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Posts Tagged ‘Lower Back Problems’

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Searching for information about the importance of weight distribution to the health of the body will reveal information from the personal fitness industry, athletic training, podiatry and others all showing the importance of equal distribution of weight.  The human body weight should be distributed fairly evenly within about 5 lbs plus or minus.  For example, a 200 pound man should have about 100 lbs distributed to his right side and 100 lbs distributed to his left side.

In our office as part of our NUCCA evaluation we use 2 high end weight scales to see how a person’s weight is distributed.  The scales measure sway for awhile and then lock in the actual weight distribution.  The most I have ever seen is 57 pounds distributed unevenly (148 pounds distributed to the left and 91 pounds to the right!  This was a man with chronic lower back and one sided hip pain.  The chronic pain was resistant to all sorts of therapies and surgeries.

As a way of assessing progress when a patient is holding their correction, (which means that their hips, shoulders and legs are measuring level and balanced for the time between the last appointment to the current appointment), we will recheck the scales.  This particular patient went from 57 lbs unevenly distributed to 10 pounds in about 4 weeks (Left 124 lbs and Right 114 lbs) when he was in alignment for about 4 days!  His chronic pain was finally starting to improve as well.  What will happen when his weight distribution is normal and stays that way for weeks and then months?

I expect him to do better and better with his health.

So how did we do that?

The distribution of the weight of our body is very much connected to the position of our head.  Our heads are very heavy, they weigh 10-14 pounds and for our body to work most effectively, the head needs to be centered right over our pelvis.

Accidents and injuries to the head and neck can lead to a tearing loose of the tissue that holds the spine in place.  When these injuries occur to the upper neck it will create a weakness and allow the spine to break down and lock into a stressed position.  This misaligned position of the head will lead to compensations of the entire frame of the body.

The longer the weight of the body is distributed unevenly the more likely that your walking patterns, standing and exercise will be effected.

Hip, knee, foot and ankle injuries can be next.

If you have a chronic one sided hip, knee, or foot problem…have you checked to see if your head is on straight?

It could be the missing piece in the puzzle for your optimal health and well-being.

If you are in the Southern California area and would like to get your head and neck alignment assessed.  The go to www.nuccawellness.com and schedule an initial evaluation today.

Anywhere else in the world go to 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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Backpacks

Who hasn’t wondered whether small children lugging oversized, heavy backpacks to-and-from school might be risking serious injury to their growing spines and will one day suffer from serious back pain? 

Apparently, there is real cause for concern.

According to a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission study, more than 75% of students ages 8-12 suffer from increasing back pain inflicted by carrying their schoolwork and supplies in backpacks or similar totes.

Some of our younger elementary school students are literally carrying one third their body weight for prolonged periods of time and distance. That puts a lot of stress on a body in the midst of development 

And, the heavy burdens are not just affecting those students small in stature.

Student back injuries are now widespread. 96% of the pupils monitored regularly haul much too heavy a pack on their back.  In 2001 alone, 7,000 children went to U.S. emergency rooms for backpack-related injuries. And, 60% of orthopedic doctors contacted regarding the study reported that they have treated children suffering from back pain caused by their heavy bags.

The study alluded to this startling calculation:  A child carrying a 12-pound backpack, and lifting it 10 times per day for the entire school year, has carried and lifted a combined load of 21,600 pounds — the equivalent of 6 mid-sized cars.

What we say at Breath of Life is that children should not carry backpacks that exceed more than 10% of their body weight — which translates into a 5 to 10-pound load for elementary students.    

Even with the continued progression of electronic learning – which one would think leads to fewer books – the backpack has become a survival kit for the action-packed lives that today’s children lead during and after school hours.  Parents and teachers have to take an active role in limiting what we literally load onto these children. If were don’t address it now, the picture of a child carrying numerous books – which many have seen as a sign for a bright future – could foreshadow a painful outlook instead.

Has your child already began to complain of back or neck pain?

A misaligned spine that is carrying those heavy loads could be the reason.

It is much easier to grow healthy kids than it is to repair damaged adults.

Get your child’s spine checked today!

Reference Material:

“Backpack-Related Injuries Send 7,000 to ER,” Ancaster News, Ontario, Canada, Sept. 1, 2006.

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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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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Woman pregnancy month by month.

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Back pain in pregnancy is very common. It is estimated that between 50% and 80% of women experience some form of back pain during pregnancy.  Such pain can range from mild pain associated with specific activities to acute back pain that can become chronic back pain if not properly addressed.

