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Back Pain: Who Is at Greatest Risk and Can Anything Help?

back-pain-who-is-at-greatest-risk-and-can-anything-helpBack pain. Almost everyone has had some type of experience with it. It can be excruciating and chronic for some sufferers, while others only have back pain occasionally and are able to carry on their normal daily routines. Back pain may come about after lifting something heavy or after a simple trip and fall. In some cases, it begins with no obvious cause and gradually gets worse over time.

Who’s at Risk for Back Pain?

Back pain does not discriminate. Anyone at any age can find themselves suffering from back pain. There are some things that may put you at greater risk for having back pain:

  • The aging process: Back pain is seen more often in people over the age of 30 or 40 years.
  • Not being in good shape physically: If the muscles that support the spine and back are weak, you may find yourself with back pain. This is also true of the abdominal muscles.
  • It’s inherited: Certain types of arthritis and other genetic health conditions are often seen to run in families
  • Smoking: We all hear that smoking is bad for your lungs. Did you know it is also bad for the discs located in your spine? This can cause back pain.
  • Working at a physical job: If you work at a job that requires you to lift heavy objects, twist and turn, or pushing and pulling items, you will probably develop back pain at one time or another.

The Surprising Underlying Cause of Back Pain

It may sound odd, but back pain can often be related to a problem of the upper cervical spine, particularly the top two bones of the neck, the C1 and C2 vertebrae. If these bones are misaligned, they can cause the rest of the body to compensate for the problem.  Your head may tilt forward, along with your hips and shoulders. This leads to abnormal muscle spasms and tension in your lower and middle back. Signals going to the brain about what is happening in the body can be compromised as well.

Correcting the misalignment by using a gentle method, instead of popping or cracking the neck or spine, can lead to healing and restoration of normal alignment. This often alleviates the stress being put on the muscles of the back, leading to relief of back pain.

To schedule a complimentary consultation call our Redwood City office at 650-595-0500 You can also click the button below.

Request a free consultation

if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.

low-back-pain-a-common-cause-of-discomfortDid you realize as many as 80 percent of people experience some type of back pain at some point in their lives? Back pain is a common reason for missed days of work due to injury on the job. Back pain affects people of all walks of life. Men, women, and children suffer from back pain. It affects the young and old. It doesn’t matter what your nationality or work environment is. Anyone and everyone can get back pain.

What Causes Low Back Pain?

A variety of things can be to blame for low back pain. Some injuries can heal up quickly and others are more chronic and degenerative conditions. Here are just a few reasons for back pain.

  • Compression of discs: When this happens, the discs of the back compress down, and there is a loss of normal disc height, which puts stress on the spinal cord and nerve roots.
  • Scoliosis: Curvature of the spine resulting in pinched nerves and other pain issues
  • Osteoarthritis: A degeneration of the joints and discs located in the spine
  • Muscle strain or ligament sprain: An injury of this sort is often the result of overusing a muscle or improperly lifting something.

Keeping Your Spine Healthy to Avoid Low Back Pain

Interestingly, the top ones of the spine are as important or maybe even more important than the lower back area when it comes to coping with low back pain. When you think of the spine, imagine it as a whole unit, not a top and a bottom. It all works together. Oftentimes, if a misalignment is present in the top of the neck, the lower back will begin to hurt because it is twisting and compensating for the problem up above. Abnormal spinal cord tension is created, in addition to a disturbance of the signals going to and coming from the brain. Muscle tension on one side of the body may be tighter than the other side. The head becomes tilted, causing the shoulders and hips to become unlevel and triggering low back pain.

Upper cervical chiropractors use a gentle method to realign the top bones of the neck, often leading to a reprieve from low back pain. This is done without the need to crack or pop the neck. It is a mild, yet effective method.

To schedule a complimentary consultation call our Redwood City office at 650-595-0500 You can also click the button below.

Request a free consultation

if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.

tourettes-syndrome-a-possible-link-to-improper-spinal-alignmentTourette’s syndrome is diagnosed three times more often in boys than in girls. Out of every one thousand children, three will have Tourette’s syndrome. It is generally accepted that Tourette’s is a genetic disorder. However, this is not always the case. The following facts point this out:

  • The variation in degree, character, and course of the disease cannot be explained by genetics.
  • As many as fifteen percent of those diagnosed have no link to genetics.

As more and more research is being done on Tourette’s, another possible reason for its development is coming to the forefront. A connection is being seen between head and neck trauma and the onset of Tourette’s. This is often seen right around the time of birth during the prenatal period and may be due to the birthing process itself and the way the baby’s head is turned for delivery. It can also be due to falls or other injuries causing tics to begin. This can start immediately after the injury or a short time later.

