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Posts Tagged ‘Neck’

United Cerebral Palsy

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Cerebral Palsy (CP) is the most prevalent lifelong developmental disability in the United States.  Recently I have seen a tremendous change in a patient with Cerebral Palsy and began investigating the impact that upper neck misalignments have on people diagnosed with CP.

Dr. William Amalu of the International Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association has published an amazing case study of a 5-year-old boy confined to a wheelchair with Cerebral Palsy, blindness, chronic ear infections, and severe seizures (30 per day).

After a thorough evaluation the patient was determined to have an upper neck misalignment and Dr. Amalu began a course of care.  After the first adjustment, the patient’s mother noted that he had his first good night sleep in weeks. After the second adjustment, the patient’s seizures reduced dramatically to only 10 per day, his vocal drone became a quiet intermittent moan, and he began to clap his hands. His mother noted that he had become more alert, continued to sleep more soundly, began sitting up and looking around, responded to sounds by looking toward the source, and continued with a decrease in seizures to only 5 per day.

During the third and fourth week of care the seizures continued to occur at 5 per day, but all grand mals had ceased. He was sleeping completely through the nights now.  For the first time in his life he said “dada”. By the end of the fourth week, his therapists suspected that his vision was suddenly improving.  A re-examination of the patient was also performed at this time. There were no signs of any: vocal drone, writhing motions, upper neck muscle spasms or tenderness, restricted neck ranges of motion, or ear fluid.  He was now capable of sitting up on his own and his mother reported that for the first time he pulled himself up and stood for over one minute. He began showing fine motor skills this week by grabbing his own pacifier and placing it in his mouth. The patient now showed avoidance to bright light, visual fixation and following, and normal direct and pupil reflexes. His mother noted that this was his first month free from ear infections in 9 months.

By the end of the fifth week of care the patient was seen by his neurologist and ophthalmologist. His ophthalmologist noted a drastic improvement with a recovery of central field vision. The patient’s neurologist reported that his CP had greatly improved and that he would be requesting further tests to evaluate his seizure condition.

The patient’s follow-up examination with his pediatrician noted that his ears were normal and that tubes would not be necessary.  During the time period between the seventh and twelfth week, the patient’s seizures steadily reduced to the point of staring episodes only.

There were no outward signs of seizures by the end of the twelfth week.  Over the next 10 months, the patient continued to improve. His neurologist slowly reduced his medication causing his staring episodes to go away. With further testing, the patient was eventually classified as non-epileptic and final withdrawal of all medication was made. He never experienced another episode of the ear infections. His vision improved to the point where he was prescribed glasses. The patient continued to learn simple words with clear pronunciation of “dada, mama, eat, and food”. His fine motor coordination improved such that he was learning to feed himself. The patient’s mother noted that he was also potty training. His gross motor coordination continually progressed to the point that he was able to walk slowly with the assistance of holding one hand.

Absolutely incredible!

Another study was published where seven patients were tested – two children and five adults. All patients in this study had improvements in many areas including decreased muscle spasms, improved sleep patterns, decreased irritability, decreased pain, and decreased incidence of respiratory and other infections. One child had four unsuccessful surgeries to correct strabismus (crossed eyes) after two adjustments, the crossed eyes were gone. The children were able to hold their heads up for longer periods and are making more attempts at crawling or standing with support. There is also improved clarity and volume of speech in patients with speech and hearing problems. With care, there is overall decrease in muscle activity at all levels and balance improved with eyes closed.

It is clear to see from this research that the connection between neurological conditions like Cerebral Palsy and the upper neck area should be investigated.  The brain stem dysfunction that is present with an upper neck misalignment is significant and a variety of different conditions can be caused or exacerbated by this type of a problem.

All Cerebral Palsy victims should be evaluated for upper neck misalignments and brain stem dysfunction as soon as possible.

If you are in Southern California go to www.nuccawellness.com if not visit 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

References:

Amalu, W. Today’s Chiropractic May / June 1998.  Cortical Blindness, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, and Recurring Otitis Media: A Case Study in Chiropractic Management.

Collins, KF et al. Chiropractic Pediatrics 1994; 1 (1):13-15

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Dizzy

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Vertigo, dizziness, disequilibrium and many other of these types of conditions can be directly related to old head and neck injuries that have never been properly addressed and the underlying damage to the upper neck has led to dysfunction in the ears, the balancing system of the body or both.

