The SDISC Blog

Latest Entries

Neck Pain - Identifying the Underlying Issue

While neck pain may be no more than uncomfortable stiffness for one person, another may deal with disabling pain. In fact, more than 30% of people suffer from neck pain at some point during any given year. Unfortunately, even though it is one of the top five pain locations, neck pain doesn’t get as much recognition from the medical community as some of the other parts of the body.

 

Possible Causes of Chronic Neck Pain

Why is neck pain so commonplace? For many, the problem is related to work, and not just the type of work that a person does. Being unsatisfied with a job or hating the boss can be a literal pain in the neck. Stress leads to sleep problems and depression, both of which are connected to neck pain.

 

Another major factor when it comes to neck pain is posture. For some, technology is creating a habit of poor posture. Staring at a monitor all day at work or texting with the neck craned down on a regular basis can result in neck problems.

 

Sleep position may also be a factor. Sleeping on one’s stomach wreaks havoc on the neck. It is the equivalent of looking over your shoulder for eight hours straight.

 

At San Diego Integrative Spine Center, we focus on the C1 and C2 vertebrae which commonly come out of alignment when a person is stressed, has a habit of poor posture, or sleeps in the wrong position on a regular basis. For many, such a misalignment is the real underlying cause of the pain.

 

Once the misalignment is corrected, the tissues of the neck can begin to heal. When stress is reduced, posture is corrected, and sleep position is changed, these corrections can be long-lasting and provide ongoing relief. This is a safe and natural way to deal with neck pain without having to reach for a bottle of pain relievers.

 

Reference:

 

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2015/06/26/pain-in-the-neck-passing-crick-or-chronic-agony

 

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Spinato call (858) 484-0444 or just click the button below.

 

Continue reading
221 Hits

Long-Term Effects of Whiplash and How to Cope

The term whiplash comes from the way a whip moves when it is cracked. It is generally associated with someone being in a car accident. In fact, at speeds as low as five miles per hour whiplash can occur, altering the neck bones so they are no longer in their proper position. The effects of whiplash can last for up to 10 years if they are not treated properly and in a timely manner. If not treated, muscles and ligaments in the neck can be damaged leading to improper posture and affecting overall brain function.

Whiplash, Concussions, and Children


Whenever a child plays in a game of sports, he is susceptible to injury. Whiplash may be the cause of concussions on the playing field. Concussions usually mean an extreme impact to the head causing symptoms to occur immediately. However, research reveals that even minor whiplash during a sporting event can lead to concussions. This can be difficult to diagnose and, therefore, hard to treat.

Effective, Long-Lasting Treatment


Whether someone has endured whiplash due to an auto accident or a sports game, a great place to turn for treatment is to seek the care of an upper cervical chiropractor. We can help our patients find natural relief by addressing the root cause of the problem. Often it is due to a misalignment in the upper neck. We use precise tests to detect whether or not the atlas (C1) is in proper alignment at the base of the skull and top of the neck. If a misalignment is found, the brain and body may not be communicating properly. Because of this, the body cannot heal and function correctly.

A study completed using whiplash patients proved that by entrusting their care to upper cervical chiropractors, they were able to heal much quicker than those not doing so. By keeping the spine in proper alignment and correcting any problems, pain, range of motion in the neck, muscle strength, and neck alignment improved significantly.


References:

  • Severy DM, Mathewson JH, Bechtol CO. Controlled automobile rear-end collisions: an investigation of related engineering and mechanical phenomenon. Can Services Med J 11:727-758, 1955.
  • McCoy HG, McCoy M. A multiple parameter assessment of whiplash injury patients undergoing subluxation based chiropractic care: a retrospective study. JVSR. 1997;1(3):51-61.

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Spinato call (858) 484-0444 or just click the button below.

 

Continue reading
336 Hits

Neck Pain and Gender Inequality

While times are rapidly changing, women still have to work just as hard if not harder in society. Scientific studies are starting to show that women are more likely to suffer from various health conditions than men.

A recent study shows that women are 1.38 times more likely to experience neck pain and spine problems.This evidence shows part of a pattern of increased prevalence of certain conditions in women. Women have migraines as much as 3 times more than men and are 3-6 times more likely to have multiple sclerosis.