Hope Through a Positive Outcome

An experience of a 14-year-old boy is giving hope to those who suffer from this condition. He was diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome. He had a couple of bad days that caused him to miss school. He was brought to the hospital for care because he was having a massive amount of tics. He was having as many as one-thousand violent motor tics on a daily basis. He was prescribed 10 milligrams of Abilify, 1 milligram of pimozide, and some ibuprofen per day. However, it was not the answer he or his parents were looking for. The tics continued.

His parents decided to try an alternate route of care. They brought him in to see an upper cervical chiropractor. It was discovered that he had a misalignment in the top bones of his neck. He was given care over the course of 5 months and 30 visits. He was pleased with the results. His tics had reduced and he was able to get off of his medication due to the fact that his body was now able to better relay messages to the brain.

Others have found similar success when seeking the care of upper cervical chiropractors.

To schedule a complimentary consultation call our Redwood City office at 650-595-0500 You can also click the button below.

Request a free consultation

if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.

the-cost-of-fibromyalgia-and-how-to-alleviate-symptomsFibromyalgia affects as many as 100 million Americans. These sufferers are dishing out as much as $1,000 a month in addition to what their insurance covers for alternative therapies. The annual cost to the those in the U.S. comes in at $14 billion on a yearly basis. This accounts for a loss of up to 2 percent of overall productivity. This shows how fibromyalgia not only affects your health and well-being but also your finances.

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia, often abbreviated as FM, is a condition known for widespread pain throughout the body. It impacts you emotionally, physically, and on a social level. The pain is described as shooting, stabbing, twitching, aching, or throbbing. You may also experience the following symptoms:

  • Numbness or a “pins and needles” feeling
  • Difficulty getting moving in the morning
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Low energy
  • Relentless pain that can be unbearable at times
  • Sporadic symptoms with severe episodes
  • Inability to perform routine daily tasks
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Memory and concentration problems referred to as “fibro fog”

What Can Help Fibromyalgia?

Those suffering from fibromyalgia may benefit from taking part in a pain management program. Prescription medications may be prescribed by your primary care doctor. He or she may recommend pregabalin, duloxetine, or milnacipran. Other suggestions may include the following:

  • Managing your sleep patterns
  • Seeking help from a mental health professional to learn to cope with the pain
  • Massage
  • Physical therapy
  • Stress management

Finding the Underlying Cause of Fibromyalgia

A connection has been seen between a misalignment in the bones of the upper cervical spine and the onset of fibromyalgia. This area of the neck is rich in nerves that run throughout the body. A misalignment can put the brainstem under pressure and cause the nervous system to malfunction. If improper signals are sent to the brain that there is pain when there is, in fact, no pain, fibromyalgia can ensue.

Here at Advanced Spinal Care in Redwood City, California, we use a gentle method to help realign the bones of the neck without having to crack or pop the spine. This allows the body to heal itself while not adding any further stress or pain to the patient. This often helps restore communication between the body and brain and alleviates some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

To schedule a complimentary consultation call our Redwood City office at 650-595-0500 You can also click the button below.

Request a free consultation

if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.

neck-pain-does-it-matter-how-you-sleepNeck pain is not pleasant, and it does matter which position you sleep in to keep your neck in proper alignment. If you are seeking the care of an upper cervical chiropractor for neck pain, you want to ensure your recent adjustment stays in place as long as absolutely possible. If you sleep in the wrong position, you may throw off your adjustment. This is particularly true if it is a couple of days after your initial adjustment when your muscles are healing. Continue reading below to see the best and the worst ways to sleep. If you have not had a chiropractic adjustment yet, this information still applies to you. We all need to take care of our necks while we are sleeping.

The Right and Wrong Sleeping Positions for Neck Pain

Waking up with a stiff neck usually causes you to wonder if you “got up on the wrong side of the bed” or “slept wrong” somehow. While we have to sleep at night, we must remember there is a right way and a wrong way when it comes to back and neck health.

  • Doing it wrong: Sleeping on your stomach is the absolute worst way to sleep if you want to ensure your neck health. This is similar to looking over your shoulder all day long. Your neck will not be happy the next day.
  • Doing it right: Back sleepers win the prize here! This is the best position for the health of your neck and your back. The key here is to keep your neck supported properly, not too high and not too low.
  • Doing it ok: Side sleepers are ok in this area. Just be sure to have a little extra support for your neck so your head is not slanted toward the bed. Keep a pillow between your knees to keep your lower back supported.