When the head or neck is injured the upper neck (Atlas & Axis) frequently become twisted and misaligned leading to a slight displacement of the head…sometimes by as little as 3/4 of a degree.  Once the heavy head (10-14 lbs) is tilting to the side the brain has to compensate for that change through the righting reflex to keep the eyes and ears level with the horizon at all times.

The entire structure of the body will twist and tilt in order to compensate for those upper neck misalignments and head tilt.  Eventually leading to pressure building up into the nerve system.  The area that is first impacted by these problems is the brain stem area, which is just basically a part of the brain that extends down into the spine and connects the the spinal cord.

The brain stem area is a key to the balance of our bodies.  This upper neck area has more pressure sensors the anywhere else in the body that feed information into the brain stem and the brain.  Also the brain stem send messages via the cranial nerves to the ears for balance as well.  Blood flow is also effected when the brain stem function is altered.

When someone is suffering from vertigo, dizziness, or disequilibrium, the brain stem is frequently involved.  Upper neck misalignments alter the brain stem function and lead to these types of problems.  When these old injuries are dealt with by the correction of the head position by a precise upper cervical corrective procedure such as NUCCA, the healing process can begin.

Holding the corrections is the key to healing, not having your spine manipulated 1000’s of times by a general chiropractor!

Now here is an example…Terry is in property management and is also an avid Bicyclist, riding up to 100 miles per week.  When he began to develop vertigo it was about 2 years after he had taken a pretty significant fall from his bike and had a motorcycle accident that seemed to make the dizziness and vertigo attacks much worse.  To the point that he was concerned even about going up on a ladder at one of his rentals.  Here is his story…

I have been suffering from vertigo (dizziness) for 6-7 years, getting more constant as the years progressed.  I tried everything…Every doctor that I could think of, EENT, general doc, vertigo specialist and finally my last hope, a NUCCA doctor.  Dr. Davis helped me almost instantly.  I have not been dizzy for 8 weeks!  Thanks Breath of Life for giving me my health back!!!

Now not all dizziness, vertigo and disequilibrium is related to head and neck traumas.  But if you have a history of those types of accidents then an evaluation with a qualified upper cervical specialist is very important.  If the underlying cause can be identified, what a difference it can make for your life!

If you or someone you know is suffering with Vertigo, dizziness or disequilibrium and you are in the Southern California area go to www.nuccawellness.com and schedule an evaluation today.  If you are anywhere else go to www.nucca.org to find a doctor near 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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sleeping

Sleeping on Your Stomach

This is the one habit that is the most harmful to the health and function of our spine and our nervous system.  When the head is turned to the side and then the weight of the body is placed upon it…the muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints, discs, nerves, etc. are compressed.  The application of this stress of stomach sleeping will lead to an acceleration of degeneration of the discs and joints.  Some of the worst degenerative disc disease that I have seen in the spine is in those that have spent their life sleeping on their belly.  We spend a third of our lives sleeping!
 
So if you shouldn’t sleep on your stomach…how should you sleep?  Flat on your back is best.  Some people will find that placing a pillow underneath the knees will be more comfortable.  You should always sleep with only one pillow under your head though so the neck is in a relaxed position.  If you are unable to sleep on your back then the next best option is on your side.  When you are sleeping on your side, you want to make sure that your head and neck are in as an aligned position as possible.  You should only use one pillow that is thick enough to support between your shoulder and your head.  Most people have a pillow that is too thin to sleep on your side…so there head is side bent all night.  The most vulnerable position for the neck to be in is side bent or extended.
 
 
Popping or Cracking Your Neck
 
This habit, which can feel good at the time will lead to hypermobility in the joints and more and more instability over time as this habit has a tendency to make you want to do it more and more.  This is a sign that your spine is probably extremely misaligned and should be evaluated asap.
 
 
 Laying on the Couch with Your Head Propped up on the Arm
 
Here is that vulnerable position again.  A side bent head is much more likely to cause a misalignment, especially when kept in this position for 30, 60 minutes or longer why you watch TV.
 