Neck pain is often viewed as a relatively minor condition yet can be quite debilitating. The classic signs of neck pain include difficulty in turning the head and neck, and may include numbness and tingling in more severe cases. The causes of neck pain typically occur as a result of significant trauma or repetitive micro-traumas that are not properly addressed.

To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and chronic neck pain download our complimentary e-book by clicking the image below:

Whether you are a woman or a man, neck pain is not something you should cope with. As a neck pain specialist, it is all too common that many folks have tried just about everything before walking into my office. I am an upper cervical chiropractor which means that I focus on the first bone in the neck known as the atlas bone. The importance of the first bone in the neck is that the rest of the neck follows the first bone. After a trauma, the atlas is the most prone to become misaligned.

By performing a thorough examination and detailed x-rays, the precise degree of misalignment is located. Each individual then receives an adjustment that is unique to that person. Once the atlas bone is in its proper alignment the other bones in the neck will begin to return to the normal position.

Reference:

1. National Pain report. Women Experience More Neck Pain than Men. http://nationalpainreport.com/women-experience-more-neck-pain-than-men-8829779.html (accessed 18 March 2016).

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Spinato call (858) 484-0444 or just click the button below.

 

Continue reading
224 Hits

How to Treat Neck Pain Naturally

There is no denying neck pain. It makes even the simplest of tasks difficult from moving your head to backing the car out of the driveway, or even breathing. According to the National Centers for Health Statistics, 15% of Americans experience neck pain at some point. Some people even suffer from chronic neck pain which has been going on for several years.

Neck pain is so common, and we have all had it at some point, so there has to be a quick fix for it right? Unfortunately, there isn’t. The neck is a very complicated region of the body composed of muscles, bones, nerves, arteries/veins, and much more, so it must be treated carefully. Conventional treatments include physical therapy, massage, and pain medications; but most people are looking for natural options in this day and age.

Natural remedies are growing in popularity, and many people swear by them. Here is a short list of a few options that can be done right at home to alleviate some of that pain.

  • Arnica: This flower is a natural pain reliever and can be bought in oil and cream form.
  • Ginger: Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and can be consumed as the root, juice, or extract.
  • Menthol and Camphor: You can apply these directly to the area in pain, and it can increase the circulation to the area which helps in reducing pain and swelling.
  • Lavender: Lavender has been used for centuries for its medicinal qualities and helps in pain reduction.

To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and chronic neck pain download our complimentary e-book by clicking the image below:

 

These natural approaches to treating neck pain may help the effects, but it will not correct the underlying cause. Neck Pain specialist Dr. Dan Spinato helps provide relief to patients by finding the root problem. Dr. Spinato is an upper cervical chiropractor specializing in the spine and nervous system by focusing on the atlas vertebra. This bone is at the top of the neck and under the skull and is crucial to maintaining the health of the neck. When the Atlas becomes misaligned from its normal position it affects the entire spine, causes muscles to become tighter, and pain is a result.

By using an exacting technique and process of correcting the atlas bone, Dr. Spinato is able to correct the root cause of neck pain and get people back to enjoying life.

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Spinato call (858) 484-0444 or just click the button below.

 

Continue reading
267 Hits
0 Comments

All About Whiplash in Rancho Penasquitos

Whiplash What Is It?

Whiplash occurs when the muscles in the neck are over-extended due to a forceful back and forth motion. It can be caused by such things as car accidents, amusement park rides, and sports injuries. When the ligaments, bones, and muscles that make up the neck are stretched beyond normal limits, you begin to feel the effects of whiplash. This can cause serious pain and constant discomfort, even though it is described as a minor injury.

What are the symptoms?

  • The neck may be stiff and painful to move
  • The neck may not be able to move to the full degree
  • Arm and shoulder pain
  • Repeated headaches
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Problems with memory and concentration
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Changes in vision

Should I Get Treated?

Some people do not. Instead, they try home remedies, such as rest and over-the-counter pain medications. These may give short-term relief from the pain of whiplash. However, whiplash will not get better until the underlying problem is treated. This has to do with the spine and the bones in the neck. It is very likely that the injury that was sustained caused certain misalignments of the vertebrae in the upper neck area. This can be the cause of the pain you still feel long after the accident occurred.

