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Finding Relief for Sciatic Nerve Pain

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.


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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.




  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.

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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.

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is-there-hope-for-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-sufferersYes, there is hope, and it is centered around recent research that may be the answer to the incapacitating fatigue and other symptoms associated with Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

If you are suffering, you may also be experiencing:

  • Pain in the muscles
  • Problems with concentration
  • Memory issues
  • General weakness
  • Chronic headaches
  • Vertigo or dizziness
  • Neck or back pain
  • Ringing or pain in the ear
  • Depression

There is much more to chronic fatigue than just being tired. If you are struggling you know that you can’t just sleep off this tiredness and other symptoms and you may feel like it’s taking over your life and there is no hope to be relieved from this extreme exhaustion.

Alleviating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome through Specialized Care

Recent research points to head and neck trauma from your past as a possible cause of CFS. This is due to the fact that after head and neck trauma such as whiplash injuries and concussions, the body’s ability to regulate blood and cerebrospinal fluid in the brain is changed. The flow to, through, and from the brain may be impeded by the lingering effects of these injuries leading to symptoms associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

One recent study took a close look at brain perfusion. This is a measurement of the amount of blood and cerebrospinal fluid that is going into and leaving the brain. The result of the study revealed that people with CFS had reduced brain perfusion compared to those without it. Their brain perfusion was significantly and consistently reduced.

So how can this be corrected and is that enough to help with chronic fatigue symptoms?

A specialized form of chiropractic called NUCCA has seen much success in helping CFS patients find relief and it may be due to the changes in brain perfusion that happen after this unique type of care.

By examining the upper neck for misalignments with specialized x-rays and then correcting them, the pressure is relieved from the brainstem. This allows blood flow to become regulated and has been seen to alleviate the symptoms of chronic fatigue. It has been noted that sleep issues can also be helped by correcting upper neck misalignments. It often only takes a couple of adjustments to start seeing positive results.

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is-your-neck-pain-being-caused-by-text-neckNeck pain is a common complaint around the globe. It is possible that your neck pain is coming from an ever increasing epidemic called text neck. This is due to the abundant usage of mobile devices in today’s busy world. This is where the term, text neck, comes from. Text neck is referring to neck pain coming from the regular use of a tablet, smartphone, or similar device. Why does this lead to neck pain?

For one thing, the human head can weigh as much as 12 to 14 pounds, which is no problem if you are keeping your head upright. However, if you tip your head forward just a few degrees, the neck becomes stressed. Even if you have your head at a 15-degree angle, 27 pounds of pressure is put on the neck. If the head angle is more severe, you could have 60 pounds of pressure applied on the neck. When you put this into perspective, you realize that when you bend your head forward to look at your phone, your neck takes the brunt of the problem.

However, neck pain is not the only problem that comes from text neck. The lungs can also be compromised. Lung capacity can be reduced by as much as 30 percent. Other health problems can include headaches and back pain. Neck misalignments often are the end result of text neck.

How Upper Cervical Chiropractors Can Help with Neck Pain

If you have a misaligned C1 or C2 vertebra, you may be experiencing neck pain because of it. Upper cervical chiropractors have been specifically trained to find these small misalignments and then work at correcting them. We use a gentle method to encourage the bones to move back into place on their own. Once corrected, if any soft tissues have been damaged, they can begin to heal. The same holds true for nerves. Neck pain often improves after an adjustment.

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headache-types-and-how-to-cope-with-the-painHeadaches are one of the most common health complaints worldwide and there are many headache types. In the United States alone, as many as 14 percent of the population (around 45 million people) have chronic headache conditions, according to the National Headache Foundation. Headaches rank as the number one reason people call in sick to work or school. As many as 157 million days are missed yearly due to head pain. This negatively impacts productivity and education. But what kind of headache do you actually suffer from?

Types of Different Headaches

It can be hard to tell one kind of headache from another. Here is a brief list of some common headaches:

  • Migraines: Severe head pain is the number one symptom of this condition. However, migraines can happen without head pain. They are actually a neurological condition. Head pain can last from 4 to 72 hours and be very intense. They are usually throbbing and pounding in nature. You may have sensitivity to light, sound, and certain odors. Nausea and vomiting are usually present.
  • Cluster headaches: These are actually rare headaches, and they are by far the worst type due to the severity of the head pain. The pain is described as burning, throbbing, and sharp. Some people cannot sit still when they have these headaches. Pain is usually located behind one eye. They are called cluster headaches because they happen in clusters (usually a few times a day) and can last from two weeks to two months.
  • Tension headaches: The most common kind of headache, the tension headache feels like your head is being gripped in a vice or has a tight band around it. However, they are not so severe as migraines or cluster headaches. You will probably be able to perform your daily routines.

Why Do Headaches Happen?

Headaches happen when something in the body is not right. A connection has been seen between headaches and a misaligned bone in the top part of the neck. Correcting this misalignment often leads to relief of headaches. Upper cervical chiropractors are specially trained to do this. A gentle adjustment is often all that is needed to help those suffering from headaches.