 
Sedentary Jobs/Lifestyle
 
The longer you sit the more your posture begins to breakdown.  If you are sitting for a few minutes it is much easier to keep a good posture.  When you sit for hours the chances that your posture is breaking down is very high.  So tip #1 is to sit as little as possible.  If you can stand to do a task then do it.  A least once per hour you want to get out of your chair and walk around and change the posture that you are in…something that helps you to remember to do this is to drink lots of water…which is tip #2.  Drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day…preferrably more.  A good rule of thumb is to only drink water and drink about 1/2 of your body weight in ounces per day.  So if you weigh 150 pounds then you should drink 75 ounces of water per day.  The more you weigh the more you need to drink to be healthy.  So if you are drinking water all day then you will need to get up and go to the bathroom which will greatly benefit your spine as well…it’s a win-win.  The third tip is to change positions as much as possible when you are sitting.  Change the angle of your chair, the height of your chair, move things around throughout the day.  Your body gets bored sitting in the same position all the time!
 
 
Never Ever Exercising
 
The less we exercise the more the joints of the spine begin to stiffen and deteriorate.  So move around!  Our bodies were made to move!  The best exercise is the one that you will do consistently.  Fast walking, swimming, elliptical etc.  Pick a cardiovascular exercise and get going.
 

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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Neck

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Many patients will come to me or other NUCCA doctors after they have tried everything and have seen everyone.  The most I have ever heard was 50 different doctors before seeing me!

Sometimes it must be hard to keep looking for answers.  But I want to encourage you that your body was designed to heal.  The cause of the problem is the key to getting well. 

Here is an example…Linda is a fitness trainer who for more than 25 years did not have normal motion in her neck.  It was so restricted that she couldn’t turn beyond 15 degrees to the left (normal is 70 degrees).  It all started like most problems in the neck with a head or neck trauma.

After a severe fall where she hit her head on a tile floor she couldn’t move her head to the right.  She saw dozens of chiropractors, trainers and other practitioners searching for a solution to this loss of range of motion with no results.

Finally she heard about NUCCA.

NUCCA is a unique form of spinal care focused on restoring the heavy head (10-14 lbs) to a balanced and normal position.  As that head is realigned, the spine begins to heal.  Over time range of motion improves.  In Linda’s case she is up to 50 degrees to the right and 70 to the left.  Continuing to keep her head balanced on top of the spine should allow those tissues to heal even more and range of motion to continue to improve.

Here is Linda’s story in her own words…

I had a serious head injury hitting my head on a tile floor when I was 24 years old.  I went to several different chiropractors over the last 27 years and none of them were able to help adjust my head.  

NUCCA is so different.  I felt a difference in the first session and Dr. Davis’s technique is so gentle.  My range of motion has improved greatly and the comfort of my neck, I am so grateful.  

Other parts of my body are also feeling the effects of being in alignment.  I sit straighter, stand taller, and feel better.

I’m also blessed by your entire staff.  

Dr Davis you rock!

If you have lost the normal range of motion in your neck, this is a sign that your body is trying to tell you that something is wrong.

Find a NUCCA doctor in your area to get a proper Upper Neck Evaluation today.

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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Dumont Dunes, California. Rider (author) is on...

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Hope is a very powerful emotion.  John Maxwell once said “when there is hope in the future, there is power in the present.”  Many patients come into my office as a last hope.  They may have tried the medical approach, alternative approaches and even other chiropractic approaches.  But when they hear about NUCCA, a sliver of hope is born.  NUCCA is a form of care that is focused on restoring the heavy head to a centered and balanced position on top of the neck.  The rehabilitative process that ensues once the underlying problem is identified is truly amazing.  As the brain can begin to send proper messages to all areas of the body, hundreds of different conditions have responded to properly aligning the head and the neck. 

Typically accidents or injuries will tear loose the connective tissue that holds the spine in place which will lead to a weakness in the spine at the level of the atlas the top bone in the spine.  This weakness will allow the weight of the head to shift from center and begin a cascade of compensations throughout the body leading to pain frequently and poor health.

