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A recent case study published in the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research titled “Improvement in a Female with Multiple Sclerosis Undergoing Chiropractic Care Utilizing Toggle Recoil Technique: A Case Report” by John Taylor Thornhill, DC.  Again raises the question…

…is Multiple Sclerosis related to trauma to the head and neck?

On this blog in the past we have looked at the correlation between blood flow studies and head and neck trauma (http://wp.me/pscJU-5Q).  We have looked at the research out of Europe demonstrating how an invasive surgery to the veins that drain from the brain is showing remarkable improvement in MS patients (http://wp.me/pscJU-5L).  And now another study linking MS to the neck.

Approximately 400,000 Americans have MS and every hour someone is newly diagnosed.  Worldwide, MS affects approximately 2.1 million people.  No two people experience the symptoms of MS the same way nor do any two individuals show the same progression of the disease. The Central Nervous System dysfunction associated with MS results in a wide variety of neurological symptoms ranging from tingling, numbness, and slurred speech to visual disturbances, changes in brain function, and paralysis in severe cases.

Some chiropractors specialize in techniques focused solely on the upper cervical area of the spine (upper neck). These techniques have been shown to have a global effect on physiology with positive outcomes in patients with upper neck misalignments.  It should be noted that the objective however is not to treat the presenting symptom as much as it is to reduce the upper cervical misalignment  itself for the inherent benefit of improving the function of the nervous system.

The positive outcomes from this type of correction have been observed in all age groups from pediatric to geriatric. Upper cervical chiropractic care has been shown to be safe in spite of complicated case presentations including those with previous spinal injury due to trauma, infection, or other abnormality.

There is growing evidence linking previous trauma to the onset and diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, implying a connection between stability of the cervical spine and the onset of the disease.  Dr. Elster has also reported on some promising work on the effects of upper cervical specific chiropractic care and the positive outcomes of MS patients further linking the progression of the disease with the position and stability of the upper cervical spine (http://www.erinelster.com/PDFabstract.aspx?PDFID=10).

With all of the evidence pointing in this direction…doesn’t it make sense to at least evaluate that area of the body to see if you could be helped with Upper Cervical Specific Chiropractic Care, such as NUCCA?

You have nothing to lose and much to gain from an evaluation!

To get a thorough Upper Cervical Spine Examination contact our office www.nuccawellness.com or if you are not in the Southern California area go to www.nucca.org or www.upcpine.com.

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Many times after an initial adjustment in the office a patient will report feeling a flushing in their face or a feeling of a changed blood flow in their neck or other area of the body.  Why does this happen?  And how is changing blood flow patterns important to health and function of the body.

Chiropractic is primarily about changing nerve flow from the brain to the body.  But when nerve flow is changed so is blood flow.  Both directly by the veins and arteries that are not flowing properly and from the nerve connection to the arteries and veins.

A great example from our office was Maureen.  Maureen had suffered multiple injuries from car accidents and had lost a majority of the strength in her legs.  At 31 she was struggling to walk and was resigned to a wheelchair due to the injuries to her neck and back.  Severe numbness and tingling into both legs.  After an 8 year battle that cost her more than $45,000 out of pocket for just the diagnostic tests alone, she finally found the help she needed with NUCCA care.  Here is her story in her own words.

I had multiple injuries to my back and neck 8 years ago that compounded and deteriorated to the point of using a wheelchair and crutches to walk. All my hope was almost lost, but Dr. Davis was an answer to my prayers. The day after my first adjustment, I heard and felt a loud release at the base of my skull. A few days after that I was down to using only one crutch to walk, after years of using two. After continued care I have been able to ditch the crutches completely and I am able to stand and walk without assistance. I am so excited about all the things that I can do again thanks to my NUCCA care. From being able to sleep on my back, to being able to stand in the shower and to be able to stand in church and raise my hands! The NUCCA method is non-invasive; it is gentle, with absolutely no cracking of the spine. In fact I hardly feel the adjustment, but I definitely feel a huge improvement in my health. Dr. Davis is a wonderful chiropractor and is doing God’s service!

The changes that happened with Maureen are related to both blood and nerve flow.  She told me when she began to notice the changes, that she felt like life was coming back into her legs.  Well, when the brain and the body are disconnected by an upper cervical misalignment, the life that flows through the nerves and blood vessels into all areas of our body are extremely effected. 

If you remember Christopher Reeve, Superman took a fall from a horse that fractured those all important bones at the top of the neck.  Imagine a light switch, for him it was as if the lights were turned out.  He was in a wheelchair unable to move or breath on his own.  A 100 % loss of function.

Now imagine a dimmer switch, when there is a misalignment at the top of the neck that dimmer switch is turned down.  Each person’s switch is turned down a different amount.  For one person it may be 10%, another 35%, well with Maureen her dimmer switch was probably 75-80 % or more.

