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Posts Tagged ‘Pain Management’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Even my morning sickness greatly improved!

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

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

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

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

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Dr. Davis, N.U.C.C.A. Chiropractor here again from Vista California…

Brain Plasticity also called Neuroplasticity is the ability of your brain to reorganize neural (nerve) pathways in the brain. In simple terms, every time you learn how to do something, you are unconsciously memorizing the process of how it’s done and what the outcome will be. As you learn, your brain is making subtle changes to accommodate the new information and ability.  Neuroplasticity is generally a good thing and allows us to survive. However, there can be negative consequences.

When a person suffers a head or neck injury as a result of a car crash, fall or other accident, the tissues around the spine are stretched and torn.  This damage creates a weakness which allows the spine to break down and lock into a stressed position.  One of the hips will be higher than the other in the standing position.  One of the shoulders will be higher and the head will generally lean to one side.  If this acute injury is not corrected a chronic pattern will develop.  Just like shaping something made of plastic the nervous system begins to develop a fixed pattern. Think of this like a bad habit.  If you do the same thing all the time your brain and your body begins to develop that pattern and the longer you have had that habit the harder it will be to break.

In the same way with these chronic spinal patterns…the longer it has been there the more difficult is will be to break the pattern.

What does chronic pain have to do with neuroplasticity?

As research techniques become more refined, researchers are able to study the human brain and its function in living people, rather than waiting for an autopsy. Up to now, researchers have been able to establish the existence of a network of pain-transmitting areas within the central nervous system (CNS). This was first demonstrated with animals and, more recently, by performing brain studies with humans.

Chronic pain is pain that has been present, either continually or off and on, for at least three to six months.  Chronic pain is complex and often difficult to pinpoint and treat by the medical profession. Acute pain is a sudden pain that can usually be identified and treated, such as a toothache, stubbing your toe, or having surgery.  Chronic pain is very common among North American adults. Data from 1999 demonstrated that about 50 million people seek help for chronic pain. Chronic pain affects people’s lives because it can cause other physical problems, affect the ability to work and enjoy life, and it can affect the social and economic status of people. Chronic pain causes lost productivity and increases health care costs.

Where neuroplasticity comes in is when acute pain develops into chronic pain. Your body reacts to acute pain as it warns you that something is wrong. Usually, once the acute pain has been dealt with, the pain goes away and becomes a distant memory. However, if the cause of the acute pain is not dealt with over the course of a few weeks, months, and sometimes even years, your brain’s “wiring” may reorganize itself and tell your body that the chronic pain should be there and will stay there.  How this change occurs is different from person to person.

Chronic back pain, particularly of the lower back, is the most common complaint of pain in the developed world, even more than headaches
and migraines. It’s estimated that 70 to 85 percent of people in developed countries have had, have, or will have chronic lower back pain at some point in their lifetime.  The connection between back pain and brain function has interested researchers for quite a while. In 2004, A.V. Apkanian and colleagues analyzed 17 patients who complained of chronic back pain. After examining the patients’ brains, the researchers found that the patients had some brain atrophy (wasting away of tissue) in the brain.

“Other researchers, such as T. Schmidt-Wicke, agreed with Apkarian when that team studied 18 patients and matched them with controls, people without chronic back pain. The researchers found the same decrease in brain tissue among those patients who had pain, but not in the controls.”

Eight studies that looked at the shape and changes in brain tissue point to the issue that there is a connection between neuroplasticity and chronic pain. It appears that no matter what is causing the chronic pain, the same changes are taking place in the brain and in the same areas.

What is actually causing the brain cell shrinkage or loss?  That’s the key issue.

New research relating to the blood flow to and from the brain may provide a connection.  Phase contrast MRI of the veins and arteries from the brain to the body are showing that when a person has a misalignment of the upper neck (Atlas vertebrae) the blood flow from the brain is altered.  Once the atlas is restored to it’s normal position the blood flow is normalized.