A good place to begin addressing your symptoms is to see an upper cervical chiropractor, such as Dr. Dan Spinato of Rancho Penasquitos, California. Dr. Spinato can examine your neck for these misalignments. Then he can create a detailed treatment plan. His adjustments are gentle and effective. When your spine is back to normal alignment, the blood flow and the soft tissues are restored and can begin to heal. Many whiplash patients are able to find the needed relief they seek without the use of medications. Why not see if you can find benefit in Dr. Spinato's treatments by making an appointment for your assessment with him.

 

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Spinato call (858) 484-0444 or just click the button below.

 

Continue reading
319 Hits
0 Comments

Whiplash Injuries from Past Accidents Can Be Linked to Chronic Conditions

What is whiplash? It is defined as a neck injury caused by sudden forward, backward, or sideways movement of the head. We generally hear the term ‘whiplash’ in reference to car accidents. For example, when a person is hit head on, rear-ended, or hit from the side. But did you know that whiplash can occur during bike accidents, blows to the head, falls, ski accidents, and other head and neck trauma? What are some symptoms of whiplash?

  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Pain in the arms, hands, feet or legs
  • Shoulder pain
  • Tingling and numbness
  • Neck stiffness and/or pain
  • Depression
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Nausea
  • Jaw or facial pain
  • Post-concussion syndrome
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Fatigue
  • Pain between the shoulder blades
  • Low back pain or stiffness
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) or even hearing loss
  • And many, many more!

You might wonder, “Isn’t it true that if I don’t have symptoms right away that I am okay?” No! Symptoms after many sports-related or auto accident-related traumas can be mild at first. A person may not even realize they have been injured. It is always a good idea to be examined, even if a person feels relatively fine after an accident. Symptoms may not show up for days, months, or even years.

What are some of these more severe conditions that result from neck/head injuries, sometimes years later? They can be immune related, neurological, pain and conditions such as:

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Susceptibility to infection
  • ADHD
  • Seizures
  • Multiple sclerosis

Facts About Whiplash

Tests of low-speed, rear-impact collisions show that even at speeds of 5 mph a person can be injured. Most rear-impact accidents happen at speeds of 6-12 mph which place them below the threshold for property damage while still being able to cause neck trauma.

Some two million people are exposed to whiplash through auto accidents in the US every year.

Ligaments that support the neck can be overstretched (sprained) or torn when the head is suddenly jerked side to side or back and forth farther than normal. This results in vertebrae being forced out of their normal position.

Whiplash injuries can occur in falls on stairs or an icy sidewalk. They can occur in sports like hockey, football, skiing, cycling, gymnastics, ice skating, or boxing.

Can Upper Cervical Help Sufferers? How?

When a person of any age suffers an accident, they should have a proper spinal examination. This is necessary to assess whether there has been an injury to the neck. An upper cervical chiropractic specialist, such as Dr. Dan Spinato of Rancho Penasquitos, California, will use a specialized test and specific X-rays of the neck to see if there has, in fact, been injury to the upper neck. If so, an adjustment by hand is given to correct the subluxation. This can reverse, improve, and prevent numerous whiplash symptoms.

 

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Spinato call (858) 484-0444 or just click the button below.

 

Continue reading
271 Hits
0 Comments

Reasons for Back and Neck Pain in San Diego

Suffering Beyond Knots

That pain in your back or neck didn't just happen. There is a reason for it. And if there is a reason for it, there is something you can do about it.

Though, before we talk about what you can do to alleviate that pain in your back or neck, let's explore some of those things that may be the cause of your suffering. We hope it's just a knot, but it may be something more. Here are some of those more common causes. 

Causes of Back and Neck Pain

  • Herniated Disc – (Slipped Disc) A soft, gel like substance between your vertebra called a disc keeps your vertebra from grinding against each another. You feel the pain when a disc slips out of position and the vertebra grind against each other.
  • Cervical Osteoarthritis – (Cervical Spondylosis) This is also the cause of Arthritis in the neck and occurs due to the degeneration of the facet joints in the cervical spine.
  • Degenerative Disc Disease – Once a disc sustains an injury, because there is no blood flow to it, it takes longer to heal than other tissue. This disease occurs when the disc does not heal, and it is often the result of a low energy injury to a disc. 
  • Whiplash – It is not that difficult to strain the muscles in your neck, and that occurs when your neck is extended too far in any direction.

