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Posts Tagged ‘Vertebral column’

God has designed our bodies to be in alignment. Accidents and injuries tear loose the tissue that holds the spine in place, which creates a weakness and allows our spine to break down and lock into a stressed position.

A misaligned spine is a progressive condition that breaks down the structure and tissues of our bodies and disrupts the communication between the brain and the body. This disrupted communication leads to poor health.

As a steward of God’s gift, my body, it is my responsibility to take good care of it. As a child I took a number of falls that severely misaligned my head and neck and led to compensating misalignments in my lower back and pelvis.

In my early 20’s I was working at UPS and doing landscaping and I began to develop lower back pain. That was the first time I ever saw a Chiropractor. My lower back improved and soon my girlfriend at the time (later became my wife) began to develop severe breathing problems and pain in her upper back.

Eventually, I convinced Julie to see the doctor as well. Her breathing and pain remarkably improved. After our experiences and my personal relationship with the doctor, I started talking with him about becoming a chiropractor, and eventually that’s what I did!

Julie and I got married and we moved to California so I could go to chiropractic school. While in school I did very well and graduated near the top of my class, but after graduation when I began working as an associate doctor in a general chiropractic setting, I began to become frustrated by the fact that people needed to be manipulated all the time.

I knew God created our bodies better than that!

I began to look into other chiropractic approaches that could give my family and my community longer lasting results.

And that’s when God led me to NUCCA!

The NUCCA System allowed the doctor to make a more dramatic and longer lasting impact on the body. After becoming a NUCCA patient myself and getting my wife and kids under care, I began to realize that this is the ultimate way to keep the spine in alignment and the brain and the body working optimally for a lifetime!

So I began the long and tedious journey to become a NUCCA doctor and opened my own NUCCA office in 2008.

So my family and I will always be NUCCA patients. I will keep my spine in alignment until I go to Heaven to be with Jesus!

Sincerely,

Dr. Bill Davis

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Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbili...

Image via Wikipedia

Many new Moms and Dads will ask if it is possible for an infant to be misaligned during the birth process.  Good question!

Modern birthing methods of having the Mom push the baby out without gravity working to your advantage, laying flat on your back is a prescription for increased force into the head and neck of the baby in and of itself.  But then you introduce all the drugs  used during the birth process, which includes an epidural which numbs the area that a woman typically would feel when pushing.  And the introduction of drugs like pitocin to induce delivery often before the baby is ready for delivery, can lead to prolonged labors and an increased likelihood of birth trauma.  Also the practice of a doctor pulling during delivery with 50-70 pounds of force into the infant’s head from the birth canal and instruments like forceps and vacuum extraction can lead to a variety of different birth injuries.  C-sections can also be very traumatic as the baby is pulled out of a small incision. 

So much so that women are told things like “yes your baby fractured their clavicle during the birth process, but that is normal.”

What?!  What is normal about a fracture during birth?  It may be common…but that doesn’t make it normal.

Now an important consideration is that not all infants are misaligned.  In fact, in my experience even with the severity of forces that are used in the majority of American births, most babies are not misaligned.  On average, of the babies that I have checked over the years only about 10-20% are misaligned at birth. 

But if a child is misaligned at birth it is critical to get that misalignment corrected as soon as possible.

A misalignment of the Atlas, the top bone in the neck (the most likely bone to misalign during the birth process) has been linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, colic, ear infections, acid reflux and many other neurological conditions related to brain stem dysfunction and accompanying symptoms.

So what are some ways that a parent may assess their own child to determine if their baby should be evaluated for an upper neck misalignment?

The easiest situation would be if your child begins to develop symptoms of any kind.  Such as ear infections.  If a child is having ear infections a frequent cause is a misalignment in the upper neck that leads to poor drainage of the ears because the nerves that control the ears begin in the upper neck.

Or if your baby has colic.  Colic is frequently related to a vagus nerve irritation from an upper neck misalignment during birth.  Once the misalignment is corrected.  The colic often will go away immediately.

Or a variety of other symptoms that most pediatricians and parents will think that the child needs medications to cover up rather than seeking the underlying cause.

But if you have a seemingly healthy child who has not developed any symptoms yet then you can look at a few different things.  Such as when the baby lays flat on their back do they have a tendency to always have their head turned in one direction?  Or can you feel if the musculature in the lower back area near the pelvis is symmetrical from side to side?  Or can you feel that one side is much tighter than the other?

If you are unsure about any of these things find a local upper cervical chiropractor in your area to check your baby as soon as possible.  It can make all the difference in the world for the growth, development and the health of your son or daughter.

The other wonderful aspect of finding problems early in the life of your child is that the frequency needed of an adjustment.  A infant corrected at birth or within the first year of life may be able to hold that one adjustment for months if not years.  So get your kids checked…there really is no downside to having a properly aligned spinal column and properly functioning brain and nerve system.

