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human ear anatomy with detailed diagram
Image via Wikipedia

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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Xray of cervical spine

Image via Wikipedia

 

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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