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The Link Between Vertigo and Head and Neck Trauma

the-link-between-vertigo-and-head-and-neck-traumaVertigo is an unusual experience where you feel as though there is movement around you when there actually is none. For example, if you move your head suddenly and the room appears to be spinning, or if you have ever spun yourself around on a tire swing and stopped abruptly, only to continue feeling as though you are spinning, you have experienced vertigo. This condition is very common, and the false sensation of movement is due to a disruption of the role of the vestibular system in the inner ear (the most common cause) or the central nervous system (a less common cause). Vertigo in itself is not dangerous; however, the unpredictable attacks could happen while driving or standing on a high ledge, which could have serious outcomes.

There are not a lot of answers out there for patients struggling with vertigo, even from those in the medical industry. One relatively consistent thing about vertigo is that it often follows a trauma to the head or neck. The trauma might be from a car accident, sports injury, slip and fall, or any other type of accident that impacted the neck or head.

When the head or neck is injured, it is common that a misalignment to the upper cervical spine will happen. This part of the spine is connected to the systems that help with balance and spatial orientation. This area is so important that a neck misalignment can disrupt blood flow to the brain and the ears, making it a primary suspect when vertigo cases develop originating from both the ears and the central nervous system.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Brings Vertigo Relief

Upper cervical chiropractors specialize in identifying and treating misalignments of the C1 and C2 vertebrae. Our examination process uses diagnostic imaging to locate exactly where and to what degree a misalignment has occurred. Then we use gentle adjustments, designed specifically to the needs of each patient.

When the misalignment is corrected, many patients experience improvements in symptoms such as vertigo. In fact, the condition may completely go away. In a case study observing 300 people with vertigo due to Meniere’s disease, 97% of the patients saw a dramatic improvement in their symptoms. On average, an improvement that was greater than 90% was documented.

If you or someone you care for is suffering from vertigo, especially if you have had a head or neck trauma, come in to see us at Advanced Spinal Care. We would love to share more ways that upper cervical chiropractic care can help you.

 

References:

Burcon M., Cervical Specific Protocol and Results for 300 Meniere’s Patients, 6th International Symposium on Meniere’s Disease. Nov 2010.

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habits-to-avoid-to-keep-tmj-pain-awayThe temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is one of the most frequently used joints in the body. It is responsible for movements needed for eating, chewing, talking, yawning, and so on. This joint is designed similar to a hinge, connecting the jaw bone to the skull.  Issues in the function of this joint could be a result of a problem within the joint itself or with the muscles that power the joint’s movement. There are many characteristics that can be ascribed to issues with the TMJ such as popping or clicking in the joint, pain or tenderness in the jaw, ear aches, or difficulty chewing.

Habits that can be a factor in TMJ pain include the following:

  • Nail biting and gum chewing
  • Propping your head up with your hand on one side
  • Using your teeth for jobs they’re not meant for, like prying things that are difficult to open
  • Eating extremely hard or crunchy foods
  • Smoking cigarettes

Reducing some of these habits can bring relief for milder cases of temporomandibular joint dysfunction.  However, if avoiding these activities does not provide lasting relief, then they are probably not the root cause of your TMJ problems, and it is most likely necessary to further investigate the issue.

The Connection Between the Spine and the Jaw

The focus of upper cervical chiropractic care is on the alignment of the atlas vertebra which is located at the very top of the neck and is closely connected to the function of the jaw joint.  If the atlas moves out of alignment to even a slight degree, it can negatively affect the proper function of the jaw. Atlas misalignments can lead to the jaw pulling to one side due to unequal muscle tension on either side of the face.  This makes a person susceptible to pain, clicking, popping, or limitations in range of motion.

Atlas adjustments at Advanced Spinal Care are gentle and specific to exactly where the misalignment has occurred. The goal of our practice is to address the root cause of your TMJ pain and dysfunction using our natural methods. Correcting the atlas misalignment can restore proper balance and symmetry to the face and jaw joint, which means less pain and fewer issues related to temporomandibular joint dysfunction.

 

References:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tmj/home/ovc-20209398

https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/datastatistics/finddatabytopic/facialpain/prevalencetmjd.htm

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5-common-causes-of-neck-painNeck pain will affect nearly every person at some point in their life.  The different kinds of neck pain range from a dull ache to sharp, shooting pain that radiates down the arms and into the hands.  There are a few common causes of neck pain:

  • Muscle strain and tension
  • Injuries, such as whiplash
  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Disc degeneration

No matter the reason for the neck pain, treating the symptoms of the problem will only provide short-term relief.  Searching for treatment that focuses on the root cause of the neck pain is necessary for any kind of long-term solution to occur.