Keep Your Neck Properly Aligned

Waking up with a stiff neck may mean it is time to visit us here at Advanced Spinal Care in Redwood City, California. We can make sure you are not suffering from a misalignment, and if you are, we can work to correct it.

To schedule a complimentary consultation call our Redwood City office at 650-595-0500 You can also click the button below.

Request a free consultation

if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.

relief-for-migraines-that-actually-worksA common misconception about migraines is they are just really bad headaches. While a headache is one of the symptoms of a migraine, common headaches can often be resolved by drinking some water to ward off dehydration or getting a good night’s rest. Migraines are much more complicated. It can take days or even weeks until you feel like you have actually recovered from a migraine and are back on your feet.

Causes of Migraines

The exact cause of migraines remains a mystery among the medical community in general. Many people are desperately searching for an answer to this debilitating condition. Many theories abound and much research is still being done. One thing is agreed upon, however. Migraines are neurological in nature, indicating both the vascular system and the nervous system are involved. This is important to remember when seeking care for your migraines.

The Neck — How Does It Relate to Migraines?

To understand better how migraines may develop, we need to get a better look at how the head and neck are connected. The head sits on top of the neck. The skull has a small opening at its base where the brainstem and spinal cord pass through. The atlas is the C1 vertebra and is located at the very top of the spine. If the atlas happens to shift out of place due to a blow to the head or neck, it can cause the head to tilt, throwing off the delicate balance system in this area of the body. This puts the brainstem under pressure and can compromise the flow of blood and cerebrospinal fluid — a perfect scenario for migraines to develop.

Here at Advanced Spinal Care in Redwood City, California, we use a gentle method to realign the bones of the upper cervical spine. We do not have to pop or crack the neck to get positive results. Rather, we encourage the bones to realign themselves more naturally, leading to a longer-lasting adjustment. Our patients often report seeing a decrease in their migraines after only a few visits.

To schedule a complimentary consultation call our Redwood City office at 650-595-0500 You can also click the button below.

Request a free consultation

if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.

better-understanding-concussions-and-where-to-find-helpConcussions are not well understood. They often occur after a sports-related injury or accident. As many as 2.8 million people in the USA suffer from concussions. And it has recently been discovered that concussions can lead to psychiatric disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and irritability. You might feel frustrated because your MRI may have come back normal, but you know something is not quite right. Well, be reassured that it is not all in your head. In fact, it may actually be in your neck. Conventional MRI results may show up as normal even though you are suffering from a concussion.

When it comes to sporting events, the emphasis is now being placed, more than ever, on educating coaches and players to know what to look for when it comes to concussions. Examinations are also being done at the beginning of each season to be used as a baseline for comparison later on in the season when a player is injured. The following symptoms should not be ignored:

  • Memory loss
  • Abnormal headaches and migraines
  • Dizziness and vertigo (a spinning sensation)
  • Mental confusion
  • Inattention
  • Speech problems
  • Extreme exhaustion
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Sleep problems including insomnia

Finding Help for Concussions

Here at Advanced Spinal Care in Redwood City, California, we understand the importance of a properly aligned C1 and C2 vertebrae to the overall health of the body. These bones can easily come misaligned due to a trauma to the head or neck, which often happens during sporting events. These bones were designed to protect the brainstem. However, if they misalign, they actually put the brainstem under stress and cause it to malfunction. The brainstem is part of the central nervous system. Therefore, if it malfunctions, all kinds of problems can ensue.

We use a gentle method to encourage the bones of the neck to realign themselves. This does not require us to pop or crack the neck or spine. Once corrected, the body can heal from the damage done, communication to the brain can be restored, and you may begin feeling back to your old self, or even better!

To schedule a complimentary consultation call our Redwood City office at 650-595-0500 You can also click the button below.

Request a free consultation

if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.

the-birthing-process-can-impact-your-babys-spineThis is something we don’t often think about, but it is true that your baby’s spine can be damaged while undergoing the birthing process. While this is rare, it does happen.

How does your baby’s spine get damaged? Well, a few factors can contribute to this. For one thing, the position you lay in while giving birth can affect the baby. There are births in which the mother is pushing while the doctor is pulling, putting stress on the infant’s spine. Other methods used can have a negative effect on the baby:

  • Vacuum extraction
  • Cesarean section birth (C-section)
  • Forceps

Both forceps and vacuum extraction use 70 pounds of force to pull the baby out of the birth canal. A C-section involves pulling the baby out through a small incision.

Mothers often feel like they need some relief from the pain of childbirth and will ask for an epidural. Or a drug called Pitocin may be given to induce labor. It is important to realize that the further away from the natural birthing process you move, the more trauma and stresses your baby is experiencing.