A great example of this is a recent patient of ours who was struggling with a chronic mid-back pain.  He had a series of dirt bike accidents that had led to the instability and misalignment in his spine.  At 20 years old he had already tried many different treatments including physical therapy, stretching, exercises and medications.  But until the underlying cause was properly identified and corrected the problems continued to plague him.  T.J. was losing hope that he would ever be free from this pain and able to work and exercise like a 20-year-old should.  Here is his story…

When I first came to Breath of Life, I was suffering from extreme back pain that was resulting from motorcycle crashes and weight lifting injuries. I had been to other doctors and took medication all in hopes of finding relief, but nothing worked. I looked to NUCCA Chiropractic as a last attempt to find relief.

I have seen many improvements in my health since starting NUCCA care. Not just in my back, but in my energy level, mood and overall well-being.

I am now able to lift weights without worrying about starting another flare up. At work I am so much better now, that I am pain-free and I am even nicer more of the time. I never realized how much being misaligned affected my moods.

If I see someone who is suffering from any kind of pain that they don’t know how to alleviate, I tell them to try NUCCA, because it worked wonders for me when I had no hope.

I now look forward to every adjustment. Knowing that when my body is in alignment I will always leave feeling so relaxed and in the best mood!

Do you know someone who has lost hope?  NUCCA may be the answer.  Find out today by scheduling an evaluation at www.nuccawellness.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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Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbili...

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Many new Moms and Dads will ask if it is possible for an infant to be misaligned during the birth process.  Good question!

Modern birthing methods of having the Mom push the baby out without gravity working to your advantage, laying flat on your back is a prescription for increased force into the head and neck of the baby in and of itself.  But then you introduce all the drugs  used during the birth process, which includes an epidural which numbs the area that a woman typically would feel when pushing.  And the introduction of drugs like pitocin to induce delivery often before the baby is ready for delivery, can lead to prolonged labors and an increased likelihood of birth trauma.  Also the practice of a doctor pulling during delivery with 50-70 pounds of force into the infant’s head from the birth canal and instruments like forceps and vacuum extraction can lead to a variety of different birth injuries.  C-sections can also be very traumatic as the baby is pulled out of a small incision. 

So much so that women are told things like “yes your baby fractured their clavicle during the birth process, but that is normal.”

What?!  What is normal about a fracture during birth?  It may be common…but that doesn’t make it normal.

Now an important consideration is that not all infants are misaligned.  In fact, in my experience even with the severity of forces that are used in the majority of American births, most babies are not misaligned.  On average, of the babies that I have checked over the years only about 10-20% are misaligned at birth. 

But if a child is misaligned at birth it is critical to get that misalignment corrected as soon as possible.

A misalignment of the Atlas, the top bone in the neck (the most likely bone to misalign during the birth process) has been linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, colic, ear infections, acid reflux and many other neurological conditions related to brain stem dysfunction and accompanying symptoms.

So what are some ways that a parent may assess their own child to determine if their baby should be evaluated for an upper neck misalignment?

The easiest situation would be if your child begins to develop symptoms of any kind.  Such as ear infections.  If a child is having ear infections a frequent cause is a misalignment in the upper neck that leads to poor drainage of the ears because the nerves that control the ears begin in the upper neck.

Or if your baby has colic.  Colic is frequently related to a vagus nerve irritation from an upper neck misalignment during birth.  Once the misalignment is corrected.  The colic often will go away immediately.

Or a variety of other symptoms that most pediatricians and parents will think that the child needs medications to cover up rather than seeking the underlying cause.

But if you have a seemingly healthy child who has not developed any symptoms yet then you can look at a few different things.  Such as when the baby lays flat on their back do they have a tendency to always have their head turned in one direction?  Or can you feel if the musculature in the lower back area near the pelvis is symmetrical from side to side?  Or can you feel that one side is much tighter than the other?

If you are unsure about any of these things find a local upper cervical chiropractor in your area to check your baby as soon as possible.  It can make all the difference in the world for the growth, development and the health of your son or daughter.

The other wonderful aspect of finding problems early in the life of your child is that the frequency needed of an adjustment.  A infant corrected at birth or within the first year of life may be able to hold that one adjustment for months if not years.  So get your kids checked…there really is no downside to having a properly aligned spinal column and properly functioning brain and nerve system.

And a skilled upper cervical chiropractor will be able to correct this misalignment without any popping, cracking or twisting of the spine.  A gentle and precise force to realign the atlas is the key.  Find out more at www.nuccawellness.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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