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Posts Tagged ‘Migraine’

my brain

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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

http://sandiego.citysearch.com/profile/616213820/vista_ca/breath_of_life_chiropractic.html

We also have lots of reviews on Google

http://maps.google.com/maps/place?hl=en&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&cp=14&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&wrapid=tljp1305160587910014&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=vista+ca+chiropractor&fb=1&gl=us&hq=vista+ca+chiropractor&hnear=Escondido,+CA&cid=17773705681265573225&ei=fCvLTaLlFqjZ0QGU24CaCQ&sa=X&oi=local_result&ct=placepage-link&resnum=1&sqi=2&ved=0CDAQ4gkwAA

On Insider Pages

http://insiderpages.com/doctors/breath-of-life-chiropractic-vista

And On Yelp

http://www.yelp.com/biz/breath-of-life-chiropractic-vista

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

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Deep dissection of cortex and brain-stem.

Image via Wikipedia

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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Illustration of Parkinson's disease
Image via Wikipedia

Previously on this blog I have talked about the connection between problems in the upper neck and Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s. 

In the March Edition of the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research Dr. Justin Brown and Dr. Jonathan Chung describe the great results that a patient from their clinic had with symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease following the correction of a specific misalignment of the bones in the upper neck, known as the Atlas Subluxation Complex Syndrome utilizing the NUCCA Procedure www.nuccawellness.com

It was a 67 year-old female patient who was presenting with complaints of weakness, tremors, scoliosis and rigidity due to Parkinson’s disease (PD).  She reported the symptoms began 5 years prior to starting care and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease shortly after the symptoms began. She also stated that she fell almost every day due to the issues with the balance. The severity of her symptoms had contributed to her missing work and reducing her ability to perform her normal activities.

During her care over a 6 month period the patient reported:

  • 60% improvement in the weakness
  • 60% improvement in tremors
  • 30% improvement in rigidity
  • 70% improvement in mobility
  • Significant decrease in the number of falls 
  • Improved ability to perform activities of
    daily living, including work. 

Jubault et al found evidence that brain stem atrophy may be the first identifiable stage of neurodegeneration in patients with Parkinson’s.  The authors also note that the neural degeneration at the brainstem level may be responsible for many of the symptoms experienced by patients with PD.  Dysfunction at the brain stem level is also implicated in other studies of advanced PD.  It is hypothesized that the upper neck misalignment can aggravate and mimic Parkinson’s symptoms by progressively altering the blood and nerve flow to the brain stem.

The correction of the atlas subluxation complex can only be accomplished through specific upper neck adjustments by specially trained upper cervical chiropractors.  General chiropractic manipulation cannot correct this problem. 

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease then an upper neck evaluation should be performed to see if an undetected brain stem injury could be the root cause.  If in San Diego County go to www.nuccawellness.com in other areas of the world go to www.nucca.org or www.upcspine.com to find an upper cervical specialist 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

References:

Reduction in Symptoms Related to Parkinson’s Disease Concomitant with Subluxation Reduction Following Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care by Jonathan Chung DC & Justin Brown DC as published in the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research

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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.

Why?

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

760-945-1345

 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:

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

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Dwyane Wade.

Image via Wikipedia

One of NBA Basketball‘s most exciting players Dwyane Wade continues to battle migraine headaches after sitting out Saturday night’s game against Toronto, ESPN reported.

“Most of the time it lasts for four days,” Wade said. “This time, the effects are going into the third day. I’m doing everything with the doctors, but there are certain things you can’t control.

Or can you?

Is it possible that there is an underlying cause associated with your migraines Dwyane?

If you got to the underlying cause would it be possible to prevent these migraines?

Would it be possible to eliminate them completely?

Dwyane Wade is a very physical player.  He frequently dives on the floor and has had several head and neck traumas over the years.  Here is one example of Wade whacking his head on the ground in the playoffs a few years ago.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3ksc5_bpYw

What happens when you get head and neck traumas?

Well these accidents and injuries can tear loose the connective tissue that holds the spine in place and create a weakness, which then allows the spine to breakdown and lock into a stressed position.

Now I am sure that the Miami Heat have a staff Chiropractor, as almost all professional sports team do.  But to get to this problem he may need a more advanced approach than general chiropractic.  Learn more from a recent WebMD story http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/news/20070316/chiropractic-cuts-blood-pressure

If Mr. Wade has a misalignment in the upper neck at the base of the brain, blood flow has been shown to be effected.  Research is demonstrating that these misalignments in the upper neck at the level of the Atlas can be an underlying cause with several vascular conditions such as Migraine Headaches, High Blood Pressure, Multiple Sclerosis and others.  The veins that drain the brain are not working the way that they are supposed to be.

The main way that this takes place is the physical trauma associated with head and neck injuries.

The only way to safely, precisely and gently realign the spine is by acquiring precise upper cervical x-rays.  Once the upper neck is viewed from all three directions then a plan can be put together to correct this complex condition.  The NUCCA procedure is very effective at restoring the upper neck to it’s proper alignment.

In the Miami area I would recommend Dr. Justin Brown, http://www.familyspinalcare.com/

Dwyane Wade…why don’t you get checked and get back on the court…the Heat need 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

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Generic regular strength enteric coated 325mg ...

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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

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Troy Aikman, American football quarterback.

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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

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