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Weak Neck Muscles Contribute to Tension Headaches

More and more people seek headache relief in Redwood City, CA. The number one culprit is tension headaches. Tension headaches create mild to moderate pain in the head. The feeling can be compared to a tight band around your forehead. This type of headache usually occurs with tightness in the neck. People who sit for a long time (especially during work) often have weak extensors and suffer from tension headaches. Extensors keep the head from moving too far forward.

According to a recent study, those who suffered from tension headaches had muscles in the neck and shoulders that were 26% weaker than neck muscles in people without the condition. Researchers also saw strength imbalances in the set of muscles that hold the head straight. Previous studies have found that the use of computers, laptops, and smartphones contributes to neck muscle weakness.

For these reasons, strengthening the neck muscles can be a remedy to tension headaches. However, tension headaches will likely persist unless you address the foundation of the muscular structure. How do you do this? 

A Natural Remedy for Tension Headaches

To find remedies for tension headaches, it is very important to understand how the spine functions. The spine protects the delicate spinal cord since it relays messages to and from the brain about the things happening to the body. If the topmost bone of the spine – the atlas (C1 vertebra) – moves out of place, the spinal cord and brainstem will be under pressure. It will impact the muscles in this area negatively. This can result in faulty signals being sent to the brain, weakness in neck muscles, and tension headaches.A study involved 47 patients who had non-migraine type headaches, and each of them received an atlas adjustment facilitated by an upper cervical chiropractor. The patients experienced less severe headache pain and fewer headache attacks by an average of 75% four months later. I also see similar results with my patients here at Advanced Spinal Care in Redwood City, California. Send me an email or call (650) 595-0500 to schedule an appointment with me.

what-essential-oils-are-good-for-fibromyalgia-pain

Fibromyalgia sufferers are hypersensitive to strong odors, making some of them hesitant to try a natural remedy like essential oils. However, a great number of people have already reaped the benefits of essential oils for fibromyalgia pain relief. As a fibromyalgia chiropractor based in Redwood City, CA, I urge you to consider using essential oils combined with upper cervical chiropractic care to manage the symptoms of your chronic pain condition.

Essential Oils for Fibromyalgia

Naturists suggest different essential oils to relieve the pain of fibromyalgia, including the following:

  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Orange
  • Rosemary

Some scents ease the pain while others help in reducing inflammation and stress – which are two critical factors in fibromyalgia management. Before you decide to pursue the use of essential oils, keep these things in mind: 

  • Some essential oils are allergens. Never use oils that you are sensitive or allergic to. 
  • Essential oils can get pricy, but often the cheaper oils are not as pure and may trigger a flare-up rather than helping.
  • Ask your doctor to ensure essential oils won’t affect any of your existing therapies. 

A Fibromyalgia Chiropractor Based in Redwood City Can Help You

Another natural therapy you can also try is upper cervical chiropractic. Upper cervical chiropractic care is a unique method that focuses on the C1 and C2 vertebrae at the base of the skull. These bones play a crucial role in posture and proper alignment of the entire spine. When the C1 and C2 are out of proper alignment, they can impact the proper blood flow to the brain and the function of the brainstem. As a result, the body may process pain signals incorrectly, leading to fibromyalgia symptoms. However, a gentle adjustment from an upper cervical chiropractor can put you on the road to recovery. If you have fibromyalgia, contact Advanced Spinal Care in Redwood City, California for a consultation. You may find that the correct alignment of the upper neck can bring natural relief for your fibromyalgia and other chronic conditions.

Learn how injuries from sports and other types of accidents may lead to migraines and how our migraine chiropractic clinic in Redwood City, CA can help you in getting relief.

Explaining Trauma-Triggered Migraines

This type of migraine occurs following a mild injury to the head or neck, mostly from sports injuries and simple falls. It can cause a momentary disruption in your brain function. This is very common in young adults and even children. 

Trauma-triggered migraines can bring on these symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Visual disturbances (temporary blindness)
  • Nausea 
  • Unconsciousness
  • Vomiting

The symptoms may last for 1 to 10 minutes after the injury and can persist anywhere from 3 to 24 hours. Sometimes the symptoms stay indefinitely and are called post-traumatic attacks. They are common in sporting athletes playing soccer, volleyball, wrestling, and football.

