Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Central nervous system’

Brain Injury (journal)

Image via Wikipedia

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

Read Full Post »

Cervical spine MRI with enhancement showing mu...

Image via Wikipedia

A recent case study published in the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research titled “Improvement in a Female with Multiple Sclerosis Undergoing Chiropractic Care Utilizing Toggle Recoil Technique: A Case Report” by John Taylor Thornhill, DC.  Again raises the question…

…is Multiple Sclerosis related to trauma to the head and neck?

On this blog in the past we have looked at the correlation between blood flow studies and head and neck trauma (http://wp.me/pscJU-5Q).  We have looked at the research out of Europe demonstrating how an invasive surgery to the veins that drain from the brain is showing remarkable improvement in MS patients (http://wp.me/pscJU-5L).  And now another study linking MS to the neck.

Approximately 400,000 Americans have MS and every hour someone is newly diagnosed.  Worldwide, MS affects approximately 2.1 million people.  No two people experience the symptoms of MS the same way nor do any two individuals show the same progression of the disease. The Central Nervous System dysfunction associated with MS results in a wide variety of neurological symptoms ranging from tingling, numbness, and slurred speech to visual disturbances, changes in brain function, and paralysis in severe cases.

Some chiropractors specialize in techniques focused solely on the upper cervical area of the spine (upper neck). These techniques have been shown to have a global effect on physiology with positive outcomes in patients with upper neck misalignments.  It should be noted that the objective however is not to treat the presenting symptom as much as it is to reduce the upper cervical misalignment  itself for the inherent benefit of improving the function of the nervous system.

The positive outcomes from this type of correction have been observed in all age groups from pediatric to geriatric. Upper cervical chiropractic care has been shown to be safe in spite of complicated case presentations including those with previous spinal injury due to trauma, infection, or other abnormality.

There is growing evidence linking previous trauma to the onset and diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, implying a connection between stability of the cervical spine and the onset of the disease.  Dr. Elster has also reported on some promising work on the effects of upper cervical specific chiropractic care and the positive outcomes of MS patients further linking the progression of the disease with the position and stability of the upper cervical spine (http://www.erinelster.com/PDFabstract.aspx?PDFID=10).

With all of the evidence pointing in this direction…doesn’t it make sense to at least evaluate that area of the body to see if you could be helped with Upper Cervical Specific Chiropractic Care, such as NUCCA?

You have nothing to lose and much to gain from an evaluation!

To get a thorough Upper Cervical Spine Examination contact our office www.nuccawellness.com or if you are not in the Southern California area go to www.nucca.org or www.upcpine.com.

Read Full Post »

Dizzy

Image by Fitz Villafuerte via Flickr

Vertigo, dizziness, disequilibrium and many other of these types of conditions can be directly related to old head and neck injuries that have never been properly addressed and the underlying damage to the upper neck has led to dysfunction in the ears, the balancing system of the body or both.

When the head or neck is injured the upper neck (Atlas & Axis) frequently become twisted and misaligned leading to a slight displacement of the head…sometimes by as little as 3/4 of a degree.  Once the heavy head (10-14 lbs) is tilting to the side the brain has to compensate for that change through the righting reflex to keep the eyes and ears level with the horizon at all times.

The entire structure of the body will twist and tilt in order to compensate for those upper neck misalignments and head tilt.  Eventually leading to pressure building up into the nerve system.  The area that is first impacted by these problems is the brain stem area, which is just basically a part of the brain that extends down into the spine and connects the the spinal cord.

The brain stem area is a key to the balance of our bodies.  This upper neck area has more pressure sensors the anywhere else in the body that feed information into the brain stem and the brain.  Also the brain stem send messages via the cranial nerves to the ears for balance as well.  Blood flow is also effected when the brain stem function is altered.

When someone is suffering from vertigo, dizziness, or disequilibrium, the brain stem is frequently involved.  Upper neck misalignments alter the brain stem function and lead to these types of problems.  When these old injuries are dealt with by the correction of the head position by a precise upper cervical corrective procedure such as NUCCA, the healing process can begin.

Holding the corrections is the key to healing, not having your spine manipulated 1000’s of times by a general chiropractor!

Now here is an example…Terry is in property management and is also an avid Bicyclist, riding up to 100 miles per week.  When he began to develop vertigo it was about 2 years after he had taken a pretty significant fall from his bike and had a motorcycle accident that seemed to make the dizziness and vertigo attacks much worse.  To the point that he was concerned even about going up on a ladder at one of his rentals.  Here is his story…

I have been suffering from vertigo (dizziness) for 6-7 years, getting more constant as the years progressed.  I tried everything…Every doctor that I could think of, EENT, general doc, vertigo specialist and finally my last hope, a NUCCA doctor.  Dr. Davis helped me almost instantly.  I have not been dizzy for 8 weeks!  Thanks Breath of Life for giving me my health back!!!

Now not all dizziness, vertigo and disequilibrium is related to head and neck traumas.  But if you have a history of those types of accidents then an evaluation with a qualified upper cervical specialist is very important.  If the underlying cause can be identified, what a difference it can make for your life!