Fixing the Source of the Neck Pain

Sometimes, relief from neck pain can come from something as simple as a hot shower or a massage.  However, when the neck pain is constant, or persistently returns every few days or weeks despite resolving for short spells of time, it becomes more urgent to find a lasting solution.  The neck is made up of 7 vertebrae. Many of them move and behave the same way, except for the top two. These two are the atlas and axis, which are designed to move uniquely from the rest because their purpose is to give the head most of its range of motion.  Due to the vast mobility of these vertebrae compared to the rest of the bones along the spine, they are more susceptible to misalignment.

Upper cervical chiropractic focuses on the position of the atlas and axis and how they may be impacting the rest of the neck and spine’s overall health and alignment.  Any time the atlas misaligns, it causes dysfunction in the natural alignment of the spine as all the vertebrae beneath it must compensate for the incorrect position of the bones above.  As a result, the muscles strain, degeneration in the discs can begin, and a loss in the range of motion can happen. Fixing the atlas misalignment using gentle, specific upper cervical adjustments relieves the vertebrae below of unnecessary pressure. This will also allow the nerves in that area to be restored to their optimal function and health. As the body heals, neck and back pain can be resolved.

 

Reference:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/neck-pain/basics/definition/con-20028772

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opioids-could-prevent-full-recovery-for-fibromyalgia-patientsFibromyalgia is a chronic condition that affects the entire body, immersing it in pain and other symptoms. It is very common to be prescribed opioids by a primary care physician for pain management for this condition. New research on chronic pain sufferers found evidence that this form of treatment may actually have negative effects in the long run.

The study followed about 13,000 older vets and watched their pain levels for 12 months. Over time, researchers observed that the severity of pain appeared to slowly decrease when patients were not taking opioids.

What Better Options Are There for Treating Fibromyalgia?

A few factors to recognize about the study was that not all of the participants had fibromyalgia, and there are times that dulling pain with medications is required to complete some necessary tasks. However, for a permanent solution for chronic pain, the research does show us that medication for the pain, especially when over used, can impede improvement. The question is, are there natural solutions for chronic pain management?

We recommend upper cervical chiropractic care, particularly if you have had a head or neck injury prior to your chronic pain. If the upper cervical spine shifts out of alignment, this can cause confusion within the body and brain’s communication of pain signals. The reason for this is that the uppermost vertebrae, the C1 and C2, encase the brainstem and protect the junction in which the spinal cord and brain meet.

At Advanced Spinal Care, we administer the NUCCA technique to examine, locate, and then gently correct these kinds of misalignments. The gentlest adjustment provides lasting corrections, which means more time for healing of the damage caused by the spinal disturbance. After this type of correction, many patients in studies show a lower intensity in pain levels and other fibromyalgia symptoms.

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

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

a-natural-way-to-get-back-on-your-feet-after-a-concussionPost-concussion syndrome is associated with a variety of symptoms that could occur  after a head injury has taken place. The symptoms are a combination of physical and cognitive issues lasting long after they should have diminished.  In the days after a concussion, normal experiences consist of headaches, dizziness, sleep disturbances, and poor memory or concentration. For those with post-concussion syndrome, the symptoms stay for longer than normal, and will often increase in severity instead of improving over time.

The nervous system goes into a state of elevated awareness following a head injury.  The brain and nerve pathways that sense pain and are responsible for sensations of dizziness are more sensitive than usual. During this time, these signals, even mild ones, are amplified when received by the brain. Time normally brings with it healing and recovery for most injuries. However, if people have post-concussion syndrome, they stay stuck in in this state of heightened awareness, and it could even grow worse.

There is a potential solution for people suffering from these symptoms, even if its been weeks or years since their head trauma. Upper cervical chiropractors specialize in the care and details of the upper spine, which directly affects the central nervous system any time it is out of order.

At Advanced Spinal Care in Redwood City, California, we understand that the nervous system pathways and their ability to function normally is related to correct alignment of the bones in the top part of the neck.  Often, the injury that has caused the concussion has also shifted the uppermost vertebrae in the neck. We use a gentle and precision adjustment technique that properly aligns the upper vertebrae and enables the body to continue in its natural healing process. Many of our concussion patients are able to experience relief from their symptoms after receiving our care.

 

REFERENCE SITE:

http://www.neurosymptoms.org/#/post-concussion-syndrome/4582101276

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

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

what-is-the-difference-between-a-headache-and-a-migraineHaving a severe headache does not necessarily mean that you are experiencing a migraine. There different types of headaches that produce different levels and types of pain. In this article, we will discuss some of the more definitive signs of a migraine headache.