Realigning Your Spine

Now, these are just some of the conditions that may be the underlying cause of your neck or back pain. There is a chance that pain may subside with some ice, but there is a chance it may not. Even if it does, there is a chance it could come back at a later time in a more severe way.

Of course, whether your back or neck pain is due to one of the reasons above, another disease or condition, or just sleeping on it wrong, it's always a good idea to have an upper cervical chiropractor examine your upper neck vertebrae for any misalignments.

 Due to the position of the upper neck vertebrae, a misalignment of only ¼ of a millimeter can hinder communication between the brain and the body. That can cause all sorts of complications that can manifest itself as back pain, neck pain, or worse.

 

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Spinato call (858) 484-0444 or just click the button below.

 

Continue reading
353 Hits
0 Comments

Text Neck: As Technology Moves Forward Health Takes a Step Back

A new phenomenon is affecting people all over the country and world, Text Neck. The news and media has recently highlighted this condition and bringing it to the attention of the mainstream public. Text Neck refers to the loss of the normal cervical curve in the neck which happens from the constant act of looking down to text or use smart phones or tablets. As more and more people are entrenched in their phones for every action this is becoming a real problem in society. Perhaps the biggest concern is that this is happening to younger and younger people.

It is difficult to properly discern between all the sources of possible text neck and being able to address the appropriate issue. The head weighs on average anywhere from 10-12 pounds and depends on all the parts for the neck for proper stabilization. The bones in the neck need to be in the proper position structurally which also affects the nerves controlling the neck muscles to properly balance and move the head.

When staring down at a device for several hours daily, this can affect the proper position of the neck. A head that is out of position can cause neck pain based on structure alone, compiled with the affects on the nervous system it is a perfect storm. The single most important part of the neck that should be examined in any Text Neck sufferer is the Atlas (C1) vertebra in the upper neck known as the upper cervical spine.

Natural relief to Text Neck is something that specialist, Dr Dan Spinato, is helping people in San Diego achieve. As an Upper Cervical Chiropractor, Dr Spinato specializes in finding the root cause of Text Neck and correcting the cause by customizing Upper Cervical Chiropractic Adjustment to the Atlas bone. Using Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care, neck pain has been scientifically proven through clinical trials to improve in as little as one precise adjustment.2 Once the proper position of the Atlas is restored the body can begin the healing process for proper realignment of the neck.

 

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Spinato call (858) 484-0444 or just click the button below.

 

Continue reading
608 Hits
0 Comments

Your Body on Whiplash in San Diego

How Your Body Works

The muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your body is also the connective tissue that keeps your spine from collapsing. An accident or injury can cause that tissue to weaken leading to the break down of the spine. This will cause the spine to lock into a stressed position, and the longer it stays in that position the more it causes the joints, discs, muscles, and more to wear down.

Now, this is not something that is new in an upper cervical chiropractic office, as it is common to see patients who have suffered from various accidents with spines in this position. Those accidents are often vehicular accidents they patient suffered recently, but that's not always the case. They could have sustained an injury from a car accident perhaps as long as 15 years ago.

Degenerative Disc Disease

How long it takes for the impact of the injury to manifest itself as the breaking down of bones, ligaments, disc, etc (Degenerative Disc Disease) is dependent upon various factors. Though, an upper cervical chiropractor can determine the approximate time when the injury occurred based on the extent of the degeneration of the spine.

For the last several years upper cervical chiropractors have seen and cared for countless patients who suffer from  Degenerative Disc Disease, which is also called Arthritis of the spine, and is often the result of an injury due to a colission such as a car accident.

Reversing Your Injury

Now the question is whether or not the effects of Degenerative Disc Disease can be reversed or not, and the answer is they can be. Though reversing the effects of this disease will mean allowing an upper cervical chiropractor to examine your upper neck vertebrae for any misalignments that may be the underlying cause of many of your conditions.

That's because a misalignment in your upper neck vertebrae of only 1/4 of a millimeter can place enough pressure on the brainstem to hinder the brain's ability to communicate with the body. The brain's inability to communicate with the body can then lead to various health problems throughout the body.