What Are Post-Traumatic Migraines?

They are migraines that develop after the primary trauma and continue for an extended amount of time. They can bring migraine headaches and daily tension. A study observed 29 people with post-traumatic headaches due to a mild sporting injury. They displayed the following symptoms:

  • Possible concussion
  • A stiff neck
  • Lack of concentration
  • Confusion

Some of them were incapable of exercising and participating in sports activities due to the severity of their headaches. The question now is, what can be done to relieve this type of migraine?

Natural and Effective Relief for Post-Traumatic Migraines

Many studies have established that trauma to the head and neck may result in migraine headaches. This stems from the fact that the tissue responsible for keeping the spine in place can tear during an impact. It leads to the locking of the spine into a strained position, usually starting in the two uppermost vertebrae of the neck – the atlas and axis. The brainstem is just within this region and can come under stress due to the atlas or axis misalignment. This disrupts three main functions: blood flow, nerve communication, and cerebrospinal fluid flow to and from the brain. All of these can cause a migraine.

Here at Advanced Spinal Care in Redwood City, California, we are well-trained to locate and correct spinal misalignments. Once patients receive an adjustment and the bones are back in normal alignment, they often notice an improvement in their condition. 

References:Haas D, Lourie H. Trauma-triggered migraine: an explanation for common neurological attacks after mild head injury. J Neurosurg. 1988; 68:181-188

chiropractor-answers-commonly-asked-questions-about-vertigo

We asked Dr. Kurt Sherwood, our resident vertigo chiropractor in Renton, WA, to answer some of your commonly asked questions regarding vertigo.

If you have been to a doctor’s office before, you may have seen how doctors can tend to be busy and therefore do not have enough time to extensively talk to their patients one by one. But if you have been newly diagnosed with vertigo, you likely have some questions that remain unanswered. Read on until the end to find out about a natural treatment for vertigo that many people have found to be effective. 

Q: What Is Vertigo?

A:  Vertigo is a false sensation that you are moving or your surroundings are spinning despite staying still. 

Q: Is Vertigo a Serious Condition?

A: Vertigo can be a symptom of an underlying serious condition, such as stroke or heart attack. That’s why it is best to seek the help of a doctor or a medical specialist to find out if there is a serious condition responsible for your vertigo. However, vertigo can also be caused by other less-serious conditions. For example, sometimes vertigo is caused by inflammation in the inner ear that was brought on by congestion from a virus.

Q: Who Gets Vertigo?

A: Know that you have a lot of company in your battle against vertigo. Reports show that about 10% of people experience vertigo at least once in their lives. You get more prone to having it as you age, with 40% of adults over 40 years old experiencing it at some point. 

Q: What Causes Vertigo?

A: The source of vertigo for some people remains undetected, but studies have found that it often occurs following an injury to the head or neck. Thus, we can conclude that head or neck trauma is one of the leading causes of vertigo. A cold or flu can also cause vertigo since the viruses bringing these illnesses can cause inflammation to the inner ear, including the vestibular nerve. In fact, people with vestibular diseases such as Meniere’s disease experience vertigo as one of their symptoms.

Q: Can Stress Cause Vertigo?

A: While vertigo may follow stress and anxiety, it is not usually due to stress itself. However, stress is a common trigger that can aggravate an already-existing vertigo condition. A person experiencing vertigo may feel worse or feel it more frequently if he or she is under stress. Some stressors can come inevitably, so the key is to effectively manage your stress levels by employing stress management techniques. 

Q: What Medications Can Treat Vertigo?

A: Diuretics or the “water pill” is a common medication prescribed to people who suffer from vertigo. It aims to reduce the fluid in the inner ear. This is especially effective in reducing the frequency of your vertigo attacks if the cause of your vertigo is endolymphatic hydrops. For those who experience extremely bad cases of vertigo, medications to prevent nausea may be prescribed in order to avoid vomiting during the episodes. 

Q: How Does a Low-Sodium Diet Help with Vertigo?

A: Remember the endolymphatic hydrops we mentioned earlier? The idea for this remedy involves the same concept. You don’t want excess fluid in your inner ear, as it may cause a faulty sense of movement. By having a low-sodium diet, it prevents the retention of too much water in the inner ear. However, having a diet that’s too low in sodium may increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, so it is important to talk to your doctor before changing your diet. 