Migraines

An estimated 28 million US residents get migraines, according to the National Headache Foundation. Among those affected, most are women. This type of headache can be so excruciating that it interrupts a person’s ability to function in daily life. Here is a list of several migraine symptoms:

  • Moderate to severe throbbing and pounding head pain
  • The whole head can be affected, or the pain can shift from one side to the other
  • Sensitivity to noise, light, or odors
  • Blurry vision
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling very warm or very cold
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Seeing flashing lights, dots, or blind spots

Certain foods may trigger migraines. For example, chocolate, alcohol and caffeine have been known to trigger migraines in some people. Other culprits are skipping a meal, getting too little sleep, using tobacco or being stressed. The question is, what can be done for relief from migraines?

Care Options

Generally, the first place people turn to is their doctor, who normally prescribes a pain medication to take upon migraine onset. The problem is that many of these medications come with harmful side-effects, and they only manage the symptoms without resolving the underlying problem.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care for Migraines

Upper Cervical Chiropractors have a thorough knowledge of the how the spinal structure directly impacts the effectiveness of the central nervous system and how this may be a key to the origin of migraines in their patients. The upper neck is composed of the atlas and axis, two vertebra that house the brainstem. Any misalignment to this area can cause upsets to the brainstem, disrupting vital signals for the brain and body’s connection, causing migraine symptoms. With specialized training in this unique part of the spine, upper cervical chiropractors can correct these types of alignment issues with precision and very little pressure. Many patients report that their migraines become less frequent and milder, and some patients even report that their migraines have stopped completely.

References:

  1. Ferri, Fred MD. Ferri’s Clinical Advisor, 2012 ed. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby; 2012.

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

symptoms-and-solutions-for-post-concussion-syndromeOne of the most common ways that soccer players get concussions (and later experience post-concussion syndrome) is when they are attempting to use their head to redirect a ball but their head collides with another player instead. Concussions are one of the most dangerous injuries that occur to youth, and they happen more frequently to those in contact sports. Concussions can have the following symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches / Migraines
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Speech problems
  • Neck and back pain
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia / Sleep disorders
  • Cognitive problems (inattention, memory loss, mental confusion)

Symptoms do not always happen right away. It could take days or even months before experiencing signs of a concussion. Parents may notice slight changes in personality, perhaps academics take a slow dive, or their child may seem far more lethargic than usual. Most commonly, a doctor will diagnose a concussion based on from symptoms shared by the patient, despite balance and cognitive tests that have been developed for early detection. When symptoms persist for months after the initial concussion, post-concussion syndrome may be diagnosed.

Treatment for concussions is usually to rest, stay out of the game, and wait for symptoms to subside. Many players, feel they are not getting answers or sufficient treatment options for their concussions. Standing by, waiting for symptoms to go away while their sports careers possibly pass them by has caused many to seek other types of care.

Upper cervical chiropractic care has proven to bring continued relief for many concussion sufferers. At Advanced Spinal Care, we believe there is hope to get players back in the game by eliminating symptoms at the root cause within the upper spine. As specialists in spinal care, we will determine the type of adjustment needed based upon the trauma and misalignment of the upper vertebrae. Correcting problems in this area calms the nerves in the back and neck and restores proper function to the brainstem that is housed inside the upper two vertebrae of the spine. This can alleviate the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome and help athletes get back on their feet again.

 

References:

  1. Riara FP, Ford MA. Sports-related concussions in youth: improving the science, changing the culture. National Academics Press. 4 Feb 2014. Web. Accessed on 26 August 2015. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK185340/>.
  2. Elster E. Head Injury / Post Concussion syndrome. Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care. Web. Accessed on 26 August 2015. <http://erinelster.com/ConditionsDetail.aspx?ConditionID=12>.

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

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

finding-relief-for-sciatic-nerve-painPain along the sciatic nerve can range from being constant or acutely related to certain movements. The general experience is radiating pain from the low back to the gluteus muscles, hamstrings and even to the calves, due to pressure placed on the sciatic nerve. Unfortunately, this is a common enough predicament that as many as 4 out of 10 people will deal with sciatic nerve pain in their lifetime.

Here are number of relief options commonly provided for sciatic nerve issues:

  • Stretching
  • Exercises
  • Ice or heat
  • Pain relievers
  • Anti-inflammatories

While these are popular ways to manage the pain, they do not necessarily provide lasting results. Similarly, prescription pain killers wear off and do not deal with the source of the issue. Since the relief options normally used are only temporary, many people have begun to look elsewhere. Natural solutions have become more and more popular among sciatic nerve sufferers, not only to discover what is at the bottom of their pain but to resolve it permanently.

Low Back Pain Gone with a Mild Neck Adjustment

The sciatic nerve is a compilation of many small nerves composing one large nerve that runs from the low back. At the lower end of the spine, the nerves extend out to the legs, hence the radiating pain people experience all the way down the body. The only way to become free from pain for the long term is to find out what is irritating the nerve. More often, the issue is not in the lower spine. Considering the great capacity the lower spine has to help with extra pressure, it often ends up compensating for problems along other areas of the spine.