So if someone suffers a injury that causes a misalignment of the atlas at 25 and does not find the underlying structural problem for 10 years…the brain has not had normal blood flow for 10 years! That may result in the atrophy that the researchers are detecting.  And why so frequently we see patients with Lower Back Pain or Sciatica respond so well to an upper neck adjustment with the NUCCA procedure.

If you are experiencing chronic pain an underlying Atlas Misalignment could be the reason.  To have your brain stem and upper cervical spine evaluated for an undetected injury go to  http://www.nuccawellness.com if you are not in the San Diego County area go to www.nucca.org

References:

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

http://ucrf.org/projects-funding/project-descriptions#cerebral

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

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Dr. Davis here from Vista CA….the success rate of NUCCA Spinal Care at getting to the cause of headaches in our office is about 90-95%.  Headaches can be caused by many different things but upper neck problems have to be one of the most common.  Here is another example from our office of Raquel who was referred into our office by her boss and is sure glad that she did…30 years of headaches?  Here is her story…

 “When I first came to see Dr. Davis as was having headaches for over 30 years.  A constant achy pain that was making me want to lay down and go to sleep all the time.  The pain pills that the Doctor gave me weren’t helping.  I was also having high blood pressure that I was taking medications to reduce, pain and numbness into my left arm and pain into my right foot.

 Since Dr. Davis began correcting the problems with my alignment all of these conditions have significantly improved!  My headaches are almost completely gone.  I haven’t taken any pain pills in over a month!  My blood pressure is down.  I don’t have to take the medication anymore.  The pain in my left arm and foot are much better!  I feel more relaxed and I am sleeping so much better.  I strongly recommend this type of treatment!!!

I am so much happier and more comfortable all over!  Thank you!”

Raquel S.                                        October 2010

Headaches were just the tip of the iceberg when it came to what was happening with her body…high blood pressure, arm symptoms and more were all be caused by a misaligned upper cervical spine.

Are you misaligned?  How is it affecting your body?  Everyone is different but if you have headaches the chances that you are misaligned in the upper neck is extremely high…especially if you have ever had a head or neck trauma.

Find out more at www.nuccawellness.com look for our evaluation special to find out if you are a candidate for NUCCA.

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

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Dr. Davis here from Vista…there is a debate in the public and in the medical community as to whether neck pain can cause anxiety or does the anxiety cause the neck pain.  From my experience in my practice I would say that it’s a little bit of both.  Frequently though a patient will have a head or neck injury and this will create a cascade of health problems.  When accidents and injuries tear loose the connective tissue that hold the spine in place it creates a weakness, which allows the spine to break down and lock into a stressed position.  Once that happens the function of the nervous system is disrupted.  Nerves do 4 primary things in our body…

  1. Every movement we make
  2. Everything that we sense and feel
  3. The control and regulation of all body systems
  4. Our ability to relate to the world around us

The fourth factor is the one that can be the most devastating in an Atlas Misalignment that is disrupting the function of the nervous system at the Brain Stem level.  Frequently I will hear things from patients such as “I feel disconnected from the world around me” or “I have a hard time thinking clearly”…in James’s case he realized after the fact that he was not as present with his family as he would like to be.  Well all that changed when he got his head on straight…because when the head is on straight…everything changes!!!  Check out his story below…

“I was referred into Breath of Life by my wife with neck pain and headaches, low energy, and anxiety.  My neck had been bothering me for over 20 years.

 Since being under care I have much more energy, less anxiety and almost no neck pain or headaches.  And I have only been a patient for about a month or so.  I now feel like I am much more present with my family and more able to do my job.  I never realized how much the neck pain and swelling was taking on my system.  I am feeling very excited about the success I have had at Breath of Life!

 I would encourage anyone who is struggling with their health to just give it a shot and don’t over think the process.  Let your body tell you if you are getting results.

 Dr. Davis and Linde have always been so welcoming and friendly.  I always feel very comfortable and relaxed when I come into the office.  I can also tell that Dr. Davis has a real passion for helping his patients and that is refreshing in this day and age.”

James L.           August 2010

I love helping people like James get back to living the lives that they want to live.  He is better at work and at home since his Atlas was corrected.  To find out more about NUCCA click on a link above or go to www.nuccawellness.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

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