Q: What Is the Epley Maneuver? How Does It Treat Vertigo?

A: When the crystals in your inner ear that help detect movement and maintain balance become displaced, it may cause a problem with your sense of balance. The Epley Maneuver aims to correct the displacement of these crystals. A health practitioner can help a patient in doing this maneuver.  

Q: Is There a Natural Treatment for Vertigo?

A: Definitely! Depending on the cause of your vertigo, there is natural relief for your condition. If your vertigo is due to head or neck trauma, we have the solution for you. A fascinating study involving 139 Meniere’s patients was conducted by an upper cervical chiropractor. All the subjects suffered from accidents that led to head or neck trauma, and eventually, an upper cervical misalignment. When their misalignments were corrected, the results were outstanding! Within the first six weeks of treatment, 136 of the patients reported significant, positive changes with their condition, and reported even more improvement when the study was concluded after two years.

Q: How Does Upper Chiropractic Care Help Relieve Vertigo?

A: Upper cervical chiropractic deals with the two top bones of the spine, the C1 and C2 bones, located at the base of the skull. Using diagnostic imaging, upper cervical chiropractors use unique and precise measurements for each patient to ensure a gentle procedure that will produce long-lasting corrections.

Since these two bones are near the ears and the brainstem, even a slight misalignment could influence the inner ear’s ability to drain fluids and the brainstem’s sending of signals to the brain regarding balance and spatial orientation. These malfunctions can cause vertigo. 

Here in Sherwood Spinal Care, we can help you start your journey toward a life free from vertigo by helping with your head or neck injury. You may schedule a no-obligation consultation with us for more information.

sciatica:-common-causes-and-a-natural-fix

People who need a chiropractor for sciatica and leg pain near Redwood City, CA come to us for help. It’s safe to say that sciatica is one of the leading reasons why many patients frequent our office. Although most people think sciatica originates in the lower back or buttocks, sciatica often starts in the neck area. You may feel your sciatica in your lower back, but it is not where the problem originates. 

The sciatic nerve begins in the spinal cord close to the lower back region. It consists of nerve roots that branch off of the lumbar spine, protected by the five bottommost vertebrae. The sciatic nerve spreads from the lower back, through the buttocks, and extends down the back of each leg as far as the foot. Sciatica can occur following irritation of the nerve.  It can be anywhere along the sciatic nerve, and it can be a painful ailment. 

Common Causes of Sciatica

  • Herniated disc: Rupture or bulging of a disc in the back can irritate the sciatic nerve.
  • Arthritis: Degeneration can lead to the creation of bone spurs, which may start to pinch the sciatic nerve 
  • Spinal stenosis: Narrowing of the spinal canal constricts the sciatic nerve. 

Over-the-counter medications or prescription painkillers do not work all the time to relieve sciatica pain. Medical professionals suggest that people with sciatica refrain from sitting as much as possible, but it can be challenging advice to follow, especially for people with jobs that require long hours of sitting at a desk or driving long distances. 

Sciatica Originates from the Neck

If there is a misalignment in the atlas, the uppermost vertebra of the spine, the rest of the spine has no choice but to shift and tilt to compensate for it. Even a small misalignment of the atlas can result in the tilting of the head, unevenness in the shoulders and hips, and muscle spasms in the lower back. Furthermore, it can irritate and inflame the sciatic nerve, causing sciatica. 

Here at Advanced Spinal Care in Redwood City, California, we employ a gentle and accurate method to help the atlas return to its correct position naturally, thus allowing the body to restore function and health. Upper cervical chiropractic can help bring long-term relief to sciatica. 

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.

TMD is an acronym that stands for temporomandibular joint disorder. It is any pain and discomfort concerning your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which attaches your lower jaw to your skull. Moving your mouth, talking, and chewing are all possible thanks to the TMJ. 

Irritation of the joint itself or swelling of the muscles that power the movements of the face and jaw can result in TMD. An upper cervical chiropractor in Redwood City, CA can help alleviate TMD. 