Is your switch turned down?  How much?  How is it effecting you?  Headaches, sleep problems, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, 300 trillion nerves coming out of the brain which nerves is that misalignment effecting in your body?

If you are in the San Diego county area call the office today to schedule an initial evaluation at 760-945-1345.

Or find an upper cervical specialist in your area at www.nucca.org or www.upcspine.com

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A frequent condition that I see in practice is what’s called Sciatica.  Sciatica is pain or other symptoms that affect the legs that originate in the lower back where the sciatic nerve originates.  Sciatica that affects both legs is less common than one sided sciatic nerve pain.  When the sciatica affects both legs the symptoms can be highly variable.  Some patients demonstrate pain only.  While others experience numbness, tingling, weakness or achy pain in different areas of the lower back, buttocks, legs and feet.

Being an upper cervical chiropractor many people cannot understand how I can get such good results with lower back and leg pain.  But the truth is one of the most common conditions that I see in my practice is lower back pain with or without leg pain or sciatica.

So what does the neck have to do with the lower back and legs?

Upper neck misalignments cause the posture of the body to be altered.  Accidents and injuries to the head and neck will tear loose the tissue that holds the spine in place which will create a weakness and allow the spine to break down and lock into a stressed position.

The most movable bone in the body is located at the base of the skull and is called the Atlas.  When the Atlas has lost it’s normal position the weight of the head is shifted to one side or the other.

Once this shift has taken place the body will begin to compensate.  One of the shoulders will typically become lower and the pelvis will distort in order to compensate for lack of balance in the upper neck.

This Functional Pelvic Distortion is the underlying factor in many sciatic cases.  This twisting and tilting of the pelvis causes a tethering on the sciatic nerve or nerves, inflammation and muscle spasms in most cases.

Here is an example from my office just last month.

Jim had lower back pain for years and was seeking help for severe degenerative disc disease in the lower back from a spinal decompression center in the area.  After receiving the spinal decompression treatment his lower back pain increased and eventually he began getting intense sciatica down both legs.

He was referred to our office by a friend and came in quite sceptical that an upper cervical correction could help his lower back and legs.  But at the encouragement of his friend he decided to give it a shot.

He had a history of severe head and neck traumas including several concussions and a auto racing crash at 145 mph.

He was assessed and found to have significant postural problems originating from the upper neck.  His head and neck were markedly off to the right side and his pelvis was severely tilted and twisted 3 degrees from level.  His thermographic scans showed severe inflammation in the upper neck and lower back.

He had lower back pain mostly on the left side and leg pain from the buttock to the foot on the left and sporadically on the right as well.  He also had numbness and tingling on both sides worse in the feet.

He noticed if he moved his head back into extension it would increase the leg pain. 

He was barely walking, could not sit for more than 5 minutes and was taking 4 Codeines and 12 Advil per day!

His x-rays showed significant disc degeneration in the lower back and neck and a very complicated and unstable upper cervical misalignment.

We began working on him and results were slow because of the instability of his misalignment.  Once he began to hold his correction and the pressure remained off of the nerves for prolonged periods of time, his pain began slowing improving.  A 30% reduction in the pain and the majority of the numbness in the legs was gone in the first month.  He is in his second month now and his corrections are holding better and better.  His hips stay level for weeks at a time and now he is completely off of the pain pills and able to sit for long periods of time again and his pain has gone from a constant 10/10 pain to a sporadic 3/10 pain that has localized to one leg.  He and his wife just left on a week long cruise and he is very happy!

I never did any treatment on his lower back!  I only corrected the underlying postural problems in the spine that were causing the lower back pain and the sciatica.  By balancing out the head and the neck the pelvis is able to stay level and the pressure stays off the nerves.

Who do you know that has recurring lower back pain or sciatica?  Who do you know that is considering surgery, decompression, injections or other overpriced and dangerous options?

The best questions to ask to see if upper cervical chiropractic could help you is…

Have you had head or neck traumas in the past?

Do you have obvious postural issues?  Head tilts to one side, shoulders uneven, etc.

The results that I see are common in upper cervical offices.  If you google upper cervical and sciatica you will see many of the patients who have been helped with sciatica across the country.

To find out if upper cervical chiropractic is right for you go to www.nuccawellness.com, www.nucca.org or www.upcspine.com and find a doctor 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

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Dr. Davis here from Vista California

Here in Southern California, surfing is a very popular activity. Surfing is great exercise and a lot of fun for millions of Americans but it can really do a number on your spine. One of the most troubling parts of surfing is the fact that you have to keep your neck in extension as you lay on the board to paddle out.  As mentioned before on this blog the most vulnerable positions for your neck to be in are all the way back in extension and all the way to the side in lateral bending.  Most surfers that I see are severely misaligned due to falls or other non-surfing related injuries.  Once that spine is misaligned…putting it into that extreme extension position on a regular basis will lead to increased Degenerative Disc Disease and eventually symptoms.  Some of the most common symptoms surfers experience is back and neck pain, numbness and tingling into the arms and legs and other related symptoms.

