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Posts Tagged ‘Musculoskeletal Disorders’

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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Initianal diagnosis of scoliosis: dorsal and f...

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Many patients who have scoliosis (Curvature in the spine) will struggle with a distorted body image.  They may feel that it is difficult to dress the way they want to.  Kids growing up may ridicule them for their appearance and many other unfortunate events.

That was Abby’s situation.  For 23 years she had struggled with a warped body image because of underlying upper neck misalignments that led to her developing a Scoliosis.  The scoliosis and upper neck misalignments led to a variety of different health problems.  Even with the healthiest diet, a great exercise program and regular stress relieving activities her health continued to deteriorate. 

Here is her story…

“My whole life has been plagued by symptom after symptom; headaches, breathing trouble, allergies, foggy memory and a warped body image.

At 23, after months of misaligned yoga practice that precipitated my problems, I realized that my problems may have started at birth. My birth was very traumatic, my mom labored for 2 days and then I eventually had to be delivered via emergency c-section.

When Dr. Davis showed me my x-rays it all started to make sense. Since birth my C-1 (top bone in my neck) was out of balance.

After only 1 month of care, I feel literally brand new. My body is healing itself, finally. I walk straight, use both my hands normally, look straight forward instead of my head my turned to the right.

All the problems I had decided I had inherited and must resign myself to live with are disappearing! My heart grows every day, I am literally a happier person.

Dr. Davis has my greatest thanks and most sincere blessing.”

Abigail E.            April 2011

Who do you know that struggles because of an obvious curvature in the spine?  Scoliosis can frequently be helped significantly by balancing out the head using specific upper cervical adjustments.  The sooner the condition can be detected the more likely you will have a significant reduction in the scoliosis.

The longer you wait the worse it gets.  So don’t put it off any longer. 

Find a NUCCA Chiropractor in your area and get your head on straight.  www.nuccawellness.com  or www.nucca.org

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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Result after scoliosis surgery.

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Previously in this blog we have looked at the connection of the position of the head and how that relates to the rest of the spine.  A recent case study demonstrates this correlation once again.  Dr. Marshall Dickholtz Sr. an excellent NUCCA Chiropractor practicing in the Chicago area had a fifteen year old female patient with a history of scoliosis, vertigo, lower back pain, and lack of energy. 

Objective indicators of an Atlas misalignment (the top bone in the spine just underneath the skull) were identified. 

She had scoliosis with a Cobb angle of 44 degrees!  

Standard treatments for scoliosis include (a) observation for curves Between 0-20° (otherwise known as letting it get worse), (b) bracing for 20 to 40° (brace is worn up to 23 hours per day), and (c) spinal surgery for curvatures over 40°.  With this patient she would be in the surgery category.  The image above demonstrates a “successful” scoliosis surgery. 

In 2008, Weiss et al. concluded that evidence for conservative treatment including exercise and bracing were limited and case controlled studies did not exist supporting surgery.  Bracing is definitely a difficult sell for a child.  Most kids are not going to wear the brace consistently due to several factors: (a) the need to wear the braces up to 23 hours a day (b) psychological reasons related to embarrassment at school and poor body image (c) back pain and (d)
lowered level of quality of life. 

Additionally, as talked about in the study O’Brien et al. published that an Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis patient, in 2007, could spend more than $500,000 for 4 surgeries over a 40-year span.

So what is the alternative?

How about addressing the underlying cause of the abnormal spinal curvatures?

In this study, NUCCA chiropractic adjusting directed at reducing misalignments in the upper cervical region were performed. Post upper cervical X-rays revealed a reduction of the Atlas misalignment.  After 5 months of care, the Cobb angle was reduced to 32-degrees.  A 27% decrease!

If the head is kept in that position throughout the rest of the patient’s life for a lot less than 500K what will take place?

The scoliosis most likely will continue to improve or at worst not progress any further.  Our bodies are designed with an amazing ability to adapt.  Moving the atlas to properly balance the head on top of the spine has a profound impact on scoliosis even with those who have suffered with scoliosis for years.  In my office just in the past few months I have seen reductions in scoliosis under NUCCA care from 16.5 to 12.5 in 90 days in a 65 year old female and from 16.5 to 13.5 in 120 days in an 82 year old female!  25% and 19% respectively.

So if you or your child had been diagnosed with a scoliosis and there is a history of head or neck injuries, then an upper neck evaluation should be performed.  The most vulnerable place in the spine to injure is the upper neck because it is the most movable.  When accidents or injuries have torn loose the connective tissue that hold the spine in place in the upper neck it creates a weakness which allows the spine to break down and lock into a stressed position.

