Archive for the ‘Whiplash’ 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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Christopher Reeve discusses the potential bene...

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Many times after an initial adjustment in the office a patient will report feeling a flushing in their face or a feeling of a changed blood flow in their neck or other area of the body.  Why does this happen?  And how is changing blood flow patterns important to health and function of the body.

Chiropractic is primarily about changing nerve flow from the brain to the body.  But when nerve flow is changed so is blood flow.  Both directly by the veins and arteries that are not flowing properly and from the nerve connection to the arteries and veins.

A great example from our office was Maureen.  Maureen had suffered multiple injuries from car accidents and had lost a majority of the strength in her legs.  At 31 she was struggling to walk and was resigned to a wheelchair due to the injuries to her neck and back.  Severe numbness and tingling into both legs.  After an 8 year battle that cost her more than $45,000 out of pocket for just the diagnostic tests alone, she finally found the help she needed with NUCCA care.  Here is her story in her own words.

I had multiple injuries to my back and neck 8 years ago that compounded and deteriorated to the point of using a wheelchair and crutches to walk. All my hope was almost lost, but Dr. Davis was an answer to my prayers. The day after my first adjustment, I heard and felt a loud release at the base of my skull. A few days after that I was down to using only one crutch to walk, after years of using two. After continued care I have been able to ditch the crutches completely and I am able to stand and walk without assistance. I am so excited about all the things that I can do again thanks to my NUCCA care. From being able to sleep on my back, to being able to stand in the shower and to be able to stand in church and raise my hands! The NUCCA method is non-invasive; it is gentle, with absolutely no cracking of the spine. In fact I hardly feel the adjustment, but I definitely feel a huge improvement in my health. Dr. Davis is a wonderful chiropractor and is doing God’s service!

The changes that happened with Maureen are related to both blood and nerve flow.  She told me when she began to notice the changes, that she felt like life was coming back into her legs.  Well, when the brain and the body are disconnected by an upper cervical misalignment, the life that flows through the nerves and blood vessels into all areas of our body are extremely effected. 

If you remember Christopher Reeve, Superman took a fall from a horse that fractured those all important bones at the top of the neck.  Imagine a light switch, for him it was as if the lights were turned out.  He was in a wheelchair unable to move or breath on his own.  A 100 % loss of function.

Now imagine a dimmer switch, when there is a misalignment at the top of the neck that dimmer switch is turned down.  Each person’s switch is turned down a different amount.  For one person it may be 10%, another 35%, well with Maureen her dimmer switch was probably 75-80 % or more.

Is your switch turned down?  How much?  How is it effecting you?  Headaches, sleep problems, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, 300 trillion nerves coming out of the brain which nerves is that misalignment effecting in your body?

If you are in the San Diego county area call the office today to schedule an initial evaluation at 760-945-1345.

Or find an upper cervical specialist in your area at www.nucca.org or www.upcspine.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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Xray of cervical spine

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Accidents and injuries will tear loose the connective tissue (Muscles, ligaments and tendons) that holds the spine in place.  This will create a weakness, which will allow the spine to breakdown and lock into a stressed position.  The longer the spine is misaligned the more progression that will take place in the wearing down of the spinal joints, discs, muscles, etc.  Frequently in our office we see patients who have been involved in car crashes.  Not only recent car crashes…but car accidents that have occurred 5, 10 or 15 years before or even longer.  Based on the extent of degeneration in the spine the injury to the spine can be dated approximately.  Why is that?  Well if the spinal balance is altered due to misalignment there will be unequal pressure applied to the spine.  Over time this will lead to a breaking down of the bones, ligaments, discs etc what is called degenerative disc disease (Bone spurs and disc thinning etc.). 

Upper Cervical Specialists have been seeing this phenomenon in our offices for years.  But now the research is also showing that Degenerative Disc Disease or what is commonly called Arthritis of the spine is a result of accidents or injuries. 

Here is what Dr. Mason Hohl an MD and professor of surgery at UCLA Medical Center says…“Follow-up x-rays taken an average of 7 years after injury in one series of patients without prior x-ray evidence of disc disease indicated that 39% had developed degenerative disc disease at one or more disc levels since injury.”  7 years after the injury the discs and other spinal structures are already breaking down!  There was an expected incidence of 6% degenerative change in the population over this period of time.  “Thus, it appeared that the injury had started the process of disc degeneration.” 