There is hope for those that want to surf throughout their lives…the key is alignment.  If the spine is misaligned the degeneration will occur at an increased frequency and quality of life will decrease.  The problems will typically begin in the neck and then translate through the spine until the condition is corrected.  If the spinal problems are corrected and the alignment is maintained throughout life, most people will be able to surf as long as they want to. 

Here is an example of a man whose ability to do one of his favorite activities was greatly affected until he got the problems in his spine corrected.

“When I first came to see Dr. Davis I was having severe lower back pain and it was greatly diminishing my quality of life. I had struggled with it for over 15 years but it had really gotten a lot worse in the past 2 years. Both at work where I have to stand for long periods and when I went surfing which I love to do.

Since beginning care my back pain has subsided enough to not impact anything that I do in life negatively. I can surf without any pain! I can stand for hours without pain at work. Surfing without back pain is a huge blessing!

I was a huge skeptic when I came to Breath of Life, but I figured I had nothing to lose. I gave it a year and I am so glad that I did. I feel so much better than I did a year ago! And I really enjoy knowing that Dr. Davis and I both worship the same awesome God!”

Gary B.   November 2010

Who do know that is like Gary?  Suffering every time they go to do the activity that they love.  Maybe you don’t even have the symptoms yet and just want to make sure that your spine is in a good alignment so that you can continue to do what you want to do throughout your life.  Either way an evaluation of your alignment by a qualified Upper Cervical Chiropractor is in order.

Find out more info at www.nuccawellness.com or call today to arrange your initial evaluation.  If you are not in the San Diego County area go to www.upcspine.org to find a doctor in your area.

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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I have decided to do a series of blogs on what happens to the brain, brain stem, spinal cord and structures of the spine in a whiplash type injury and how Upper Cervical Care is so effective at restoring normal function to the body.

An injury to the neck caused by a sudden movement of the head, backward, forward, or sideways, is commonly referred to as “whiplash”. During such an injury, neck ligaments and muscles can be sprained or strained and vertebrae can be misaligned. While the term “whiplash” is most frequently used to describe auto accident injuries (in which a person is rear-ended, hit head-on, or hit from the side), whiplash can also frequently occur during ski accidents, bike accidents, falls, blows to the head, concussions, and other head/neck traumas.

Auto accidents are also the most common cause of closed head injuries due to acceleration/deceleration of the brain.  The brain is a soft structure confined in a non-yielding body structure the skull.  The mechanism of injury is either a shearing of axons or impact of the brain against the bony skull.  The rapid acceleration and deceleration seen in whiplash can often result in closed head injuries.

MINOR HEAD INJURIES CAN RESULT IN LONG TERM COMPLAINTS SUCH AS HEADACHES, DIZZINESS, VISUAL DISTURBANCES, FATIGUE, SLEEP DISTURBANCES, DIFFICULTY WITH CONCENTRATION, AND PERSONALITY CHANGES, ETC.

Whiplash has been shown with or without head contact with an object to be the most common cause of post-concussion syndrome as well.  The cognitive defects in whiplash victims, characterized by headaches, fatigue, dizziness, poor concentration, sensitivity to light, difficulty with processing and  attention.  These brain injuries are often overlooked in whiplash patients.

Following the whiplash accident, symptoms can be triggered immediately or can take months or years to develop. The purpose of upper cervical chiropractic care is to reverse the trauma-induced upper neck injury; thereby reducing irritation to the nerves in the brain stem and spinal cord that can trigger pain and other symptoms. After an accident, an upper cervical examination utilizing Laser-aligned Radiography and Digital Infrared Imaging is necessary in each individual’s case to assess whether an upper cervical injury is present and whether benefit from upper cervical care can be achieved.


References:

www.erinelster.com

www.drlicata.com

CROFT A.: WHIPLASH AND BRAIN INJURIES 1992

BARNAT, M.R.: POST-TRAUMATIC HEADACHE PATIENTS.  HEADACHE 1986

 RADANOV, B.P., ET AL: COGNITIVE DEFICITS IN PATIENTS AFTER SOFT TISSUE INJURY OF THE CERVICAL SPINE.  SPINE 1992

ZUMSTEG, D. ET AL: WHIPLASH AND CONCUSSION. CANADIAN JOURNAL OF NEUROLOGICAL SCIENCES 2006

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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Dr. Davis here from Vista…In the first installment of this blog post we looked at where the nerves go and what types of conditions can be a result of problems with these nerves.  So lets continue that look at the nerves as they go into the body…