Once the position of the eyes have been deviated from being level with the horizon the brain will immediately initiate the righting reflex which is a reflex in the brain designed to keep the eyes level.  As a result of misalignments in the upper neck and alteration of the position of the head the entire spine most compensate.  If this misalignment occurs at birth or early on in life than scoliosis may develop as a result.

Do you want to know if you are a candidate for this type of care?

Is surgery or bracing the last thing that you want to do?

Then an Upper Cervical Chiropractor could be the answer.

In the San Diego County area?  Go to www.nuccawellness.com

Anywhere else go to www.nucca.org or www.upcspine.com to find a doctor near you.

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:

Improvement in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis in a Patient Undergoing Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care:  A Case Report-Kim B. Khauv, D.C., MPH & Marshall Dickholtz, Sr., D.C., FICPA

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Structural diagram of guaifenesin. Created usi...

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Fibromyalgia is a complicated condition that can involve all body systems.  There are many so called medication cures available, such as Lyrica, Welbutrin and Guaifenesin.

The problem is no medication is without side effects despite what the websites tell you.  Today we are going to look at one of the most common medical treatments available Guaifenesin.

What is Guaifenesin?

According to drugs.com Guaifenesin is an expectorant. It helps loosen congestion in your chest and throat, making it easier to cough out through your mouth.  Guaifenesin is used to reduce chest congestion caused by the common cold, infections, or allergies.

“Use guaifenesin exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended.”

Do not give guaifenesin to a child younger than 4 years old. Always ask a doctor before giving a cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough and cold medicines in very young children. Drink extra fluids to help loosen the congestion and lubricate your throat while you are taking this medication. This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

The City of Hope’s Fibromyalgia Treatment Center website says “We now use guaifenesin for fibromyalgia because it has no side effects and is even safe for children.”

Really?  No side effects?  Safe for Children?

Well there might be some side effects such as dizziness; excitability; headache; nausea; nervousness or anxiety; trouble sleeping; weakness. 

And sometimes some…

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); difficulty urinating; fast or irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; seizures; severe dizziness, lightheadedness, or headache; tremor.

But other than that no big deal?!

Because it helps get rid of uric acid, guaifenesin was chosen in the 1990s for the experimental guaifenesin protocol – a treatment for fibromyalgia. Proponents of the guaifenesin protocol believe that it treats fibromyalgia by removing excess phosphate from the body.  However, a consumer alert on the Fibromyalgia Network’s website (http://www.fmnetnews.com/resources-alert-product6.php) states that Dr. St. Amand’s claims of guaifenesin’s effects on fibromyalgia are groundless, and cites double blind research by Robert Bennett, M.D. which found no significant differences between guaifenesin and a placebo in terms of any effect on fibromyalgia or its markers.

Could taking a medication that eliminates phosphates from the body be useful?  If the phosphates are the underlying cause of the Fibromyalgia symptoms then yes.  But even then, nutritional approaches could do the same thing without all of the side effects.

Fibromyalgia is obviously a multifactorial condition.  Chemical, emotional and physical connections are common.  But if the underlying cause is primarily related to the physical body then Guaifenesin or any other chemical approach will have little to no results.

Physical traumas especially to the head and neck are extremely important to make note of and to identify if an undetected injury to the brain stem could be the cause.  Brain stem pressure from a upper neck misalignment can be devastating to the human body.  All body systems can be effected. 

Here is an example.  Car crashes and dental work had caused the misalignment that Una was struggling with…or what her doctor’s called Fibromyalgia.  Here is her experience with the NUCCA method of spinal correction that gently and precisely removes pressure from the brain stem so the brain and body communication is restored…

“When I saw Dr. Davis for the first time, my entire body was racked with pain.  I had suffered with Fibromyalgia for 9 years!  At that time I was despondent and was on the verge of hopelessness.  Someone recommended Dr. Davis to me and I hoped and prayed that he would be able to help me. 

 After a thorough assessment he was able to help me!  My pain has decreased, my energy has increased, I am sleeping much better, my digestion has improved, my spirits are lifted, I feel younger, my activity levels have increased, my creativity and interest in new ideas has returned, my dependence on pain medications has decreased and my bladder function is better!

My activities that I do every day are so much easier-gardening, sewing, entertaining, concentration, participating in church activities, and even travelling.  Now that I am doing better physically and mentally the quality of my life and family has improved immensely.

 Please do not hesitate to see Dr. Davis and get evaluated.  Doing so will be one of the most important steps you will take to improve your quality of life.  When you are in pain it can take your joy, peace and interest out of life, it suppresses your creativity and also it effects others around you.

 I have really enjoyed the whole experience at Breath of Life, from the way Dr. Davis greets you with his pleasant smile and the professional and courteous way in which the whole staff cares for you. 