 He goes on to say “In another follow-up study of patients with similar injuries but with preexisting degenerative changes in the neck, it was observed that after an average of 7 years 39% had residual symptoms, and x-ray evidence of new degenerative change at another level occurred in 55%.”  So if you already have had an injury that has started the degenerative process and you have another injury it leads to more degeneration in the area. 

Why is it so important to get you head and neck alignment evaluated?  How many of us have had a head or neck injury that has misaligned our spines?  Every day that the spine stays misaligned…more degeneration takes place. 

When the head is on straight everything changes… www.nuccawellness.com or if you are outside of the San Diego County Area go to www.upcspine.com   

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


 The Cervical Spine-The Cervical Spine Research Society, Lippincott, 1989 Mason Hohl, MD Professor of Surgery/Orthopedics, UCLA Medical Center Page 440

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What causes Multiple Sclerosis?  Although it is obviously a multi-factorial condition one continuing connection has been investigated for nearly a century.  The link between head and neck trauma and multiple sclerosis.  Dr. Dan Murphy who is one of the preminent researchers in the field of whiplash has looked into the connection between MS and Whiplash…here are his findings… 


(1) Whiplash and other spinal trauma can initiate MS signs and symptoms in asymptomatic, perfectly healthy individuals. 

(2) Of those with MS, 25% have asymptomatic “silent” MS. 

(3) Whiplash and other trauma can adversely affect the course of benign MS. 

(4) The initiation of MS symptoms following trauma may manifest within hours, peak within days to weeks, and is rare after 3 months. 

(5) Breakdown in the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is an essential event in the development of MS. 

(6) Breaching of the BBB results in a pro-inflammatory cytokines immune system response. Consequently, I suggest that a logical aspect of management is chiropractic nerve function improvement (segmental, systemic, and postural chiropractic subluxation management), and the anti-inflammatory diet (more omega-3s with antioxidants and fewer excitotoxins, trans fatty acids, omega-6s, and saturated fats). 

(7) The whiplash trauma involved may be minor. 

Other authors note: 

1. “Direct impact to the head is not necessary for brain injury; whiplash injuries can also cause brain damage.” 

2. “The degree of associated bone and soft tissue injury has no bearing on the extent of the spinal cord injury or neurologic deficit.”  The fact that CNS trauma affects the deep cerebral white matter has also been demonstrated by MRI, even in patients who had experienced mild head injuries. Such white matter changes indicate alteration of the BBB.  Research on monkeys has shown that a blow to the occipital area altered the BBB in the medulla and in the cervical spinal cord.  

3. “Although there are many potential reasons for the BBB break, a simple model of traumatic damage could account for the commoner sites of lesions being in the highly mobile optic nerve and cervical cord, especially when tethered by the dentate ligaments. 

4. Any mechanism which physically destroys the components of the BBB will render the CNS open to the cellular and molecular constituents of the blood. This causes inflammatory participants to be rapidly delivered to the site of injury in a gross, nonspecific fashion. 

In another article the authors stated “We report here 39 cases in which definite multiple sclerosis (MS) was precipitated or exacerbated by specific hyperextension-hyperflexion cervical cord trauma.  Our data suggests that central nervous system (CNS) — specific acute physical trauma such as cervical cord hyperextension-hyperflexion injury (whiplash) may aggravate latent clinical symptoms in MS.”  These authors documented 39 patients who developed symptomatic MS or in whom a stable disease with minimal disability was converted to a rapidly progressive form within some days to weeks after an acute hyperextension-hyperflexion injury to the cervical spinal cord (whiplash type injury).  The authors cited 9 studies (1946, 1950, 1957, 1964, 1966, 1975, 1975, 1988, 1991, 1992) that support that specific CNS trauma may precipitate or aggravate MS.  They also stated “The cervical region is the commonest site of spinal cord involvement in MS and spinal cord atrophy provides the best correlate of the degree of disability. Thus, it would only seem logical that rapid progression of disability was a direct consequence of the cervical cord disease in our cases.” 