One of the more likely areas is the atlas, an extremely mobile vertebra at the uppermost part of the spine. This vertebra actually cradles the skull and allows it to move side to side. This is important to know because this wide range predisposes it to misalign and cause issues that affect the rest of the back. One of the side effects can be extra weight bearing for the sciatic nerve in the lower back.

To help with this condition, the people who are most skilled in caring for this specific vertebra are upper cervical chiropractors. They are trained to assess and locate any misalignments and administer gentle, non-invasive adjustments for lasting relief for their patients. An adjustment to the atlas could be the very answer to becoming pain free from sciatic nerve pain.

References:

http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/guide/sciatica-pain-relief-options

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

natural-treatment-for-multiple-sclerosis-inflammationThere are a quarter million US citizens who suffer from multiple sclerosis (MS). This neurological disease is one of the more common conditions that affects young adults, primarily affecting young women.

MS is a progressive disease in which damage occurs to the nervous system. As the disease progresses, the nerves develop scar tissue along the spinal cord and in the brain. As researchers continue to seek out solutions and the root cause of MS, there remain many unanswered questions.

How Much We Know About MS

There are several conditions that have been associated with MS. One of these is autoimmune disease, in which the body is actually at war with itself and even damages its own tissue. Another culprit could be inflammation central to the brain.

While there are several ways to manage the different expressions of MS, finding treatments that do more than mitigate the symptoms is the hope of upper cervical chiropractors. Their desire is to discover what is causing the inflammation or scarring, in order to stall or even stop the disease in its tracks.

Finding the Cause of Nervous System Inflammation

By aligning the upper vertebra, or what is known as the atlas, upper cervical chiropractors have been able to restore measures of immune function for patients. In fact, in one study, up to 48% of patients had improved ability after receiving upper cervical chiropractic care. Several MS sufferers experienced healing from scarred brain tissue, indicating the body began restoring itself post adjustment.

 

Dr. Pete Tsiglieris is an upper cervical chiropractor in Redwood City, CA, who specializes in upper vertebra care, specifically atlas alignment. Fixing a misalignment of the atlas bone can greatly improve the inflammation levels and quality of life for MS patients. Call today to schedule a consultation.

 

References:

 

  1. Multiple Sclerosis Information, Rocky Mountain Multiple Sclerosis Center, 1999.
  2. Guyton A. Textbook of Medical Physiology, 12th Ed. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co., 2010.
  3. Damadian RV, Chu D. The possible role of cranio-cervical trauma and abnormal CSF hydrodynamics in the genesis of multiple Sclerosis. Physiol Chem Phys. 2011;41:1-17
  4. Feeley-Collins K, Grostic JD, Hightower BC, Pfleger B, Selano JL.  “The effects of specific upper cervical adjustments on the CD4 counts of HIV positive patients.” Chiropractic Research Journal 1994;3(1):32.
  5. Elster EL. Eighty-one patients with multiple sclerosis and parkinson’s disease undergoing upper cervical chiropractic care to correct vertebral subluxation: a retrospective analysis. J Vertebr Sublux Res. 2004;2:1-9.

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

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

vertigo-is-there-a-link-to-osteoporosisVertigo is the feeling that you or the things around you are spinning when there is, in fact, no movement at all. The most common type of vertigo is called BPPV or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. If you have this condition, when you move your head quickly, you experience a bout of vertigo. For example, you may roll over in bed and get vertigo.

Recently, osteoporosis has come into the picture in connection with vertigo. A study revealed there is a connection between these two conditions. Osteoporosis happens when you lose bone density. Osteopenia is another condition which happens when there is mild bone loss; it is not as serious as osteoporosis. The connection these two conditions have with vertigo may have to do with the age of the person suffering. These are all recognized more often in older adults.

An additional finding in the study is very interesting. Men with osteoporosis were twice as likely to get vertigo, while women were three times as likely. Similar results exist with those who had osteopenia. One reason is the decrease in estrogen in women’s bodies as they age, which causes a decrease in bone density. This was true even more so in those who were over the age of 50, when estrogen and bone mass decrease rapidly. Interestingly, vertigo was seen more in men at this age. We can now conclude that lower levels of estrogen are not the reason for vertigo.

Vertigo and Proper Neck Alignment

The study did not look at one important factor, however. It did not show any information about the relationship vertigo has to a misalignment in the upper part of the neck, particularly the C1 and C2 vertebrae. A misalignment here can put the brainstem under pressure and cause it to send improper signals to the brain about what is happening in the body. For example, if the brainstem tells the brain the body is in motion when it is not, vertigo can ensue.

Upper cervical chiropractors have the ability to correct these misalignments and restore brain-body communication. This often results in a relief of vertigo symptoms as the body begins to heal from the damage caused by the misalignment.

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

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