If you or someone you know is suffering with Vertigo, dizziness or disequilibrium and you are in the Southern California area go to www.nuccawellness.com and schedule an evaluation today.  If you are anywhere else go to www.nucca.org to find a doctor near 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

Read Full Post »

Neck

Image via Wikipedia

Many patients will come to me or other NUCCA doctors after they have tried everything and have seen everyone.  The most I have ever heard was 50 different doctors before seeing me!

Sometimes it must be hard to keep looking for answers.  But I want to encourage you that your body was designed to heal.  The cause of the problem is the key to getting well. 

Here is an example…Linda is a fitness trainer who for more than 25 years did not have normal motion in her neck.  It was so restricted that she couldn’t turn beyond 15 degrees to the left (normal is 70 degrees).  It all started like most problems in the neck with a head or neck trauma.

After a severe fall where she hit her head on a tile floor she couldn’t move her head to the right.  She saw dozens of chiropractors, trainers and other practitioners searching for a solution to this loss of range of motion with no results.

Finally she heard about NUCCA.

NUCCA is a unique form of spinal care focused on restoring the heavy head (10-14 lbs) to a balanced and normal position.  As that head is realigned, the spine begins to heal.  Over time range of motion improves.  In Linda’s case she is up to 50 degrees to the right and 70 to the left.  Continuing to keep her head balanced on top of the spine should allow those tissues to heal even more and range of motion to continue to improve.

Here is Linda’s story in her own words…

I had a serious head injury hitting my head on a tile floor when I was 24 years old.  I went to several different chiropractors over the last 27 years and none of them were able to help adjust my head.  

NUCCA is so different.  I felt a difference in the first session and Dr. Davis’s technique is so gentle.  My range of motion has improved greatly and the comfort of my neck, I am so grateful.  

Other parts of my body are also feeling the effects of being in alignment.  I sit straighter, stand taller, and feel better.

I’m also blessed by your entire staff.  

Dr Davis you rock!

If you have lost the normal range of motion in your neck, this is a sign that your body is trying to tell you that something is wrong.

Find a NUCCA doctor in your area to get a proper Upper Neck Evaluation today.

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

Read Full Post »

Dumont Dunes, California. Rider (author) is on...

Image via Wikipedia

Hope is a very powerful emotion.  John Maxwell once said “when there is hope in the future, there is power in the present.”  Many patients come into my office as a last hope.  They may have tried the medical approach, alternative approaches and even other chiropractic approaches.  But when they hear about NUCCA, a sliver of hope is born.  NUCCA is a form of care that is focused on restoring the heavy head to a centered and balanced position on top of the neck.  The rehabilitative process that ensues once the underlying problem is identified is truly amazing.  As the brain can begin to send proper messages to all areas of the body, hundreds of different conditions have responded to properly aligning the head and the neck. 

Typically accidents or injuries will tear loose the connective tissue that holds the spine in place which will lead to a weakness in the spine at the level of the atlas the top bone in the spine.  This weakness will allow the weight of the head to shift from center and begin a cascade of compensations throughout the body leading to pain frequently and poor health.

A great example of this is a recent patient of ours who was struggling with a chronic mid-back pain.  He had a series of dirt bike accidents that had led to the instability and misalignment in his spine.  At 20 years old he had already tried many different treatments including physical therapy, stretching, exercises and medications.  But until the underlying cause was properly identified and corrected the problems continued to plague him.  T.J. was losing hope that he would ever be free from this pain and able to work and exercise like a 20-year-old should.  Here is his story…

When I first came to Breath of Life, I was suffering from extreme back pain that was resulting from motorcycle crashes and weight lifting injuries. I had been to other doctors and took medication all in hopes of finding relief, but nothing worked. I looked to NUCCA Chiropractic as a last attempt to find relief.

I have seen many improvements in my health since starting NUCCA care. Not just in my back, but in my energy level, mood and overall well-being.

I am now able to lift weights without worrying about starting another flare up. At work I am so much better now, that I am pain-free and I am even nicer more of the time. I never realized how much being misaligned affected my moods.

If I see someone who is suffering from any kind of pain that they don’t know how to alleviate, I tell them to try NUCCA, because it worked wonders for me when I had no hope.

I now look forward to every adjustment. Knowing that when my body is in alignment I will always leave feeling so relaxed and in the best mood!

Do you know someone who has lost hope?  NUCCA may be the answer.  Find out today by scheduling an evaluation at www.nuccawellness.com

Dr. William R. Davis Jr., D.C. is a Vista Chiropractor and Upper Cervical Specialist. He is in private practice in Southern California in the city of Vista. He specializes in correcting problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems. More information can be found on his website at http://www.nuccawellness.com

Read Full Post »

Schematic Examples of CNS Structural Changes i...