With still much to be determined between the connection between the Blood Brain Barrier, Chronic cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency and MS (see our other posts on MS for more details on CCSVI), the connection between trauma and MS remains an important one.  Can trauma to the head and neck create a structural problem that leads to CCSVI?  That is the question.  But wouldn’t it make sense to at least get your upper head and neck evaluated by a trained doctor who corrects structural problems in the upper neck?  Before doing a surgery trace back to the original cause…the head and neck injury and undo the damage that has been done with upper cervical care. 

Go to www.upcspine.com for a doctor in your area or if you are in the San Diego County area go to www.nuccawellness.com 
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


Acute cervical hyperextension-hyperflexion injury mayprecipitate and/or exacerbate symptomatic multiple sclerosis 

Eur J Neurol 2001 Nov;8(6):659-64. Chaudhuri A, Behan PO 

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As I continue to investigate the connection between Multiple Sclerosis and trauma to the head and neck…I came across this information linking whiplash and MS from 1996….check it out. 

Whiplash Trauma and Multiple Sclerosis 

by Daniel J. Murphy, DC, FACO 

Multiple sclerosis linked with trauma in court case 

British Medical Journal, Vol. 313, 

November 16, 1996 

Reported by Bryan Christie 

A former policeman was awarded $820,875 in damages by a court which accepted that he developed multiple sclerosis after sustaining whiplash injures in a road accident

Although the judgment is controversial, it is expected to give rise to further legal action from patients with multiple sclerosis who suffered injuries before the onset of their symptoms. 

 The 49-year-old man developed symptoms within a week of injuring his neck during a crash and overturn motor vehicle accident. 

Neurologists who gave evidence on behalf of the officer told the court that they had seen people in which symptoms of MS developed within weeks of suffering whiplash injuries

One professor of neurology emphasized that such injuries could not cause MS by themselves but could bring on the condition in already susceptible individuals. He noted that the patient “might well have lived a normal life but for the injuries he sustained.” 

Dr. Charles Poser of the Harvard Medical School, said: “there were hundreds of such cases, too many to be caused by chance.” 

            The Judge (Lord) “accepted that the historical, anecdotal and experimental evidence supported the proposition that a causative factor in some cases” of MS, noting: “the medical witnesses “had all themselves seen cases where they had accepted that the onset or recurrences of symptoms had been brought about by trauma, especially whiplash injury. In my opinion, these circumstances are far too strong to be put down mere chance.” 

Trauma to the Central Nervous System May Result in Formation or Enlargement of Multiple Sclerosis Plaques Controversies in Neurology Charles M. Poser, MD; Archives of Neurology; Vol. 57 No. 7, July 2000 Dr. Poser is from the Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass. In this article, he notes the following: 

            In some patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), trauma may act as a trigger for the appearance of new or recurrent symptoms.   Only trauma affecting the head, neck, or upper back, which may affect the brain and/or spinal cord, can be considered significant.  This premise is based on the two considerations: 

            1. An alteration of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a necessary step in the pathogenesis of the MS lesion, and 

            2. Trauma to the central nervous system (CNS) can result in a breach of the BBB. 

            The fact that an alteration of the BBB is an important step in the formation of the MS lesion has been demonstrated many times by serial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies and from positron emission tomography (PET) studies. 

            The alteration in the permeability of the BBB for the development of MS is most frequently triggered by an inflammatory immunological phenomenon. 

            Poser notes others who contend: 

            1. Repeated episodes of asymptomatic breakdowns of the BBB eventually leads to demyelination and symptomatic relapse. 

            2. Without BBB penetration, myelin injury would not occur. 

            3. The fact that MS is focal could be explained by local breakdown of the BBB. 

            4. It is clear that a breakdown of the BBB is an early if not the first step in plaque generation. 

            “For many years, trivial head injuries such as concussion were considered to result only in physiological disruption of neural function without anatomical changes.” 

            However, both spontaneous and experimental concussive CNS injury can cause diffuse microscopic lesions of blood vessel walls that often escape notice on superficial examination of the brain. 

