Posts Tagged ‘Headache’

my brain

Image by nats via Flickr

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


We also have lots of reviews on Google


On Insider Pages


And On Yelp


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


Read Full Post »

A diagram of the forces on the brain in concussion

Image via Wikipedia

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Only an upper cervical specialist could tell you. 

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


 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


Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research ~ January 6, 2011

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

Alisha Mayheu DC & Matthew Sweat DC

Read Full Post »

Generic regular strength enteric coated 325mg ...

Image via Wikipedia

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

Read Full Post »

Troy Aikman, American football quarterback.

Image via Wikipedia

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

Read Full Post »

Ben Affleck at the 2008 World Series of Poker

Image via Wikipedia

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

Read Full Post »

Dr. Davis here from Vista CA….the success rate of NUCCA Spinal Care at getting to the cause of headaches in our office is about 90-95%.  Headaches can be caused by many different things but upper neck problems have to be one of the most common.  Here is another example from our office of Raquel who was referred into our office by her boss and is sure glad that she did…30 years of headaches?  Here is her story…

 “When I first came to see Dr. Davis as was having headaches for over 30 years.  A constant achy pain that was making me want to lay down and go to sleep all the time.  The pain pills that the Doctor gave me weren’t helping.  I was also having high blood pressure that I was taking medications to reduce, pain and numbness into my left arm and pain into my right foot.

 Since Dr. Davis began correcting the problems with my alignment all of these conditions have significantly improved!  My headaches are almost completely gone.  I haven’t taken any pain pills in over a month!  My blood pressure is down.  I don’t have to take the medication anymore.  The pain in my left arm and foot are much better!  I feel more relaxed and I am sleeping so much better.  I strongly recommend this type of treatment!!!

I am so much happier and more comfortable all over!  Thank you!”

Raquel S.                                        October 2010

Headaches were just the tip of the iceberg when it came to what was happening with her body…high blood pressure, arm symptoms and more were all be caused by a misaligned upper cervical spine.

Are you misaligned?  How is it affecting your body?  Everyone is different but if you have headaches the chances that you are misaligned in the upper neck is extremely high…especially if you have ever had a head or neck trauma.

Find out more at www.nuccawellness.com look for our evaluation special to find out if you are a candidate for NUCCA.

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

Read Full Post »

Occiput Atlas

Image by planetc1 via Flickr


Dr. Davis here from Vista CA… 

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                                                                                                      Liz A.  September 2010 

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

Getting your head on straight, changes everything! 

Dr. Bill Davis 

Upper Cervical Specialist 

Breath of Life NUCCA Chiropractic 


Read Full Post »