You may have TMD if you experience the following:

  1. Problems chewing
  2. Ear pain
  3. Pain or soreness in the jaw
  4. Grinding, clicking, or locking up of the jaw joint
  5. Abnormal neck pain and headaches

Ways to Relieve TMD

Your family doctor may prescribe over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications if you complain of TMD. Sometimes, splints or therapy are also helpful. However, if you seek long-lasting relief that resolves the cause of TMD, upper cervical chiropractic care may be the answer you are looking for.

The Connection Between the Jaw and the Spine

As an upper cervical chiropractor in Redwood City, CA, I take care of the area of the spine where the head and neck meet, also known as the upper cervical spine. This spot lies close to the location of the jaw joint. It is a complex region consisting of nerves that give feeling and function to the jaw and face. If any of the bones in this area misaligns, specifically the C1 or C2 vertebra, it can lead to pain and stress on the jaw area and the facial muscles. This explains why besides face and jaw pain, TMD sufferers also experience neck pain. 

Here at Advanced Spinal Care, we employ a very gentle method to realign these bones back into their place. We do not crack or pop the spine to achieve positive outcomes. Instead, our technique is natural and encourages the bones to return into their position on their own. This can ease the pressure on the jaw joint and get rid of the pain and inflammation. Contact us to schedule a no-obligation consultation.

If you are looking for neck pain relief in Redwood City, CA, we’re here to help. Neck pain is a common complaint in today’s world. Stress, technology, and our jobs can cause our neck pain. People manage stress differently. While our minds carry our mental and emotional stress, our bodies do, too. We “store” our stress in spots such as our neck. 

One doctor breaks down where people store their stress.

  • Women – the upper back and neck
  • Men – the lower back
  • Kids – the neck and middle back

When we store up our stress, it often causes tension that leads to pain, headaches, and other distressing symptoms. The impact gets worse when an upper cervical misalignment is present. Why is that so?

The Link Between Upper Cervical Misalignments and Neck Pain

When the uppermost bones of the spine — the atlas and axis — get out of alignment, it makes the rest of the spine shift to compensate for the imbalance of the head. Furthermore, it causes changes in soft tissue and pressure on the various nerves, leading to pain that radiates in the back, shoulders, and even the face. 

Some people are skeptical about going to a general chiropractor as they are scared of the popping and twisting of the spine that often happens during general chiropractic adjustments. But this is not the case with upper cervical chiropractors. What makes upper cervical chiropractic different from traditional chiropractic?

  • Low Force – Adjustments are gentle and long-lasting.
  • Focus – It focuses on the atlas and axis, the top two bones of the neck as they can impact the entire spine.
  • Precision – It uses diagnostic imaging to locate and discern misalignments down to hundredths of a degree. 
  • Affordable – The gentle and long-lasting adjustments of the upper neck bones hold longer. Not only does it give the body more time to heal, but it also can result in fewer visits. This can help patients save a lot of money compared to weekly adjustments. 

If you want to experience these benefits and see for yourself if upper cervical chiropractic care is the best treatment option for your neck pain, schedule a consultation with Advanced Spinal Care in Redwood City, California today!

We often hear about concussions in the news involving our professional athletes. However, concussions are more common than many people think, and sports-related injuries are just a small fraction of all incidents leading to concussions. Let’s have a closer look at this condition, also referred to as a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI).

How Common Are Concussions?

Many people minimize the seriousness of a head injury unless they lose consciousness. In 2010, there were 2.5 million emergency room visits due to brain injuries. That number only comprised those who went to a hospital. Concussions affect adults as well as children. In 2009, nearly a quarter of a million minors had trips to the emergency room for brain injuries.

What Causes a Concussion?

A 5-year study showed that more than 40% of brain injuries were due to trips and falls. This made up about 80% of concussions in seniors and more than 50% of concussions in children aged 14 and below. Other common causes of concussions are assaults, accidental blunt force trauma (getting hit with something unintentionally), and traffic incidents. Most assaults afflicted people between the ages of 15 and 44. 

A Natural Treatment for Post-Concussion Syndrome

Following a concussion, patients may experience long-term effects and symptoms, also known as “post-concussion syndrome.” It may include cognitive difficulties, vertigo, headaches or migraines, depression and anxiety, insomnia, and other debilitating symptoms. These symptoms may also have something to do with a misalignment of the atlas vertebra that often stems from getting a head injury. 