Image via Wikipedia

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

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

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

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

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

What has happened to her body?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. William R. Davis Jr., D.C. is a Vista Chiropractor and Upper Cervical Specialist.  He is in private practice in Southern California in the city of Vista.  He specializes in correcting problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck).  This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems. More information can be found on his website at http://www.nuccawellness.com

Read Full Post »

Animation of an MRI brain scan, starting at th...

Image via Wikipedia

Dr. Davis, N.U.C.C.A. Chiropractor here again from Vista California…

Brain Plasticity also called Neuroplasticity is the ability of your brain to reorganize neural (nerve) pathways in the brain. In simple terms, every time you learn how to do something, you are unconsciously memorizing the process of how it’s done and what the outcome will be. As you learn, your brain is making subtle changes to accommodate the new information and ability.  Neuroplasticity is generally a good thing and allows us to survive. However, there can be negative consequences.

When a person suffers a head or neck injury as a result of a car crash, fall or other accident, the tissues around the spine are stretched and torn.  This damage creates a weakness which allows the spine to break down and lock into a stressed position.  One of the hips will be higher than the other in the standing position.  One of the shoulders will be higher and the head will generally lean to one side.  If this acute injury is not corrected a chronic pattern will develop.  Just like shaping something made of plastic the nervous system begins to develop a fixed pattern. Think of this like a bad habit.  If you do the same thing all the time your brain and your body begins to develop that pattern and the longer you have had that habit the harder it will be to break.

In the same way with these chronic spinal patterns…the longer it has been there the more difficult is will be to break the pattern.

What does chronic pain have to do with neuroplasticity?

As research techniques become more refined, researchers are able to study the human brain and its function in living people, rather than waiting for an autopsy. Up to now, researchers have been able to establish the existence of a network of pain-transmitting areas within the central nervous system (CNS). This was first demonstrated with animals and, more recently, by performing brain studies with humans.

Chronic pain is pain that has been present, either continually or off and on, for at least three to six months.  Chronic pain is complex and often difficult to pinpoint and treat by the medical profession. Acute pain is a sudden pain that can usually be identified and treated, such as a toothache, stubbing your toe, or having surgery.  Chronic pain is very common among North American adults. Data from 1999 demonstrated that about 50 million people seek help for chronic pain. Chronic pain affects people’s lives because it can cause other physical problems, affect the ability to work and enjoy life, and it can affect the social and economic status of people. Chronic pain causes lost productivity and increases health care costs.

Where neuroplasticity comes in is when acute pain develops into chronic pain. Your body reacts to acute pain as it warns you that something is wrong. Usually, once the acute pain has been dealt with, the pain goes away and becomes a distant memory. However, if the cause of the acute pain is not dealt with over the course of a few weeks, months, and sometimes even years, your brain’s “wiring” may reorganize itself and tell your body that the chronic pain should be there and will stay there.  How this change occurs is different from person to person.

Chronic back pain, particularly of the lower back, is the most common complaint of pain in the developed world, even more than headaches
and migraines. It’s estimated that 70 to 85 percent of people in developed countries have had, have, or will have chronic lower back pain at some point in their lifetime.  The connection between back pain and brain function has interested researchers for quite a while. In 2004, A.V. Apkanian and colleagues analyzed 17 patients who complained of chronic back pain. After examining the patients’ brains, the researchers found that the patients had some brain atrophy (wasting away of tissue) in the brain.

“Other researchers, such as T. Schmidt-Wicke, agreed with Apkarian when that team studied 18 patients and matched them with controls, people without chronic back pain. The researchers found the same decrease in brain tissue among those patients who had pain, but not in the controls.”

Eight studies that looked at the shape and changes in brain tissue point to the issue that there is a connection between neuroplasticity and chronic pain. It appears that no matter what is causing the chronic pain, the same changes are taking place in the brain and in the same areas.

What is actually causing the brain cell shrinkage or loss?  That’s the key issue.

New research relating to the blood flow to and from the brain may provide a connection.  Phase contrast MRI of the veins and arteries from the brain to the body are showing that when a person has a misalignment of the upper neck (Atlas vertebrae) the blood flow from the brain is altered.  Once the atlas is restored to it’s normal position the blood flow is normalized.

So if someone suffers a injury that causes a misalignment of the atlas at 25 and does not find the underlying structural problem for 10 years…the brain has not had normal blood flow for 10 years! That may result in the atrophy that the researchers are detecting.  And why so frequently we see patients with Lower Back Pain or Sciatica respond so well to an upper neck adjustment with the NUCCA procedure.

If you are experiencing chronic pain an underlying Atlas Misalignment could be the reason.  To have your brain stem and upper cervical spine evaluated for an undetected injury go to  http://www.nuccawellness.com if you are not in the San Diego County area go to www.nucca.org

References:

Click to access spineU_neuroplasticity.pdf

http://ucrf.org/projects-funding/project-descriptions#cerebral

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

Read Full Post »

Hippel Lindau

Image via Wikipedia

 

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… 

KEY POINTS FROM DAN MURPHY WHIPLASH EXPERT 

(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

References: 

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 

Read Full Post »

Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan of a head

Image via Wikipedia

 

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

Read Full Post »