 

References: 

The Cervical Spine-The Cervical Spine Research Society, Lippincott, 1989 Mason Hohl, MD Professor of Surgery/Orthopedics, UCLA Medical Center Page 440

 

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Spinato call (858) 484-0444 or just click the button below.

 

Continue reading
934 Hits
0 Comments

Your Body on Whiplash in San Diego

How Your Body Works

The muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your body is also the connective tissue that keeps your spine from collapsing. An accident or injury can cause that tissue to weaken leading to the break down of the spine. This will cause the spine to lock into a stressed position, and the longer it stays in that position the more it causes the joints, discs, muscles, and more to wear down.

Now, this is not something that is new in an upper cervical chiropractic office, as it is common to see patients who have suffered from various accidents with spines in this position. Those accidents are often vehicular accidents they patient suffered recently, but that's not always the case. They could have sustained an injury from a car accident perhaps as long as 15 years ago.

Degenerative Disc Disease

How long it takes for the impact of the injury to manifest itself as the breaking down of bones, ligaments, disc, etc (Degenerative Disc Disease) is dependent upon various factors. Though, an upper cervical chiropractor can determine the approximate time when the injury occurred based on the extent of the degeneration of the spine.

For the last several years upper cervical chiropractors have seen and cared for countless patients who suffer from  Degenerative Disc Disease, which is also called Arthritis of the spine, and is often the result of an injury due to a colission such as a car accident.

Reversing Your Injury

Now the question is whether or not the effects of Degenerative Disc Disease can be reversed or not, and the answer is they can be. Though reversing the effects of this disease will mean allowing an upper cervical chiropractor to examine your upper neck vertebrae for any misalignments that may be the underlying cause of many of your conditions.

That's because a misalignment in your upper neck vertebrae of only 1/4 of a millimeter can place enough pressure on the brainstem to hinder the brain's ability to communicate with the body. The brain's inability to communicate with the body can then lead to various health problems throughout the body.

 

References: 

The Cervical Spine-The Cervical Spine Research Society, Lippincott, 1989 Mason Hohl, MD Professor of Surgery/Orthopedics, UCLA Medical Center Page 440

 

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Spinato call (858) 484-0444 or just click the button below.

 

Continue reading
934 Hits
0 Comments

Good Posture and the Health of Your Neck

Paying Attention to Posture

Most people don't pay attention to their posture, especially when they're sitting, but good posture is important to the functioning of a person's lungs. If a person sits or stands with poor posture, it will hinder their ability to expand properly and can lead to all sorts of health complications.

What's worse than poor posture is being so used to is that it begins to feel normal and your ignore the warning signs. This can cause your habits of sitting or standing with poor posture to regress into a cycle that causes muscle tension that leads to increased slouching and slumping. And when poor posture becomes normal, it becomes even harder to correct.

Computer Jobs and Posture

Of course, those people who are at the highest risk of suffering from various health related issues because of poor posture are those who sit in front of a computer all day. Those people take the chances of suffering from musculoskeletal disorders in their neck and shoulders, as well as various other health related conditions.

For those people with jobs that require them to sit at a desk in front of a computer all day, it is important that they pay attention to their posture. Neglecting their spine can lead to the deformation of their cervical and thoracic spine, which are the upper and mid parts of their spine.

Another common cause of neck pain is sitting or standing with forward head and shoulder posture. This is sitting or standing with the neck slanted forward, which causes the head to be in front of the shoulders. The problem with that is that the head is designed to sit on top of the head evenly. Sitting or standing in this position can decrease the shoulder blades' stability, alter the upper extremities mobility, increase the curvature of the lumbar spine, cause the hips and stomach to tilt forward, and more.

Improving Posture

Now that you know how important your posture is to the health of your neck, we're sure you want to do whatever you can to ensure you maintain good posture. Your spine isn't designed to sustain heavy weight for long periods of time, so putting undue stress on it will only lead to neck pain later on.

Though, you can avoid the chances of neck pain by using ergonomic office chairs, lumbar support, and any other safety equipment available to you. You will also want to stand up and walk around every 15 minutes or so, as well as you will want to stretch.

Though, the most important thing you can do for the health of your neck is to seek out the care of an upper cervical chiropractor. They will examine your upper cervical spine, which are the top two vertebrae in your spine, for any misalignments that may be the underlying cause of your neck pain and many other conditions you might suffer from.