 I rate my experience on a scale of 1-10 as a 10++.”

              Una C.                                    Oceanside CA

If you have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and have a history of head or neck trauma then find a NUCCA doctor in your area and get to the cause of the problem without drugs or side effects.  www.nucca.org

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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X-ray of U.S. girl, age 16 years 8 months, wit...

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When a 2-year-old little girl falls down the stairs what is the typical response?  The parents would pick her up and check on her see if there are any notable injuries.  If they were concerned about her in any way the parents would take that little girl to the emergency room and get her checked out medically.  They may perform X-Rays, a Cat Scan, and other testing.  If all those tests come back negative then they would release her back to her parents and tell them that she is going to be okay.

But what if she wasn’t okay.  What if when she fell and hit her head the ligaments and muscles that connect the head and neck were damaged.  Creating a slight misalignment at the atlas (the top bone in the spine).  Once that bone is misaligned and locked out of it’s normal position it creates a weakness.  This weakness allows the spine to break down and lock into a stressed position.  In this stressed position frequently one of the legs will appear shorter than the other when laying flat on your back.  And one hip will be lower than the other when in the standing position.

Now in this new stressed position the body begins to grow.  With the head slightly tilted to one side and the hips uneven that little girl hits her growth spurt at the age of 8 and a curvature begins to develop.  By the time that little girl is 13 she has a 12 degree Scoliosis like the one you see in the picture.

Now lets look at a different scenario.  This time the Mom of that 2-year-old little girl is a patient of an upper cervical chiropractor.  So after little Candice isn’t sleeping well and just isn’t acting like herself after the fall, she is brought into our office to have her alignment evaluated.  During the exam the little girl is found to have a one inch leg length discrepancy!

After the exam the Candice is adjusted in her upper cervical spine.  Her legs immediately level…the Mom is amazed!  That night Candice sleeps great again and is just like herself again the next day.  Over the last 4 months Candice has only needed one other adjustment and the crying and problems sleeping have not returned.

So what were we able to save Candice from?  Scoliosis?  Ear infections?  ADHD?  Headaches?  Digestive problems?  We don’t know.  But without a doubt Candice will now grow up a healthier girl because her spine has been restored to it’s normal alignment.

The most common times for a child to develop a misalignment are after birth, when they begin to lift their head, when they begin to crawl and when they begin to walk.  After those milestones a child should only be evaluated if they have had a head or neck trauma such as a fall or car crash.  About 50% of the kids that I evaluate are misaligned.  There will be no other time better than in childhood to correct those problems and allow that child to grow up as healthy as possible.

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

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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Schematic Examples of CNS Structural Changes i...

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

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

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

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

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

What has happened to her body?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 

760-945-1345 

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X-ray of U.S. girl, age 16 years 8 months, wit...

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Look at the picture to the right of a 16 year old girl with Scoliosis.  Notice the position of her head…tilted over to the left…then the curve begins to compensate from there….first one way and then the other until the pelvis is seen as being lower on the left in the standing position.  This is a very common pattern that develops after an upper neck misalignment at an early age that begins a cascade of events.  When the top bone of the neck…the atlas is misaligned it will tilt the head off to the side…and just like standing on the side of a hill your body must compensate for the change in head position.  If the misalignment occurs early enough in life than a idiopathic scoliosis will develop.  Idiopathic means that the medical profession does not know what causes it.  Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common type of scoliosis…approximately 80-85 % of all scoliosis is idiopathic.  I prefer to call this an Atlas Misalignment Scoliosis. 

Proprioceptive Problems  

Disturbances of postural equilibrium (or what is called proprioception) have been found in idiopathic scoliosis, and several researchers have suggested that this is a result of brain stem disturbances. It has been shown experimentally that stress on posterior nerve roots can also cause spinal deviation.  

Following a head or neck trauma one area that is commonly damaged is the proprioceptive system of the neck.  Proprioception is your body’s ability to perceive your position is space.  The upper cervical spine has the most dense collection of proprioceptors in the body.  When these proprioceptors are damaged people tend to have an all sorts of different problems.  An Upper Cervical Corrective Procedure is designed to correct this underlying cause in order to restore proper neurology and physiology to the body.  This underlying proprioceptive imbalance could be another reason why Upper Cervical Care is so effective in helping those with Scoliosis. 

Do you have Scoliosis?  Do you know if you have Scoliosis?  Does your child have Scoliosis?  Don’t wait to middle school to find out…the earlier the misalignment is detected the more likely that you can have a complete correction. 

If you are in the San Diego County area go to www.nuccawellness.com to get you or your child evaluated today.  Go to www.upcspine.com if you are anywhere else in the country. 