            “The effects of minor trauma on the CNS assume great importance because whiplash injury is a frequent result of minor vehicular accidents, in particular, the rarely mentioned minor rear-end collision.” 

Next time we will look into this link between minor rear end collisions, whiplash and MS a little closer. 

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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Meniere’s Disease is defined by www.mayoclinic.com as a disorder of the inner ear that causes spontaneous episodes of vertigo along with fluctuating hearing loss, ringing in the ear (tinnitus), and sometimes a feeling of fullness or pressure in your ear.   

Vertigo is the most distressing symptom of Meniere’s disease. Vertigo is a sensation of rotation or spinning. The vertigo can last from ten minutes to 24 hours. It may also be associated with nausea and/or vomiting. After the vertigo has gone away, most patients have imbalance and fatigue for one or two days until returning to normal.  Hearing loss is also an associated symptom of Meniere’s disease. Hearing loss usually fluctuates. In most cases hearing loss is only in one ear, but in rare instances, hearing loss can be in both ears. The hearing loss is typically in the low tones. If left untreated, hearing can drop until there is permanent loss in that ear. Pressure and/or fullness in the diseased ear are another complaint. This can occur before or during an attack. Tinnitus, or ringing in the ear, can also occur. This is often a result of the hearing loss.  

Some famous people thought to have Meniere's include Alan Shephard, Vincent VanGogh, Martin Luther, General Robert E Lee, Jonathan Swift and Julius Caesar.

Most normal individuals cannot appreciate the devastating impact of vertigo. The patient perceives that the world is spinning around them. Vertigo disrupts every aspect of life since the patient loses the ability to do anything normally, especially when movement is involved. It can totally incapacitate the individual, often confining them to bed. 

The Merck Manual states that the cause of Meniere’s disease is unknown; the pathophysiology is poorly understood, and the treatment empirical. Idiopathic endolymphatic hydrops is used interchangeably with Meniere’s disease in the literature. “What would cause an over production of endolymphatic fluid?” 

A theory proposed in the Upper Cervical Chiropractic community is that the most common cause of Meniere’s disease is a structural problem, i.e., an atlas (top bone in the neck) misalignment that is irritating the origin of a nerve that controls both equilibrium and hearing in the ear (Cranial Nerve VIII).  Misalignment between the atlas and Occiput can cause swelling in the immediate area, putting pressure on the nucleus of CN VIII and/or the auditory (Eustachian) tube.  Recently Dr. Michael Burcon investigated the effects of upper cervical specific chiropractic management of one hundred and thirty-nine patients medically diagnosed with Meniere’s disease.  

After upper cervical specific chiropractic care, one hundred and thirty-six out of the one hundred and thirty-nine patients presented with an absence or dramatic reduction of symptoms, especially vertigo…that’s 97%!. After two years, on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 representing the absence of the symptom and 10 being the worst imaginable, vertigo was lowered from an average of 8.5 to 1.4.  Prior to the onset of symptoms, all one hundred and thirty nine cases suffered cervical traumas; most from automobile accidents, resulting in previously undiagnosed whiplash injuries.                  

These improvements made a significant difference for 135 out of 139 patients, effecting whether or not they could work, drive and/or have a positive relationship with their spouse.  They might get dizzy, but would not have vertigo. They might get nausea, but would no longer vomit. For those that still had attacks, they occurred less often, lasted for a shorter duration and were not as intense. Recovery time was also significantly shorter. 

 Here an Example from Dr. Burcon’s study of a Typical Case History with Results  

 “Jack first presented with left-sided Meniere’s on June 11, 2001. He was diagnosed by an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist based on the results of a normal MRI of the brain, positive audiological examination for hearing loss, and an abnormal bithermal caloric test (ENG). He was referred to the Michigan Ear Institute, where endolymphatic sac decompression surgery was recommended. He declined surgery and received a letter recommending that he apply for disability benefits, which were granted by the State of Michigan. 

Case history included a rear ended type of automobile accident at 45 mph in 1980. Meniere’s symptoms started in 1994 with frequent bouts of vertigo lasting from one day to one week, accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Complaints included constant ear fullness and tinnitus, and frequent neck pain and headaches. 

