside your body and trusts the design of the body.  The first question of this approach is why?  Why do I have Migraines?  Is it related to my diet, my sleep patterns, my water intake or something else.

Could it be that the blood flow from your brain to your body is altered?  The veins that drain the brain are not working right and sometimes it is too much for your body to take and you get a massive headache (a migraine)?  Now what could cause a change of blood flow from the brain to the body?  Research using Phase Contrast MRI looking at the blood vessels from the brain to the body in migraine sufferers is now demonstrating that when a person has a misalignment of the top bone in the neck called the atlas, the blood flow is altered and when the bone is repositioned using a highly precise procedure the blood flow is changed and the Migraine headaches go away.

Now this procedure is not manipulation!  There is no cracking, popping or twisting of the spine.  It is a specialized realigning of the spine using a procedure called NUCCA.  NUCCA stands for the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association.  These special chiropractors are able to visualize this misalignment with a very precise 3 dimensional X-ray series.  Based on the measurements from the x-rays the position of the Atlas is determined and then is realigned over time back to as normal as a position as possible.  This procedure produces changes in both blood and nerve flow from the brain instantly.

So maybe Troy Aikman, a NUCCA doctor could help you. 

At least you would be addressing the cause and not just covering up the symptoms for the rest of your life.



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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Ben Affleck at the 2008 World Series of Poker

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Dr. Davis here from Vista CA…

“Ben Affleck Out of Poker Championship due to Migraine” was the headline in the New York Post back in July of this year.

We see many athletes, artists, and celebrities getting migraine headaches including NFL giants Terrell Davis and Troy Aikman, tennis great Serena Williams, basketball superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and baseball stars Jonathon Papelbon and Johnny Damon; actors Ben Affleck and Whoopi Goldberg.  Migraines are a debilitating type of headache that literally takes days, weeks, months and years away from many people in our society.  For instance,  I have a patient right now who gets 2-3 migraines per month.  That doesn’t seem that bad maybe to you.  But the truth is when the headaches come she is unable to do anything!!!  She lays in a dark room until the migraines go away.  The migraines last between 1-2 days at a time.  So lets say conservatively that she is losing 3 days a month to these migraines.  That’s 36 days a year…over a 10 year time period that is a 360 days…one year out of ten is lost to migraines!!!

In my office I have seen a 90-95 % success rate with Migraine Headaches being eliminated.  The other 5-10% at least see a reduction in the frequency and intensity of these headaches.  So why doesn’t Ben Affleck get into a NUCCA doctor’s office and get rid of those migraines?  How many games did Terrel Davis miss because of headaches?

So why is NUCCA so effective at getting to the underlying cause of headaches?  The answer is trauma.  Physical trauma…such as car accidents, falls, sports injuries, childhood injuries and more lead to a tearing loose of the connective tissue that holds the spine in place.  Which creates a weakness.  Once that happens the spine begins to breakdown.  It starts in the most movable and vulnerable area, the top of the spine where the skull and the spine come together at the Atlas vertebrae.  This misaligned upper neck area creates pressure on the brain stem and veins that drain the brain.  This is why pressure will begin to build up into the head often leading to headaches.  The brain stem irritation explains the nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, etc that frequently goes along with Migraine headaches.

These observations are now being demonstrated in the research as well.  A recent case study is showing that after an Atlas correction using the NUCCA procedure, a follow-up Phase Contrast Magnetic Resonance (PC MR) Study demonstrated changes in flow from the jugular veins that leave the brain.   The subject of the case study obtained relief from migraine headache pain consistent to maintenance of his Atlas correction by the end of thirty days. The exam continued to show improvement of the blood flow measured over the 16-week study period consistent to maintenance of Atlas alignment.  Additional funding is being sought to do a larger study on Migraines, Atlas misalignments and blood flow changes.

So who do you know that is still getting migraines?  Does anyone know Whoopi?  Johnny?  Troy?  How about you?  Are you losing parts of your life because of the effects of Migraine Headaches?  Or do you have them “under control” with medications.  At some point covering up the symptoms will lead to other problems.  Or those meds won’t work anymore and you will have to get stronger ones.  Do you want to find out the cause and eliminate it?  If so go to www.nuccawellness.com if you are in the San Diego County Area.  If you are anywhere else go to www.nucca.org

You can be helped!  But you have to take the first step…

God Bless and Be Well,

Dr. Bill Davis

Upper Cervical Specialist

Breath of Life Chiropractic

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