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Spinato call (858) 484-0444 or just click the button below.

 

Continue reading
686 Hits
0 Comments

Relief of Neck Pain in San Diego California

Neck pain is something that effects two thirds of people at some point in their lives and is almost as common as low back pain. As much as 10% of the population has low grade neck pain and as much as 5% of people debilitating neck pain.1 Neck pain is difficult to properly diagnose given the intricacy of the head and neck region of the body. There is a lot happening between major arteries and veins, muscles, nerves, the bones in the neck and the skull.

It is difficult to properly discern between all the sources of possible neck pain and being able to address the appropriate issue. The head weighs on average anywhere from 10-12 pounds and depends on all the parts for the neck for proper stabilization. The bones in the neck need to be in the proper position structurally which also affects the nerves controlling the neck muscles to properly balance and move the head.

A head that is out of position can cause neck pain based on structure alone, compiled with the affects on the nervous system it is a perfect storm. The single most important part of the neck that should be examined in any chronic neck pain sufferer is the Atlas (C1) vertebra in the upper neck known as the upper cervical spine.

Relief to chronic neck pain is something that specialist, Dr Dan Spinato, is helping people in San Diego achieve. As an Upper Cervical Chiropractor, Dr Spinato specializes in finding the root cause of chronic neck pain and correcting the cause through a custom adjustment to the Atlas bone. Using advanced methods, neck pain has been scientifically proven through research to improve in as little as one precise adjustment.2

If you are suffering from chronic neck pain that is affecting your life having your neck examined by an upper cervical chiropractor could be the key to solving your health issues.

References:
1. Bovim G, Scharader H, Sand T. Neck pain in the general population. Spine. 1994: 19:1207. 2. Rochester RP: Neck pain and disability outcomes following chiropractic upper cervical care: a retrospective case series. J Can Chiropr Assoc 2009, 53(3):173-85

 

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Spinato call (858) 484-0444 or just click the button below.

 

Continue reading
719 Hits
0 Comments

Chronic Neck Pain Natural Relief

Do you suffer from nagging neck pain or a popping or clicking that won’t stop? Modern science and research is showing that a problem with your neck may have much bigger implications.

Modern technology has opened a window to look into many aspects of the human body we could not explore previously. Here are some of the recent breakthroughs regarding neck pain:1-3

  • Misalignment (subluxation) of the bones in the neck particularly at the C1 vertebra (Atlas) can cause abnormal blood flow
  • Subluxation affects the Central Nervous System, specifically the brain decreasing neurological function
  • This may cause the brain to fell pain more than what is actually happening in the body

Chronic Neck pain may only be perceived as something happening locally but having many other seeming unrelated effects throughout the entire body. That catch your neck that just won’t go away may actually be an indication of other conditions.

Chronic Neck Pain Specialist Dr Dan Spinato helps patients in San Diego to get natural relief. As an Upper Cervical Chiropractor specializing in the spine and the integrity of the nervous system, using advanced methods and procedures to locate the exact cause and subluxation of chronic neck pain. When the subluxation is located and measured a custom adjustment is given to each patient. The adjustment is given only when needed without any popping, twisting, or cracking of the neck.

Once the proper alignment of the spine is attained the body will be able to function normally and begin the healing process.4 References: 1. 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 2. Abeles A, Pillinger M, Solitar B, Abeles M. Narrative review: The pathophysiology of fibromyalgia. Ann Intern Med. 2007; 146:726-734. 3. Ceko M, Bushnell MC, Gracely RH. Neurobiology underlying fibromyalgia symptoms. Pain Res Treat. 2012; 585419:1-8. 4. Grostic JD, Dentate ligament-cord distortion hypothesis. CRJ 1988; 1(1):47-55

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Spinato call (858) 484-0444 or just click the button below.

 

Continue reading
677 Hits
0 Comments

A Common Reason for Lingering Neck Pain

When Central Sensitization Occurs 

When the body feels it is being threatened, it reacts by protecting itself. Sometimes, it goes a little too far and protects itself by going through a process called Central Sensitization. This is the body's way of overreacting to nerve damage or even to the threat of nerve damage.