Jack presented with a 1” short left leg relative to his right.  The next week he presented with his legs balanced and was vertigo free. His wife said that his voice had changed. He reported being able to walk four times as far.  At six weeks, according to his Meniere’s questionnaire, vertigo was down to 2 from 10, nausea/vomiting down to 0 from 10 and ear pressure 1 from 10 (10 being the worst possible). He went just over one year with no vertigo.”

 All patients with a history of vertigo or dizziness should be questioned about a history of trauma, especially whiplash from an automobile accident, contact sports injury, or serious falls. Patients often forget these accidents, thinking that they were not hurt because they did not break any bones and were not bleeding. Patients with a history of both vertigo and trauma should be referred to an upper cervical specific chiropractor for examination.

To find an upper cervical specialist in your area go to www.upcspine.com or if you are in the San Diego County area and are suffering with Meniere’s or Vertigo…call my office to arrange an evaluation…go to www.nuccawellness.com for more info. 

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  



Cervical Specific Protocol and Results for 139 Meniere’s Patients, Michael T. Burcon, B.Ph., D.C. 

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As I continue to research the correlation between head and neck trauma, CCSVI and Multiple Sclerosis the research is more and more compelling.  I have been looking into the research of Dr. Charles Poser of Harvard Medical School who has been looking into this connection for more than 20 years…here is a portion of an article from www.braininjury.com

For over a century, patients and physicians have dealt with the phenomena that suggests that trauma may proceed the onset of MS or may aggravate ongoing MS. Because of the variability of the course of MS, there is some controversy regarding the causation between physical trauma and onset or aggravation of MS. However, more recent studies have shown that trauma to the head and neck does indeed bear a relationship to the aggravation of or creation of MS.

A 2001 article in the European Journal of Neurology (A. Chaudhuri and Behan). In the conclusion of the paper it is noted:

Like infection, which will trigger MS symptoms only in a portion of a patients [10% (McAlpine et al, 1965) – 48% (Sibley and Foley, 1965)], cervical cord hyperextension – hyperflexion injury is likely to unmask or worsen the natural course of MS in a sub group of affected patients with an underlying diathesis. This may be important because of the prevalence of asymptomatic (“silent”) MS has been estimated to be about 25% of that diagnosed invivo (Engell, 1989). We make it clear that we do not propose physical trauma in any form causes MS per se. Physiologically, CNS – specific trauma produces focal reaches in the BBB [brain-blood barrier] and induces metabolic changes by activating the stress response. In addition, focal trauma also enhances the expression of nitric oxide synthase in the CNS microvasculature. In susceptible individuals, these effects might unleash critical changes in the level of pro-inflammatory cytokines and nitro oxide, this triggering MS symptoms ab initio or aggravating symptoms of pre-existing latent disease.

Dr. Charles Poser of Harvard Medical School has long been a proponent of the link between trauma and MS. As he notes in his enclosed paper entitled “Trauma to the Central Nervous System May Result in Formation or Enlargement of Multiple Sclerosis Plaques,” “In some patients with MS certain types of trauma may act as a trigger at sometime for the appearance of new or recurrent symptoms. Only trauma affecting the head, neck or upper back, that is, to the brain and/or spine cord can be considered significant.” (Published in the Archives of Neurology, July 2000). Dr. Poser goes on to talk about the effects of whiplash on the central nervous system and outlines the existing extensive medical research that back up the correlation.” 

This is prior to Dr. Zamboni’s research in the past year or so.  But according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society website Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI), is a reported abnormality in blood drainage from the brain and spinal cord, this may contribute to nervous system damage in MS.  CCSVI has been getting a lot of press recently because Dr. Paolo Zamboni from the University of Ferrara in Italy published his initial findings in June 2009 from a study of approximately 65 patients.  Based on the results of preliminary research which has been published in respected peer journals, Dr. Zamboni and others have recommended larger scale studies to determine if CCSVI may be treated through an endovascular surgical procedure, which involves inserting a tiny balloon or stent into blocked veins in order to improve the flow of blood out of the brain and spinal cord.  This procedure produced complete remissions in MS in 90% of the participants of the study!