And a skilled upper cervical chiropractor will be able to correct this misalignment without any popping, cracking or twisting of the spine.  A gentle and precise force to realign the atlas is the key.  Find out more 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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Deep dissection of cortex and brain-stem.

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What happens to the human body as a result of an Atlas Misalignment is variable.  One patient may develop Migraine Headaches another Lower back Pain and still another pain in the face or digestive problems. 

Why is that? 

The short answer is that the brain is changed.

When the spinal column is misaligned as a result of problems in the upper neck it begins a cascade of events that leads to poor health.

Frequently it begins with accidents and injuries that tear loose the connective tissue that holds the spine in place in the upper neck.  This creates a weakness which allows the spine to breakdown and lock into a stressed position.  The head will frequently tilt to one side, the shoulders will tilt.  Standing up one of the hips will be higher than the other due to uneven muscle pulling, lying down one of the legs will be shorter than the other due to spastic contracture of the muscles around the pelvis.

Once the structure of the body is in this misaligned position pressure begins to develop into the nervous system beginning in the lower part of the brain where it enters the spinal cord at the level of the Atlas (top bone in the spine).  And extending down from there into the spinal nerves that go into the legs and arms and into all internal organs.

So what does this all have to do with Post Polio?

If you had Polio as a child and years later you began developing strange symptoms that are being traced back to the original Polio virus than you may have been told that there is not much that they can do for you.

But if there is problems in the body as a result of a trauma to your head, neck or spine and there was some underlying neurological problems as a result of the damage from the Polio, than the combination of the two issues may lead to the symptoms of post polio.

Problems in the upper neck at the level of the atlas cause dysfunction into the brain stem.  Brain stem dysfunction has been linked to the development of post polio syndrome as Dr. Susan Pearlman of the UCLA Post Polio Clinic has stated in her work looking at Polio above the neck. 

When the underlying spinal problems in the upper neck are corrected and brain stem function is improved amazing things happen with a variety of different body systems including many of those connected to post polio and the lower brain stem including improvement in:

  • Fatigue
  • Joint Pain
  • Muscle Pain and Weakness
  • Atrophy
  • Cold Intolerance
  • Breathing Problems
  • Problems Swallowing
  • Blood Pressure Changes 

In my Upper Cervical Chiropractic office I have seen changes in all of these symptoms in those with Post Polio and other conditions as well when the underlying injuries to the upper neck are corrected and allowed to heal.

So have you been diagnosed with Post Polio Syndrome?

Do you have a history of head, neck or spine trauma?

What would happen to your body if that pressure that has developed from the upper neck problems were removed?

Would you get better?

Only one way to find out…have an upper cervical spine evaluation in a specific upper cervical chiropractic office.

Find out more info at www.nuccawellness.com or www.nucca.org or www.upcspine.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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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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X-ray of U.S. girl, age 16 years 8 months, wit...

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When a 2-year-old little girl falls down the stairs what is the typical response?  The parents would pick her up and check on her see if there are any notable injuries.  If they were concerned about her in any way the parents would take that little girl to the emergency room and get her checked out medically.  They may perform X-Rays, a Cat Scan, and other testing.  If all those tests come back negative then they would release her back to her parents and tell them that she is going to be okay.

But what if she wasn’t okay.  What if when she fell and hit her head the ligaments and muscles that connect the head and neck were damaged.  Creating a slight misalignment at the atlas (the top bone in the spine).  Once that bone is misaligned and locked out of it’s normal position it creates a weakness.  This weakness allows the spine to break down and lock into a stressed position.  In this stressed position frequently one of the legs will appear shorter than the other when laying flat on your back.  And one hip will be lower than the other when in the standing position.

Now in this new stressed position the body begins to grow.  With the head slightly tilted to one side and the hips uneven that little girl hits her growth spurt at the age of 8 and a curvature begins to develop.  By the time that little girl is 13 she has a 12 degree Scoliosis like the one you see in the picture.

Now lets look at a different scenario.  This time the Mom of that 2-year-old little girl is a patient of an upper cervical chiropractor.  So after little Candice isn’t sleeping well and just isn’t acting like herself after the fall, she is brought into our office to have her alignment evaluated.  During the exam the little girl is found to have a one inch leg length discrepancy!

After the exam the Candice is adjusted in her upper cervical spine.  Her legs immediately level…the Mom is amazed!  That night Candice sleeps great again and is just like herself again the next day.  Over the last 4 months Candice has only needed one other adjustment and the crying and problems sleeping have not returned.

So what were we able to save Candice from?  Scoliosis?  Ear infections?  ADHD?  Headaches?  Digestive problems?  We don’t know.  But without a doubt Candice will now grow up a healthier girl because her spine has been restored to it’s normal alignment.