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

References: 

Yekutiel M, Robin GC, Yarom R, Proprioceptive function in children with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Spine 1981; 6(6):560-6 / Medline ID: 82153215 

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This is an posterior-to-anterior X-ray of a ca...

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The Problem    

Scoliosis is a disorder that causes an abnormal curve of the spine, or backbone. The spine has normal curves when looking from the side, but it should appear straight when looking from the front.”  (see picture) www.emedicine.net   According to WebMDIn about 80% of cases, the cause of scoliosis is not known.”  80%!  Wow that is a lot!  In 8/10 of the people who have been diagnosed with scoliosis or curvature in the spine the medical profession have no clue what causes it.      

Generally, the scoliosis is found when a child is examined for scoliosis in middle school.  But frequently scoliosis is undetected until adulthood.  Regardless, the earlier the curvature can be found the better.  If it is identified at 13 years of age and it is already 15 degrees…it would have been much better to find it at 7 years of age when it was 8 degrees don’t you think?  Especially if the underlying cause can be corrected and the progression of the scoliosis can be stopped.  Also the earlier the scoliosis is identified the more likely the condition can be reversed.     

Scoliosis has psychological consequences as well as physical consequences. Self image can be negatively impacted, especially in the formative adolescent years.  Scoliosis can be so mild that an untrained eye cannot see the curve, or it can be severe enough to cause deformity.  Children are often made fun of as a result of these deformities.    

The physical consequences are much worse though.  People with scoliosis are a greater risk of developing heart problems, breathing problems, osteoporosis, accelerated disc degeneration and spinal pain, reproductive function and pregnancy problems can be just some of the consequences associated with untreated scoliosis.    

The medical approach has 3 main strategies.  Wait until it gets worse!  Put a brace on the entire trunk for up to 23 hours a day!  Or dangerous surgery!  Doesn’t sound like fun to me!  Which of these approaches gets to the underlying cause?…none of them?  The medical approach is focused on the effects and not the cause obviously.     

    

The Upper Neck Connection     

Two medical doctors from Europe have done extensive research into upper neck problems in newborns and how that relates to the health of children.  Dr. Gutmann was researching the connection all the way back to the 1960’s… in 1987 Dr. Gutmann published his research linking the upper neck to problems ranging from scoliosis to ear infections, torticollis, colic and many other common childhood conditions.     

Dr. Biedermann also has published extensively on this subject and published his findings in 1992.  Between the 2 medical researchers they have studied over 1000 newborns and have observed a very high incidence of upper cervical misalignments on x-ray.  Gutmann found over 80% in his study had problems in the upper neck that needed to be addressed!  Birth trauma was the most common cause.  Forceps delivery, vacuum extraction and even just normal birthing methods with a woman flat on her back rather than in the standing position where gravity can work, can be an extremely traumatic experience for the head and neck of a newborn.      

It is reported that within the general population the incidence of Scoliosis is about 2.5% or about 25 per 1000 people.  However, that is only the people who are identified as having scoliosis and it only includes those that have a 10 degree curvature or more.  A 7,8, or 9 degree scoliosis can still have dramatic affects on the health of a person’s spine and body.  Also many individuals have no idea that they have a curvature in their spine until adulthood.  I have seen patients in my office who are in their 60’s who were unaware of a 10-15 degree scoliosis!     

If the weight of the head is not balanced over the spinal column due to accidents and injuries to the upper neck this will result in postural changes including head tilt, shoulder tilt, hips uneven, and leg imbalance.  The earlier the child develops this upper neck misalignment the more likely it is for them to develop a scoliosis when they hit their growth spurt.    

    

   

The Solution    

Early detection is the key to stopping the progression and possibly correct the scoliosis completely.  All children should be evaluated after birth and regularly thoroughout the childhood years for the presence of an upper neck misalignment that could start this process in their spine.  If a curvature is detected than the misalignment should be corrected as soon as possible.  If the scoliosis is already very advanced due to lack of evaluation, than the misalignment should still be corrected and maintained and postural exercises should be given in order to prevent future progression.  The longer the curvature has been there the more likely it will be to not correct completely.    

To find out more about upper cervical care in San Diego County go to www.nuccawellness.com or in other areas go to www.upcspine.com.    

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

References:     

emedicine.net     

webMD     

Biedermann H. Kinematic imbalances due to suboccipital strain in newborns. J. Manual Med (1992) 6:151-156.      

Gutman, G. Blocked atlantal nerve syndrome in babies and infants. Manuelle Medizin, 1987, 25, pp. 5-10. and Gilles et al, Infantile Atlantooccipital Instability, Am J Dis Child 133:30-37, 1979       

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