So if it is well-known in the literature that “cervical cord hyperextension – hyperflexion injury is likely to unmask or worsen the natural course of MS in a sub group of affected patients..”.  Why aren’t patients with MS and CCSVI finding out if the MS is traumatically induced and could be corrected with realignment of the upper cervical spine?  As Dr. Poser said “Only trauma affecting the head, neck or upper back, that is, to the brain and/or spinal cord can be considered significant.” 

If you look at an Upper Cervical Specialist like Dr. Erin Elster’s research with trauma and multiple sclerosis where she found that 90% of patients diagnosed with MS have had a trauma to the head or neck prior to the onset of the symptoms. And when x-rayed these patients have a clearly misaligned spine that is putting pressure on the nervous system and the blood vessels.  Dr. Elster’s was correcting the underlying cause of the vessels malformation!  After administering treatment to correct their upper cervical injuries, 40 of 44 (91%) MS cases showed symptomatic improvement and no further disease progression during the care period of 5 years.

Now more research is needed…but doesn’t it make sense to begin with the least invasive procedures available to deal with CCSVI and MS?  There are already reports of many side effects and complications associated with the endovascular procedure designed to correct the CCSVI.

If you have had a head or neck trauma prior to the onset of your MS…even if it was 10 or 15 years prior…which was common with the patients in Elster’s study… an upper neck misalignment could be the underlying cause.

Find out if you could be helped today…go to www.upcspine.com or www.nucca.org to find a doctor in your area.

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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Dr. Davis here from Vista CA…Here is a follow-up to our recent post…a little a long and a little technical but very informative…

Upper Cervical Chiropractic has been demonstrated in the medical journals to be a very effective approach to restoring proper neurological and structural integrity to the body after a whiplash injury.  In fact The Journal of Whiplash and Related Disorders, a peer-reviewed publication, documents the effectiveness of upper cervical chiropractic care in the care of post whiplash patients.  The entire research article is available as a pdf file

Whiplash Facts*:

  • There are 7-8 million motor vehicle crashes (MVC) in the U.S. per year
  • 3 million of those involve whiplash injury
  • 42,000 are killed each year
  • 50% of those injured have long-term symptoms
  • 10% of those injured become disabled
  • 45% of chronic neck pain sufferers attribute the problem to past Motor Vehicle Crashes

*Statistics come from the Spine Research Institute of San Diego, an internationally recognized organization committed to preventing crashes and reducing its burden as an epidemic.

Following a head or neck trauma such as a whiplash type injury one area that is commonly damaged is the proprioceptive system of the neck.  Proprioception is your body’s ability to perceive your position is space.  The upper cervical spine has the most dense collection of proprioceptors in the body.  When these proprioceptors are damaged people tend to have an increase sensitivity to pain stimuli which can lead to chronic pain.  An Upper Cervical Corrective Procedure is designed to correct this underlying cause in order to restore proper neurology and physiology to the body.  This underlying proprioceptive imbalance could be the reason why Upper Cervical Care is so effective in helping those with whiplash injuries.    

A study done in June 2005, that was published in Spine demonstrated some key points regarding a small muscle in the upper neck called the rectus capitis posterior minor (a major proprioceptive muscle) and how chronic neck pain and headaches can follow Whiplash type injuries:

1) The rectus capitis posterior minor tendon fuses with the spinal dura.
2) The rectus capitis posterior minor tendinous fibers, fascia and the perivascular sheathes form the posterior atlanto-occipital membrane.
3) The posterior atlanto-occipital membrane fuses with the spinal dura.
4) The nuchal ligament does not attach to the spinal dura.