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headaches-and-accidents-how-are-they-relatedHeadaches seem to follow traumatic events. Is it just a coincidence or is there a reason for it? If you have recently gone through some sort of trauma — a car accident, a sporting injury, a serious fall, a blow to the head or neck, or a similar event — you may find yourself suffering from headaches just a short time later. Some people feel like this is just a natural part of getting injured and eventually the headaches will go away. This is not true. You do not need to suffer from headaches repeatedly. In fact, they may be doing more damage than you even realize. However, help is available.

Headaches Linked to Head and Neck Trauma

If your head injury was serious enough to cause a concussion, you can have lingering problems from it. The head is situated at the top of the neck where the C1 vertebra is located. The C1 allows the head to have a great range of motion while it also protects the delicate brainstem. Even a mild blow to the head can cause the C1 bone to move out of place. If this occurs, the misalignment can put stress on the brainstem and cause it to malfunction and begin sending improper signals to the brain about what is going on in your body. A misalignment here can also act as a hindrance to the flow of blood and cerebrospinal fluid getting to and leaving the brain. This may be the reason you are beginning to experience those headaches after walking away without a scratch from that accident two weeks or even two years ago. The damage may have been done inside.

Natural Relief for Headaches

Visiting an upper cervical chiropractor can be the first step toward finding headache relief. We use a low-force correction that does not require us to pop or crack the neck or spine. Rather, we coax the bones back into their original position and allow them to move back into place on their own. This often results in relief in or even an elimination of headaches.

fibromyalgia-and-migraines-whats-the-connectionFibromyalgia and migraines often go hand in hand. This has to do with the way the body is functioning behind the scenes. Along with migraines, those with fibromyalgia also experience moodiness, sleeplessness, and other similar issues.

Why do migraines and fibromyalgia occur together? Recent research indicates that people with both migraines and fibromyalgia have an increased level of cerebrospinal fluid compared to those without these conditions. This means if you have fibromyalgia and migraines, you have an increase in your pain response due to central sensitization.

Fibromyalgia and Central Sensitization

Central sensitization is connected to the nervous system and how it responds to stimuli. When central sensitization kicks in, it causes the body to go into hyperdrive and become super sensitive to pain. The signals coming to the brain via the brainstem are relaying the message that the body is experiencing a lot of pain, when, in fact, it is experiencing very little pain or none at all, leading to fibromyalgia.

When central sensitization occurs, it means the brainstem is malfunctioning for some reason. It may have to do with a misalignment in the bones of the upper cervical spine. The atlas and axis bones (the C1 and C2 vertebrae, respectively) are intended to protect the brainstem. However, if they misalign, they may actually put the brainstem under stress, making it not work properly. It only takes a misalignment of ¼ of a millimeter to wreak havoc on the entire body because of its connection to the brainstem.

How Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care Can Help

Upper cervical chiropractors have specific training that helps us to identify where these misalignments are located. Once this is determined, we use a special technique allowing us to encourage the bones to move back into place without the use of force. We do not have to resort to popping or cracking the neck to get positive results. Once the misalignment is corrected, the body can begin healing itself from the damage done by the misaligned bones. This often results in a reduction or elimination of the symptoms of fibromyalgia and migraines.

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post-concussion-syndrome-what-is-it-what-do-you-do-for-itPost-concussion syndrome follows a concussion. Concussions happen every day and not just to athletes. You can get a concussion by being in a car accident or having some type of blow to the head. You may have no visible bruises or cuts. This is because a concussion happens to the brain. The CDC reports traumatic brain injuries to account for 30 percent of all deaths from injury. Concussions are very common. In fact, some estimates say that a brain injury occurs every 21 seconds in the USA.

What Are the Symptoms of Post-Concussion Syndrome?

After you have endured a head injury, you may notice you feel a little dazed or even sluggish and tired. You may have more obvious symptoms of headaches, blurry vision, and vomiting. Brain injuries are quite serious. However, the majority of people recover well from them in just a few weeks. For others though, symptoms can persist for quite a long time after the initial injury. This is where post-concussion syndrome comes into play. Symptoms, if not cared for, can continue to last for many months or even up to a year or longer.

What Do You Do for Post-Concussion Syndrome?

Experiencing a concussion has most likely done some type of damage to the delicate structures of the spine, particularly the neck. The C1, or atlas bone, may be the source of your problems. If this bone has moved out of place, it may be putting the brainstem under stress, irritating the nerves, muscles, blood vessels, and other tissues of the neck. This may be why you are still experiencing problems.

Upper cervical chiropractors specialize in making sure back and neck bones are in proper alignment. If they are not, we use a low impact readjustment that does not require us to pop or crack the spine or neck. Rather, we focus on getting the bones of the neck to move back into place on their own. This results in a longer-lasting adjustment and can bring you relief from post-concussion syndrome.

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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.

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