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Posts Tagged ‘Low back pain’

Deep dissection of cortex and brain-stem.

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What happens to the human body as a result of an Atlas Misalignment is variable.  One patient may develop Migraine Headaches another Lower back Pain and still another pain in the face or digestive problems. 

Why is that? 

The short answer is that the brain is changed.

When the spinal column is misaligned as a result of problems in the upper neck it begins a cascade of events that leads to poor health.

Frequently it begins with accidents and injuries that tear loose the connective tissue that holds the spine in place in the upper neck.  This creates a weakness which allows the spine to breakdown and lock into a stressed position.  The head will frequently tilt to one side, the shoulders will tilt.  Standing up one of the hips will be higher than the other due to uneven muscle pulling, lying down one of the legs will be shorter than the other due to spastic contracture of the muscles around the pelvis.

Once the structure of the body is in this misaligned position pressure begins to develop into the nervous system beginning in the lower part of the brain where it enters the spinal cord at the level of the Atlas (top bone in the spine).  And extending down from there into the spinal nerves that go into the legs and arms and into all internal organs.

So what does this all have to do with Post Polio?

If you had Polio as a child and years later you began developing strange symptoms that are being traced back to the original Polio virus than you may have been told that there is not much that they can do for you.

But if there is problems in the body as a result of a trauma to your head, neck or spine and there was some underlying neurological problems as a result of the damage from the Polio, than the combination of the two issues may lead to the symptoms of post polio.

Problems in the upper neck at the level of the atlas cause dysfunction into the brain stem.  Brain stem dysfunction has been linked to the development of post polio syndrome as Dr. Susan Pearlman of the UCLA Post Polio Clinic has stated in her work looking at Polio above the neck. 

When the underlying spinal problems in the upper neck are corrected and brain stem function is improved amazing things happen with a variety of different body systems including many of those connected to post polio and the lower brain stem including improvement in:

  • Fatigue
  • Joint Pain
  • Muscle Pain and Weakness
  • Atrophy
  • Cold Intolerance
  • Breathing Problems
  • Problems Swallowing
  • Blood Pressure Changes 

In my Upper Cervical Chiropractic office I have seen changes in all of these symptoms in those with Post Polio and other conditions as well when the underlying injuries to the upper neck are corrected and allowed to heal.

So have you been diagnosed with Post Polio Syndrome?

Do you have a history of head, neck or spine trauma?

What would happen to your body if that pressure that has developed from the upper neck problems were removed?

Would you get better?

Only one way to find out…have an upper cervical spine evaluation in a specific upper cervical chiropractic office.

Find out more info at www.nuccawellness.com or www.nucca.org or www.upcspine.com

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

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Nerves of right leg, anterior and posterior as...

Image via Wikipedia

A frequent condition that I see in practice is what’s called Sciatica.  Sciatica is pain or other symptoms that affect the legs that originate in the lower back where the sciatic nerve originates.  Sciatica that affects both legs is less common than one sided sciatic nerve pain.  When the sciatica affects both legs the symptoms can be highly variable.  Some patients demonstrate pain only.  While others experience numbness, tingling, weakness or achy pain in different areas of the lower back, buttocks, legs and feet.

Being an upper cervical chiropractor many people cannot understand how I can get such good results with lower back and leg pain.  But the truth is one of the most common conditions that I see in my practice is lower back pain with or without leg pain or sciatica.

So what does the neck have to do with the lower back and legs?

Upper neck misalignments cause the posture of the body to be altered.  Accidents and injuries to the head and neck will tear loose the tissue that holds the spine in place which will create a weakness and allow the spine to break down and lock into a stressed position.

The most movable bone in the body is located at the base of the skull and is called the Atlas.  When the Atlas has lost it’s normal position the weight of the head is shifted to one side or the other.

Once this shift has taken place the body will begin to compensate.  One of the shoulders will typically become lower and the pelvis will distort in order to compensate for lack of balance in the upper neck.

This Functional Pelvic Distortion is the underlying factor in many sciatic cases.  This twisting and tilting of the pelvis causes a tethering on the sciatic nerve or nerves, inflammation and muscle spasms in most cases.

Here is an example from my office just last month.

Jim had lower back pain for years and was seeking help for severe degenerative disc disease in the lower back from a spinal decompression center in the area.  After receiving the spinal decompression treatment his lower back pain increased and eventually he began getting intense sciatica down both legs.

He was referred to our office by a friend and came in quite sceptical that an upper cervical correction could help his lower back and legs.  But at the encouragement of his friend he decided to give it a shot.