  • The nerves from that go into the body cavity go into the heart-problems may manifest like irregular heartbeat, palpitations etc,
  • Then the lungs are next-this can lead to shallow breathing, shortness of breath, asthma, allergies
  • Then the next set goes into the liver, gallbladder, and stomach-this can lead to indigestion, heartburn, bloating and gas.
  • The next set goes into the energy producing organs-the pancreas, spleen,  and adrenals-interference can lead to decreased energy and vitality.
  • The next set goes into the intestines-constipation, diarrhea, cramps, irritable bowel syndrome, etc can result.
  • Then there are the nerves to the kidneys,  and urinary system.  If that system is weakened it may result in chronic infections (UTI).
  • Then there are nerves that control the reproductive system-in women may see irregular or painful menstrual cycles.  In men, this can lead to impotence or other sexual dysfunctions.
  • And lastly there are 3 nerves that come out of the lower back and go into the legs….one goes across the hips down into the knees and the outside of the legs…this can lead to pain, numbness, tingling or weakness in these areas.
  • The next nerve is the classic sciatic nerve…goes into the back of the hip down the back of the leg into the calf, down the leg into the outside of the foot…this nerve also effects the prostate…this can lead to pain, numbness, tingling or weakness in this area as well and prostate dysfunction.
  • The last nerves goes around the belt line and goes into the groin and down inside of the leg to the big toes.  Problems here can lead to pain, numbness, tingling or weakness in this distribution.

Courtesy of Dr. Brooks…

So when the spine is misaligned it can virtually affect any of those nerves in any of those ways and those are just the peripheral nerves and not the central nervous system…which can affect the body in completely different ways…(see what is the brain stem? for more info https://nuccadoctordavis.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/whats-the-brain-stem/)

Now do you better understand the results that we see at Breath of Life?  How a patients digestive function improves?  Why a person with chronic urinary tract infections finds a resolution?  How a person’s hearing can improve?  God has put an amazing amount of power inside our body’s nervous system…and when that system is working at less that 100% then the entire body is compromised…Is your nervous system working at 100%? 

If your spine is misaligned the answer is no!

Schedule a complimentary consultation to find out if you are a candidate for NUCCA Spinal Care today!

760-945-1345

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Dr. Davis here from Vista…The Nervous system is the master system of the entire body.  When the spine has become misaligned (see a recent article https://nuccadoctordavis.wordpress.com/2010/07/13/is-one-of-your-legs-shorter-than-the-other/) the nervous system which is the brain, the brain stem, the spinal cord and the nerves that go out into the body become less functional and eventually symptoms begin to present themselves.  Which symptoms?  Depends on the person…everyone is different.  However the misalignment of the spine beginning in the upper neck is what changes everything.  Because upper neck misalignments have the most far-reaching effects on the body.  There are 300 Trillion nerves that pass through this fuse box of the body located just below the skull.  Because these upper neck misalignments also cause the most compensations throughout the rest of the spinal column the conditions that can result are numerous.  In my office, I have seen everything from Plantar Fascitis, a foot problem to Ringing in the Ears respond to an upper neck correction that changes the entire body.

So lets look at the distribution of the peripheral nerves and what types of conditions can result from problems in different areas…

First…there are 3 nerves that come out of the neck into the head…

  • One supplies the muscles of the scalp and the inner and middle ear-this can lead to conditions like stress headaches, dizziness, dis-equilibrium, ear infections and ringing in the ears
  • The next supplies the sinuses and eyes-dysfunction here can lead to sinus problems-infections & congestion, allergies, vascular congestion and hay fever
  • Then the third nerve goes to the teeth, gums and jaw-this can be associated with jaw pain or TMJ, clicking, face pain, teeth pain etc.

The next nerve goes to supply the muscles of the neck-problems here can lead to stiffness and pain in the neck

Next we have 3 nerves that come out of the neck and go into the arms

  • The first goes across the shoulder, down the arm and into the thumb & first two fingers-problems here can cause shoulder pain, arm pain or weakness and numbness and tingling into the arm and hand
  • The second goes down the middle of the arm and into the middle two fingers-problems here can lead to numbness or tingling, pain or weakness into the arm or hand
  • The third goes into the thyroid, under the shoulder-blade, under the arm, into the elbow, and into the last three fingers-this can create thyroid dysfunction, pain between the shoulder blades, numbness, tingling, pain or weakness into the elbow, arm or hand

Next time we will look at where the rest of these nerves go in part 2 of this blog post…

If you know someone who is struggling with one of the conditions listed above or many of them…an Atlas misalignment could be the cause…get your spine and nerve system evaluated today….Breath of Life in Vista CA is a good place to start if you are in the San Diego County area.  Anywhere else go to www.nucca.org to find a doc in your area.

God Bless and Be Well,

Dr. Davis

Breath of Life, Upper Cervical Care 760-945-1345

161 Thunder Drive, Suite 104, Vista CA 92083

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