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Brain Injury (journal)

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A recent case study published by the legendary Dr. Roy Sweat is linking head trauma, concussions and seizures together.  According to the case study there are about 500,000 brain injuries in the United States every year. Of the people hospitalized for a brain injury only 5-7% ever experience a seizure disorder from their injury. Seizures within the first week of a brain injury, in the elderly, and immediate seizures (within 24 hours of a brain injury), are more likely to lead to post concussion seizures.

Dr. Sweat’s patient had developed a number of symptoms as a result of the head injury 10 years earlier, where she slipped and fell getting out of the shower and hit the back of her head.  She immediately had a migraine and a seizure and was taken to the emergency room.  Later she was released after medical tests were normal.  She continued to have symptoms sporadically over the next 10 years finally getting progressively worse in the last part of the decade including:

  • Positional seizures (When bending forward she would experience a seizure that would leave her unable to walk or talk for several days)
  • A wide gait, left sided walking and swaying that got progressively worse
  • Extreme exhaustion
  • Restricted range of motion in her neck
  • Blurred vision
  • Blood Pressure fluctuations (Ranging from high blood pressure to low blood pressure)

After a thorough evaluation in an upper cervical chiropractic office the 76-year-old patient was found to have an Atlas Misalignment based on objective measurements.  She was then x-rayed and her misalignment was mathematically calculated to decide the type of correction that was necessary.

After her first Atlas correction she was able to look over her shoulders, her wide gait was improved. She was no longer feeling like a seizure was coming on.  After 2 months of care the patient was re-evaluated and the objective findings were much improved including neurological, muscular and postural testing. The patient had no seizures since the first correction, normal, pain-free neck rotation, normal walking pattern, increased energy, improved clarity and brightness in her vision and improved hearing. The patient has her blood pressure checked regularly with her family practitioner and no longer experiences blood pressure fluctuation.

So what about you?

Have you ever had a concussion?  Lost consciousness?  Had stitches to your head?

Has is that trauma effecting you?  Maybe you are having seizures or some other symptoms that are effecting the quality of your life.

Then an upper neck evaluation is extremely important.  There are very few doctors that have the training and experience required to properly evaluate and correct an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems called an Atlas Misalignment.

To find a doctor in your area go to www.upcspine.com or if you are in the southern california area go to 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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human ear anatomy with detailed diagram
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Meniere’s Disease, Cochlear Hydrops, Tinnitus, hearing loss, chronic ear infections and even vertigo can frequently be related to trauma to the nerves from the upper neck (lower brain stem area) that go into the ears.  Upper neck trauma can lead to a variety of different ear problems due to the neurological connection.  Dr. Michael Burcon in Michigan has done excellent work in researching the connection between the upper neck and conditions like Meniere’s Disease, tinnitus, vertigo and others.

Burcon has established a link to these conditions with whiplash injuries that misalign the base of the skull with the top of the neck creating a lesion affecting the Eustachian tube. About half of these traumas are caused by car crashes and the other half from injuries involving head trauma. Burcon believes that the correlation was not made because it takes an average of fifteen years from the time the patient was injured until the onset of symptoms.

Patients typically get diagnosed with these conditions in middle age. Their injuries most often happened during high school or college years from a car accident, sports injury or fall on their heads. Few patients list these old injuries on their doctor’s admission paper work. In fact, they have often forgotten about them, believing they were not hurt if they were not admitted to the hospital.
It is possible to have fewer than the four classic symptoms of Meniere’s Disease (hearing loss, fullness, tinnitus, and vertigo) yet be diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease; this is sometimes said to be “atypical” Meniere’s Disease.  Some Meniere’s Disease patients experience hearing loss, fullness, and tinnitus with no vertigo at all, a condition sometimes described as “cochlear hydrops.”

That is the situation with one of our recent patients.  Will had been diagnosed with Cochlear Hydrops by his EENT and told that it would continue to get worse and there wasn’t much he could do about it.  After reading an article that I wrote about upper cervical and Meniere’s disease, he found some hope.  After his initial 6 weeks of care Will had noticed a 90% improvement in his ear symptoms and chronic neck pain!

When the cause is addressed amazing recovery can take place.  But the cause has to be identified and addressed.

Have you been diagnosed with Cochlear Hydrops, Meniere’s, vertigo or other ear related conditions?

Have you ever had your upper neck thoroughly evaluated to see if the underlying cause could be there?

In Southern California give us a call 760-945-1345 or go to www.nuccawellness.com

Anywhere else in the world go to www.nucca.org or www.upcspine.org

Correct the cause and end the suffering!
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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Illustration of Parkinson's disease
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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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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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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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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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