Is Your Baby Hurting?

It may be hard to tell what is causing a baby to cry. If the normal things like feeding, changing diapers, and comforting them are not working, they may be suffering due to a sore neck. This is something for a professional to look into. Bringing them in to see us at Advanced Spinal Care in Redwood City, California can be a good place to start finding some answers.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care for Babies

Be reassured, misalignments in a baby’s spine are very rare. There are cases where they do happen, however. We will examine your baby to see if he or she has a misalignment in the bones of the upper neck. If so, we will use a very gentle method to realign it. It does not involve cracking or popping the spine or neck. In fact, it is so gentle the baby will not even realize it is being done. It is very important to get this corrected because spinal misalignments can be responsible for other health problems:

  • Colic
  • Acid reflux
  • Ear infections
  • SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)
  • Other neurological conditions

By correcting the issue as soon as possible, your baby will start out life healthy and happy.

To schedule a complimentary consultation call our Redwood City office at 650-595-0500 You can also click the button below.

Request a free consultation

if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.

back-pain-tips-for-alleviating-itAlmost everyone has had some sort of back pain in their life. From dull and achy constant pain to sharp and stabbing pain making it hard to move, back pain can really impact your life. Is there anything you can do to help alleviate or even avoid it?

Tips for Back Pain Relief

Your sleeping position. There are certain ways of sleeping that can either contribute to back pain or help relieve it. The absolute worst way to sleep is on your stomach. This results in your neck and spine being in an awkward position because the head is forced to be turned to one side for a long time.

The best way to sleep is to lie flat on your back with a proper pillow supporting the curve of your neck. This reduces the pressure from the top of your spine to the lower back.

Side sleeping comes somewhere in the middle of really bad and really good. If you sleep best on your side, it is important for you to put a pillow between your knees. This helps relieve stress on your lower back and keeps the spine in proper alignment.

Exercise. Exercise is very important to alleviate back pain. If you must sit for long periods of time for work, the back is under constant stress, and back pain may occur. Doing something you enjoy will help you keep with it. Some suggestions are Pilates, swimming, bike riding, or walking. It doesn’t really matter what you do as long as you do something. Just be sure not to overdo it. Take things slowly, especially when you are beginning.

Keeping Your Spine Healthy to Reduce Back Pain

Another good suggestion to keep the spine healthy is to have appointments regularly at your local upper cervical chiropractic office. The pain you are experiencing may be due to a misalignment in the bones of the upper cervical spine, particularly the top two bones. If a misalignment occurs here, the entire back compensates by twisting and moving, affecting and irritating the tissue and muscles of the back. By correcting these issues, back pain may improve or go away completely.

To schedule a complimentary consultation call our Redwood City office at 650-595-0500 You can also click the button below.

Request a free consultation

if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.

autism-one-girls-story-and-positive-outcomeAutism does not discriminate. It can affect anyone at any time, no matter their race, social standing, or where they live. In fact, 1 out of every 68 children get autism and is found more often in boys than in girls. If you are a parent, the last thing you want to hear is that your child has been diagnosed with autism. But, don’t lose hope. There are many successful stories of children with autism greatly improving after receiving care from an upper cervical chiropractor. Let’s look at just one example.

One Girl’s Experience with Autism

A 3-year-old girl was suffering from headaches and other issues. She was experiencing epilepsy, behavioral problems, acid reflux, vomiting, developmental delays, and problems getting sleep. She had been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder after she met 5 of the criteria in the Modified Checklist for Autism. Her mother decided to bring her to see an upper cervical chiropractor in order to try to improve her condition.

Her medical history stated she was born prematurely weighing only 2 pounds, 5 ounces. She was born at 28 weeks and had to remain in the hospital ICU for 6 weeks. She came home using oxygen because she was diagnosed with sleep apnea.

Upon examination by the chiropractor, it was discovered that she had tenderness in her neck and spine area. It was determined that she did have a misalignment in the bones of her upper neck. The chiropractor gave her an adjustment and within 10 days her parents noticed a big improvement in her head pain, posture, bowel movements, behavioral issues, and eating habits. After 24 days, her parents described her as still making major progress. After 244 days, her parents very gladly reported the majority of her symptoms were gone and she was much more verbal. She was showing no evidence of a relapse.

How Does Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care Help?

By correcting a misalignment in the upper neck, the stress being put on the brainstem is relieved. This is often all that is needed to see an end to symptoms of autism and other behavioral issues.

To schedule a complimentary consultation call our Redwood City office at 650-595-0500 You can also click the button below.

Request a free consultation

if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.