Studies show that lower back pain in pregnancy usually occurs between the fifth and seventh month of being pregnant. In some cases, pregnancy pain in the lower back can begin as early as 8 to 12 weeks after becoming pregnant.  Women with pre-existing lower back problems are at higher risk for back pain, and their back pain can occur earlier in the pregnancy.

Neck and Mid-Back pain are also common during pregnancy.  When a woman’s body begins to change during pregnancy, pre-existing spinal misalignments have a tendency to get worse.  As the center of gravity begins to change, ligamentous structure and hormones begin to be altered.

Most women respond very well to upper cervical chiropractic during pregnancy.  conditions like sciatica, back and neck pain, digestive issues and headaches are just a few of the conditions that pregnant women see terrific results.

The results of upper cervical chiropractic is an aligned spine and pelvis which can make for a much easier delivery for both Mom and baby.  Recently had a Mom who was properly aligned with her second pregnancy.  She reported that the delivery was much easier and required no forceps or vacuum extraction.

In my office we are blessed to help many women who are pregnant with a variety of different health issues.  Frequently we can work without x-rays initially based on the situation.  Ivette is one of our patients who began her care when she was pregnant and is so glad that she did.  Here is her story…

“When I first started my treatment with Doctor Davis I had problems with my upper back and neck area, my lower back and my right hand would get numb and there were times when I couldn’t move it at all.  I also had a lot of digestive problems.

 I decided to come because my Mom was doing so well with her therapy.  When I first came in I was 2 months pregnant with my second child and immediately I started to notice a difference in all of the symptoms. 

 Even my morning sickness greatly improved!

 I would not only recommend the therapy that NUCCA Chiropractors offer but I would highly recommend Dr. Davis’s office.  The whole staff truly cares about their patients.

 Now thanks to them I am finally in control of not only my health but also my life!”

If you or someone you know is pregnant, it’s a great time to get your spine in proper alignment!

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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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, 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:

http://www.spineuniversity.com/files/Journal_Watch/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

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Dr. Davis here from Vista California

Here in Southern California, surfing is a very popular activity. Surfing is great exercise and a lot of fun for millions of Americans but it can really do a number on your spine. One of the most troubling parts of surfing is the fact that you have to keep your neck in extension as you lay on the board to paddle out.  As mentioned before on this blog the most vulnerable positions for your neck to be in are all the way back in extension and all the way to the side in lateral bending.  Most surfers that I see are severely misaligned due to falls or other non-surfing related injuries.  Once that spine is misaligned…putting it into that extreme extension position on a regular basis will lead to increased Degenerative Disc Disease and eventually symptoms.  Some of the most common symptoms surfers experience is back and neck pain, numbness and tingling into the arms and legs and other related symptoms.

There is hope for those that want to surf throughout their lives…the key is alignment.  If the spine is misaligned the degeneration will occur at an increased frequency and quality of life will decrease.  The problems will typically begin in the neck and then translate through the spine until the condition is corrected.  If the spinal problems are corrected and the alignment is maintained throughout life, most people will be able to surf as long as they want to. 

Here is an example of a man whose ability to do one of his favorite activities was greatly affected until he got the problems in his spine corrected.

“When I first came to see Dr. Davis I was having severe lower back pain and it was greatly diminishing my quality of life. I had struggled with it for over 15 years but it had really gotten a lot worse in the past 2 years. Both at work where I have to stand for long periods and when I went surfing which I love to do.

Since beginning care my back pain has subsided enough to not impact anything that I do in life negatively. I can surf without any pain! I can stand for hours without pain at work. Surfing without back pain is a huge blessing!

I was a huge skeptic when I came to Breath of Life, but I figured I had nothing to lose. I gave it a year and I am so glad that I did. I feel so much better than I did a year ago! And I really enjoy knowing that Dr. Davis and I both worship the same awesome God!”

Gary B.   November 2010

Who do know that is like Gary?  Suffering every time they go to do the activity that they love.  Maybe you don’t even have the symptoms yet and just want to make sure that your spine is in a good alignment so that you can continue to do what you want to do throughout your life.  Either way an evaluation of your alignment by a qualified Upper Cervical Chiropractor is in order.

Find out more info at www.nuccawellness.com or call today to arrange your initial evaluation.  If you are not in the San Diego County area go to www.upcspine.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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