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Posts Tagged ‘Research’

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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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Tired Woman

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Dr. Davis here from Vista California…

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and a similar condition called Fibromyalgia are 2 very common conditions seen in an upper cervical chiropractic office.  What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?  The Mayo Clinic describes it this way…

“Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that may worsen with physical or mental activity, but doesn’t improve with rest. Although there are many theories about what causes this condition — ranging from viral infections to psychological stress — in most cases the cause is still unknown.  Because its symptoms are difficult to measure, CFS wasn’t widely accepted as a real medical condition for several years. Today, however, doctors and researchers agree that this chronic condition should be taken seriously.”

So if most people get tired they rest and they get more energy.  But if you have chronic fatigue than your batteries don’t recharge the same as other people.  You can lay down for a nap or sleep 8 hours at night and still wake up as tired as before!  How frustrating!

Frequently what we find with patients is Chronic Fatigue will be associated with an undetected brain stem injury.  The Brain Stem is very important for regulating our energy level.  If the brain stem is not functioning the way it was designed you will have a hard time recovering.

When someone has accidents and injuries that have torn loose the connective tissue that holds the spine in place it will allow the spine to breakdown and lock into a stressed position.  The area of the spine that is most frequently affected is the upper neck area because it is the most movable and the most vulnerable to injury.  Once this upper neck area is misaligned it will begin to affect the function of the brain stem.  This brain stem pressure can lead to a variety of problems including dysfunction with the release of cortisol.  Altered cortisol levels can have many different effects on both the mind and the body for more info on that look at our post from a few weeks ago on cortisol and chiropractic here  (https://nuccadoctordavis.wordpress.com/2010/11/02/cortisol-chiropractic-and-the-chronic-stress-response/)

One of the top NUCCA doctors in the world Dr. Marshall Dickholtz Sr. along with a medical doctor and a psychiatrist did some very interesting research several years looking at the connection between the upper cervical spine and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  Here’s what the found when they compared quality of life measurements using a survey called the SF-36 six months after the initial correction to normal subjects:

  • Physical Functioning increased from 58% to 85%!
  • General Health improved from 35% to 55%
  • Vitality improved from 17% to 55%
  • Social Functioning increased from 40% to 70%
  • Mental Health improved from 50% to 70%

In addition both the quality and quantity of sleep improved based on all testing and there was significant decrease in sleep medication usage.  And maybe most remarkable all subjects in the study found a normalization of cortisol levels in the morning and evening readings at 6 months into care!  Amazing improvement!

Here is an example from my office of a person with severe chronic fatigue who was able to get back to a normal life  after beginning care.  Mary was in bed up to 2 days at a time if she did any activity!  If she went to the store and came back she would have to lay down for days!  The last time we heard from Mary she was keeping a schedule that she could never imagine before having her upper cervical injuries corrected.  Here’s Mary story in her own words…

“I have had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for the past 12 years and if I had a busy day it would take me up to two days to recover!  I have also had serious chronic muscle pain, leg pain, headaches, sleep problems an inability to take walks for exercise. 

 The first thing that changed was my energy level…since the first treatment, I began to notice that I only needed to lay down mid-day for a short time to recover…rather than the 2 days that I used to need just to get through the day.  I also noticed my headaches disappeared immediately.  My muscle pain has definitely improved and I use much less prescription pain killers.  My body feels “smooth” or at peace all over after an adjustment…wonderful!

I would encourage anyone to come see Dr. Davis.  Especially anyone like me that has had long standing chronic health issues, don’t believe your body will stay the same and/or continue to deteriorate…there is great hope!!!  The most enjoyable part of Breath of Life is the true, genuine and tender concern for the patients which you experience the moment you first step into the office and it never quits.  Dr. Davis is a true Godsend and I am privileged to have him for my Doctor.”

Mary M.  San Diego CA

If you are struggling with Chronic Fatigue like Mary was there is hope!  Go to www.nuccawellness.com to find out more information and to schedule your appointment 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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhHNkL-ruYY

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Xray of cervical spine

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Accidents and injuries will tear loose the connective tissue (Muscles, ligaments and tendons) that holds the spine in place.  This will create a weakness, which will allow the spine to breakdown and lock into a stressed position.  The longer the spine is misaligned the more progression that will take place in the wearing down of the spinal joints, discs, muscles, etc.  Frequently in our office we see patients who have been involved in car crashes.  Not only recent car crashes…but car accidents that have occurred 5, 10 or 15 years before or even longer.  Based on the extent of degeneration in the spine the injury to the spine can be dated approximately.  Why is that?  Well if the spinal balance is altered due to misalignment there will be unequal pressure applied to the spine.  Over time this will lead to a breaking down of the bones, ligaments, discs etc what is called degenerative disc disease (Bone spurs and disc thinning etc.). 

Upper Cervical Specialists have been seeing this phenomenon in our offices for years.  But now the research is also showing that Degenerative Disc Disease or what is commonly called Arthritis of the spine is a result of accidents or injuries. 

Here is what Dr. Mason Hohl an MD and professor of surgery at UCLA Medical Center says…“Follow-up x-rays taken an average of 7 years after injury in one series of patients without prior x-ray evidence of disc disease indicated that 39% had developed degenerative disc disease at one or more disc levels since injury.”  7 years after the injury the discs and other spinal structures are already breaking down!  There was an expected incidence of 6% degenerative change in the population over this period of time.  “Thus, it appeared that the injury had started the process of disc degeneration.” 

 He goes on to say “In another follow-up study of patients with similar injuries but with preexisting degenerative changes in the neck, it was observed that after an average of 7 years 39% had residual symptoms, and x-ray evidence of new degenerative change at another level occurred in 55%.”  So if you already have had an injury that has started the degenerative process and you have another injury it leads to more degeneration in the area. 

Why is it so important to get you head and neck alignment evaluated?  How many of us have had a head or neck injury that has misaligned our spines?  Every day that the spine stays misaligned…more degeneration takes place. 

When the head is on straight everything changes… www.nuccawellness.com or if you are outside of the San Diego County Area 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: 

 The Cervical Spine-The Cervical Spine Research Society, Lippincott, 1989 Mason Hohl, MD Professor of Surgery/Orthopedics, UCLA Medical Center Page 440

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