1) Connections between the spinal dura and muscles / ligaments in the posterior atlanto-occipital interspace may transmit forces from cervical spine joints to the pain-sensitive dura, generating cervicogenic headaches.
2) The tendinous fibers of the rectus capitis posterior minor muscle fuse with the spinal dura via the posterior atlanto-occipital interspace.
3) This study clearly demonstrates that the rectus capitis posterior minor tendon fibers are directly continuous with the spinal dura via the posterior atlanto-occipital interspace and become a part of the spinal dura.
4) The direct continuity of the rectus capitis posterior minor muscle to the spinal dura prevents dural enfolding and injury during extension of the head and neck.
5) When the rectus capitis posterior minor muscle extends the cranio-cervical junction, a small portion of its muscular fibers simultaneously contract to pull the spinal dura posteriorly, preventing dural enfolding and dural injury.
6) Static strain and/or trauma to the rectus capitis posterior minor muscle may stimulate the pain-sensitive dura, generating a cervicogenic headache.
7) The rectus capitis posterior minor fascia is the main connective tissue structure in the posterior atlanto-occipital interspace, and that the rectus capitis posterior minor fascia and muscle are the main contributors to posterior cranio-cervical stability.

[Hack GD, Koritzer RT, Robinson WL, et al. Anatomic relation between the rectus capitis posterior minor muscle and the dura mater. Spine 1995;20:2484-6.]
The original study by Hack (above) documenting a connection between the rectus capitis posterior minor muscle and the spinal dura mater through a connective tissue bridge was published in 1995, and at that time I proposed the following:

1) The spinal dura is innervated with pain afferents.
2) Contraction of the rectus capitis posterior minor pulls the spinal dura into a safe position so that is does not enfold into the spinal cord causing cord injury or injury to the dura itself.
3) Whiplash extension injuries occur so quickly (taking less than .1 seconds) that the rectus capitis posterior minor muscle does not have enough time (requiring about .2 seconds) to contract and pull the spinal dura to safety.
4) The resulting injury to the pain sensitive dura could be a cause of post whiplash headache.

This study supports the contention that chronic upper neck postural stress and distortions can cause chronic stress on the spinal dura mater.  Only an Upper Cervical Corrective Procedure such as NUCCA is effective at correcting this underlying problem.  Find out more at www.nuccawellness.com or call the office for an evaluation today to see if NUCCA could help you….760-945-1345.


Journal of Whiplash & Related Disorders, Vol. 5(1) 2006
Available online at http://www.haworthpress.com/web/JWRD

Configuration of the Connective Tissue in the Posterior Atlanto-Occipital Interspace Spine Volume 30(12) June 15, 2005 pp 1359-1366 Nash, Lance MSc; Nicholson, Helen MB, PhD; Lee, Antonio S. J. MSc; Johnson, Gillian M. PhD; Zhang, Ming MB, MMed, PhD

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Dr. Davis here…

Have you ever said “I’ve never been the same since that car accident”?  Frequently someone will be involved in a car crash that will significantly impact their body.  They may think “it will just go away with time”…only to never see it go away.  What logic tells us is if what’s causing it doesn’t go away…it won’t go away either.  If the upper cervical spine is injured by a car crash the spine and the nerves will never be the same until that injury is corrected and the body can get a chance to heal again.  This was the cause with Linda…she was involved in a head on collision more than 40 years ago and was never the same.  Here is her story…

Neck Pain and Headaches for 42 years

“I first came to see Dr. Davis at my daughter’s referral.  I had neck pain and headaches for over 40 years since I had a head on collision.  More recently it had gotten worse.  I was now getting a new sharper pain in my neck and severe muscle spasms and headaches into my left ear.  Both of my arms were having numbness and tingling in them…the left was worse.  I also noticed that I was getting a lot of congestion in my sinuses.

Since beginning care at Breath of Life over 80% of my neck pain, headaches are gone.  I am only 3 months into my care and I continue to improve.  My numbness and tingling in my arms has subsided.  I am feeling significantly more relaxed, rested, and stronger.  My moods are much better, my digestion and breathing is much improved.  And my sinuses are much clearer.”

Linda G.             August 2010

When the upper neck has been damaged due to accidents and injuries only a trained upper cervical specialist will be able to correct those underlying problems and start a person toward better health and well-being.

If you are in the San Diego County area check out this site for an evaluation special to see if Upper Cervical Care is right for you… www.chiropractorvista.com.  If you are in another area of the country go to www.upcspine.com to find an Upper Cervical Specialist in your area.

Dr. Davis

Upper Cervical Specialist

Vista CA

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