Atlas misalignments can put undue pressure on the brainstem, leading to restricted blood flow to the brain, and issues with cerebrospinal fluid drainage. As a result, these lingering symptoms may become chronic. Many people who receive upper cervical chiropractic care experience fewer symptoms or even a complete resolution of their problem. This is because the upper cervical chiropractic technique corrected their atlas misalignments naturally. Schedule a consultation here at Advanced Spinal Care in Redwood City, California to learn more about how upper cervical chiropractic can lead to the recovery of your health.

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.


eliminate-tmj-disorder-without-jaw-surgery

Temporomandibular joint disorder, commonly known as TMJ or more accurately TMD, is a painful condition. TMD sufferers may feel a radiating pain from their jaw down into the neck, and sometimes it may spread to the ears. They are unable to open their mouth widely, limiting their ability to eat, talk, or yawn. Hearing a grinding or clicking noise when they open or close their mouth is also common.

In mild cases, TMD lasts for a few days or weeks and heals on its own. However, people who have severe cases may experience constant pain that requires more than rest and self-care to go away. If this is your current situation, it’s high time you seek the help of a Redwood City chiropractic specialist for TMJ pain.

Is Jaw Surgery the Best Option?

Doctors often recommend medications, stretching exercises, and natural remedies such as eating a diet of soft foods and icing of the jaw when patients complain of difficulty chewing or talking. However, when all these strategies fail to give relief, surgery may come into the picture. Your doctor may mention considering the newest advances in surgery for TMD. Jaw surgery is often considered the best option for TMD.

A recent surgical procedure replaces the entire temporomandibular joint with a titanium one, similar to having knee, shoulder, or hip replacement. However, this is an invasive treatment that comes with various risks and complications. Before deciding or considering jaw surgery, you may want to talk to your local upper cervical chiropractor.

Resolve TMD with Upper Cervical Chiropractic in Redwood City, CA

The jaw and the muscles of the face are connected. This explains why TMD has a wide radius of pain. Even the smallest misalignment in one of the bones of the upper cervical spine or neck, specifically the C1 or C2 vertebrae, can affect and tighten the muscles in the shoulders, neck, face, and jaw. It can result in pinched nerves of the neck, causing the symptoms of TMD.

Here at Advanced Spinal Care, we use upper cervical chiropractic care, a gentle method that corrects this misalignment, eliminating pressure on the nerves. Once the bones have returned to their original place, muscles can begin to relax, and the jaw can heal, resulting in lasting relief for TMD.

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

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 ranks as the leading cause of disability in the world. As many as 4 out of 5 people will suffer from back pain in one way or another. Back pain can be chronic and debilitating, making every day a struggle. What used to be ordinary tasks become challenging to perform and often result in more pain. Let’s discuss some of the things you can easily do to ease your back pain, and how a chiropractic doctor for back pain based in Redwood City, CA can help you achieve it.

Steps to Relieve Back Pain

Here are some simple things to help you alleviate your back pain:

  • Ensure proper sleeping position: Do not sleep on your stomach as it flattens the natural curve of the spine. Lay on your back to allow your head, spine, and neck to rest in a neutral position. If you’re a side sleeper, put a pillow between your knees.
  • Maintain good posture: Most back problems originate from improper posture. Always practice good posture by avoiding slouching and keeping your back upright and balanced over your hips when sitting.  
  • Stay active: Exercise is essential when getting rid of back pain. Whatever your chosen exercise, be consistent in doing it. Avoid sitting and not changing position for an extended period. Create reminders for you to get up and move frequently.
  • Try physical therapy: Therapy can help you carry out particular exercises that will strengthen your body and your back muscles. This works together with upper cervical chiropractic care to keep your spine in its best shape possible.
  • Eat healthily: Lack of vitamin D in the body can result in back pain. Supplements can help if your body does not produce enough vitamin D. Inflammation is a crucial contributor to pain, so avoid foods that trigger inflammation, such as the following:
    • Processed foods
    • Trans fat
    • Sugar
    • Gluten — especially if you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Resolves Back Pain

Keeping your back in its best shape is the number one way to maintain your overall healthy body. Here at Advanced Spinal Care in Redwood City, California, we work on maintaining the proper alignment of the uppermost bones of the neck. Misalignment in this area is often the reason for back pain in many people. We adjust the bones to return to their correct positions, resulting in a decrease or elimination 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.