He had a history of severe head and neck traumas including several concussions and a auto racing crash at 145 mph.

He was assessed and found to have significant postural problems originating from the upper neck.  His head and neck were markedly off to the right side and his pelvis was severely tilted and twisted 3 degrees from level.  His thermographic scans showed severe inflammation in the upper neck and lower back.

He had lower back pain mostly on the left side and leg pain from the buttock to the foot on the left and sporadically on the right as well.  He also had numbness and tingling on both sides worse in the feet.

He noticed if he moved his head back into extension it would increase the leg pain. 

He was barely walking, could not sit for more than 5 minutes and was taking 4 Codeines and 12 Advil per day!

His x-rays showed significant disc degeneration in the lower back and neck and a very complicated and unstable upper cervical misalignment.

We began working on him and results were slow because of the instability of his misalignment.  Once he began to hold his correction and the pressure remained off of the nerves for prolonged periods of time, his pain began slowing improving.  A 30% reduction in the pain and the majority of the numbness in the legs was gone in the first month.  He is in his second month now and his corrections are holding better and better.  His hips stay level for weeks at a time and now he is completely off of the pain pills and able to sit for long periods of time again and his pain has gone from a constant 10/10 pain to a sporadic 3/10 pain that has localized to one leg.  He and his wife just left on a week long cruise and he is very happy!

I never did any treatment on his lower back!  I only corrected the underlying postural problems in the spine that were causing the lower back pain and the sciatica.  By balancing out the head and the neck the pelvis is able to stay level and the pressure stays off the nerves.

Who do you know that has recurring lower back pain or sciatica?  Who do you know that is considering surgery, decompression, injections or other overpriced and dangerous options?

The best questions to ask to see if upper cervical chiropractic could help you is…

Have you had head or neck traumas in the past?

Do you have obvious postural issues?  Head tilts to one side, shoulders uneven, etc.

The results that I see are common in upper cervical offices.  If you google upper cervical and sciatica you will see many of the patients who have been helped with sciatica across the country.

To find out if upper cervical chiropractic is right for you go to www.nuccawellness.com, www.nucca.org or www.upcspine.com and find a doctor in your area today.

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 again from Vista CA…

Last week we looked at what sitting does to the spine and some ways to mitigate the effects.  Please go back and take a look at that post if you haven’t already.  The sitting position according to fitness expert Juan Carlos Santana does four main things to your body….

  1. Creates muscular weakness
  2. Low Functional Capacity, which can lead to being overweight, orthopedic problems with the joints, spine and other chronic problems
  3. Short and Weak hip flexors-the muscles that allow you to flex your hip become both short and weak which can lead to lower back pain and other problems
  4. A Spine that collapses into flexion due to fatigue-head will move forward, shoulders will slouch, upper back will round…think of a little old lady bent forward over her walker!

Some of the best ways to break these habits is exercise.  Tip #4 is to exercise as much as you possibly can.  As we exercise we begin to break through the chronic patterns that are muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints, nerves etc. get in to.  Well what exercise is best?  I always say the best exercise is the one that you will do consistently!!!  You can learn all sorts of different exercises but if you don’t do them…it doesn’t matter!  Good general exercise is walking, swimming even using the elliptical.  However, you don’t want to have an exercise that you are primarily sitting for…if you sit all day…get your body in a different position!  So stay away from biking, rowing, and other primarily sitting exercises.

Tip #5 is to work on that posture.  One great exercise for posture is called the Bruegger Exercise.  Here is a picture of the exercise seated…you can do this at your seat as you work…http://www.nespineinstitute.com/file/sites%7C*%7C39%7C*%7CBruggerPtEd.pdf Here is a video of it being performed with a theraband.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20HoUCMAoMs  You can also do this exercise standing up against a wall.  The keys to doing it right is to keep the shoulders down away from the ears so that you are activating the muscles around the shoulder-blade.  You also want to keep the head in line with the spine and not jutting forward.  Keep the hands turned out away from the body.  When doing this position you are reversing all of the motions that you normally perform while seated.  It is a great exercise but again consistency is the key.  It needs to be done daily to make a difference for someone who sits all the time. 

Other good anti-sitting exercises can be viewed at the following videos….

Diagonal Chop http://www.ehow.com/video_2350741_diagonal-woodchop-exercise.html

Side Bridge http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUhweriKcAA

Opposite Arm, Opposite Leg Reach http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSq-6_gBwkY

To find out more about how posture effects health and what to do about it…go to www.nuccawellness.com

God Bless and Be Well,

Dr. Bill Davis

Upper Cervical Specialist

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