The most common times for a child to develop a misalignment are after birth, when they begin to lift their head, when they begin to crawl and when they begin to walk.  After those milestones a child should only be evaluated if they have had a head or neck trauma such as a fall or car crash.  About 50% of the kids that I evaluate are misaligned.  There will be no other time better than in childhood to correct those problems and allow that child to grow up as healthy as possible.

It is much easier to grow healthy kids than it is to repair damaged adults!

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 CA…

Do you regularly sleep on your stomach?  This is the one habit that is the most harmful to the health and function of our spine and our nervous system.  When the head is turned to the side and then the weight of the body is placed upon it…the muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints, discs, nerves, etc. are compressed.  The application of this stress of stomach sleeping will lead to an acceleration of degeneration of the discs and joints.  Some of the worst degenerative disc disease that I have seen in the spine is in those that have spent their life sleeping on their belly.  We spend a third of our lives sleeping!

So if you shouldn’t sleep on your stomach…how should you sleep?  Flat on your back is best.  Some people will find that placing a pillow underneath the knees will be more comfortable.  You should always sleep with only one pillow under your head though so the neck is in a relaxed position.  If you are unable to sleep on your back then the next best option is on your side.  When you are sleeping on your side, you want to make sure that your head and neck are in as an aligned position as possible.  You should only use one pillow that is thick enough to support between your shoulder and your head.  Most people have a pillow that is too thin to sleep on your side…so there head is side bent all night.  The most vulnerable position for the neck to be in is side bent or extended. 

If you are thinking of making a change to your pillow, the best pillows that I have found are available at the select comfort stores in most malls or online at  http://www.selectcomfort.com/.  The make a customized design pillow that is unique to the person.  They will measure you, find out if you have a firm or soft mattress, find out what type of materials you want to put in the pillow, and design a pillow for you to sleep on your side or your back.  The pillows run around $125 or so and are very worth it.  

To break the habit of stomach sleeping sometimes you have to get creative.  I have had patients sew a tennis ball that they had cut in half to a t-shirt and wear that when they slept!  But most people don’t have to go to that extreme…just understanding the importance of spinal alignment and knowing that stomach sleeping will destroy the spine is enough.

To find out more about problems associated with stomach sleeping go to www.nuccawellness.com

God Bless and Be Well,

Dr. Bill Davis

Upper Cervical Specialist

Breath of Life Chiropractic

760-945-1345

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Dr. Davis here again from Vista CA…

Last week we looked at what sitting does to the spine and some ways to mitigate the effects.  Please go back and take a look at that post if you haven’t already.  The sitting position according to fitness expert Juan Carlos Santana does four main things to your body….

  1. Creates muscular weakness
  2. Low Functional Capacity, which can lead to being overweight, orthopedic problems with the joints, spine and other chronic problems
  3. Short and Weak hip flexors-the muscles that allow you to flex your hip become both short and weak which can lead to lower back pain and other problems
  4. A Spine that collapses into flexion due to fatigue-head will move forward, shoulders will slouch, upper back will round…think of a little old lady bent forward over her walker!

Some of the best ways to break these habits is exercise.  Tip #4 is to exercise as much as you possibly can.  As we exercise we begin to break through the chronic patterns that are muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints, nerves etc. get in to.  Well what exercise is best?  I always say the best exercise is the one that you will do consistently!!!  You can learn all sorts of different exercises but if you don’t do them…it doesn’t matter!  Good general exercise is walking, swimming even using the elliptical.  However, you don’t want to have an exercise that you are primarily sitting for…if you sit all day…get your body in a different position!  So stay away from biking, rowing, and other primarily sitting exercises.

Tip #5 is to work on that posture.  One great exercise for posture is called the Bruegger Exercise.  Here is a picture of the exercise seated…you can do this at your seat as you work…http://www.nespineinstitute.com/file/sites%7C*%7C39%7C*%7CBruggerPtEd.pdf Here is a video of it being performed with a theraband.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20HoUCMAoMs  You can also do this exercise standing up against a wall.  The keys to doing it right is to keep the shoulders down away from the ears so that you are activating the muscles around the shoulder-blade.  You also want to keep the head in line with the spine and not jutting forward.  Keep the hands turned out away from the body.  When doing this position you are reversing all of the motions that you normally perform while seated.  It is a great exercise but again consistency is the key.  It needs to be done daily to make a difference for someone who sits all the time. 

Other good anti-sitting exercises can be viewed at the following videos….

Diagonal Chop http://www.ehow.com/video_2350741_diagonal-woodchop-exercise.html

Side Bridge http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUhweriKcAA

Opposite Arm, Opposite Leg Reach http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSq-6_gBwkY

To find out more about how posture effects health and what to do about it…go to www.nuccawellness.com

God Bless and Be Well,

Dr. Bill Davis

Upper Cervical Specialist

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