Basically, the body becomes hypersensitive to tissue damage or the threat of tissue damage. This hypersensitivity is a reaction to the environment and manifests itself as certain conditions including the following.

Central Sensitization Induced Pain

  • Neuropathic Pain – This is chronic pain that is usually caused by nerve damage. There may also be damage, dysfunction, or injury to the nerve fibers. The nerve fibers then send incorrect signals to other pain centers causing a change in the location of the injury and around the area of the injury.
  • Inflammatory Pain – Inflammation occurs when the body's white blood cells and the substances produced by those white blood cells protect the body from infection that might be caused by a bacteria or virus.
  • Migraines – Current theories say the altering of sensory input in the brain causes migraine headaches. In other words, there's an intracranial hypersensitivity that manifests itself as these debilitating headaches.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Recent studies suggest there is reason to believe there are abnormalities in central nociceptive processing in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. This leads to visceral hypersensitivity or a decrease in the gut's pain thresholds.

Download our Neck Pain e-book by clicking the image below:

 

Central Sensitization and Upper Cervical

In order to reduce and eliminate the body's overreaction to pain, it's important to address the underlying causes of that neck pain. The way to reduce that threat is to eliminate those things that could be causing that threat.

That means restoring the body's communication system, which has been altered and is causing a change in how the body responds to outside stimuli. This miscommunication within the body leads to a heightened sensation of pain and needs to be restored.

This alteration in communication frequently begins in the upper neck where the brain and spinal cord come together. Even small misalignments in this area can have dramatic effects on the way the brain and body is operating. 

 

Dr. Dan Spinato of the San Diego Integrative Spine Center in San Diego, California is a Rancho Penasquitos Chiropractor and an Upper Cervical Specialist trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). Over the past 30 years, Dr. Spinato has helped many people find natural relief in San Diego, California. His upper cervical clinic also serves the communities of Rancho Penasquitos, Carmel Valley, Poway, Scripps Ranch and Rancho Bernardo. He is uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems, including migraine headaches, chronic neck and back pain, fibromyalgia, allergy and sinus problems and temporomandibular joint disorders. More information can be found on his website at http://www.powaychiropractor.net/

Continue reading
1163 Hits
0 Comments

Common Reason for Lingering Neck Pain

When Central Sensitization Occurs

When the body feels it is being threatened, it reacts by protecting itself. Sometimes, it goes a little too far and protects itself by going through a process called Central Sensitization. This is the body's way of overreacting to nerve damage or even to the threat of nerve damage.

Basically, the body becomes hypersensitive to tissue damage or the threat of tissue damage. This hypersensitivity is a reaction to the environment and manifests itself as certain conditions including the following.

Central Sensitization Induced Pain

  • Neuropathic Pain – This is chronic pain that is usually caused by nerve damage. There may also be damage, dysfunction, or injury to the nerve fibers. The nerve fibers then send incorrect signals to other pain centers causing a change in the location of the injury and around the area of the injury.
  • Inflammatory Pain – Inflammation occurs when the body's white blood cells and the substances produced by those white blood cells protect the body from infection that might be caused by a bacteria or virus.
  • Migraines – Current theories say the altering of sensory input in the brain causes migraine headaches. In other words, there's an intracranial hypersensitivity that manifests itself as these debilitating headaches.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Recent studies suggest there is reason to believe there are abnormalities in central nociceptive processing in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. This leads to visceral hypersensitivity or a decrease in the gut's pain thresholds.

Central Sensitization and Upper Cervical

In order to reduce and eliminate the body's overreaction to pain, it's important to address the underlying causes of that pain. The way to reduce that threat is to eliminate those things that could be causing that threat.

That means restoring the body's communication system, which has been altered and is causing a change in how the body responds to outside stimuli. This miscommunication within the body leads to a heightened sensation of pain and needs to be restored.

This alteration in communication frequently begins in the upper neck where the brain and spinal cord come together. Even small misalignments in this area can have dramatic effects on the way the brain and body is operating.

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Spinato call (858) 484-0444 or just click the button below.

 

Continue reading
1344 Hits
0 Comments

Neck Pain – A Miscommunication in the Brain

Communicating with the Body via the Brainstem

The body is an amazing machine that has the ability to heal itself, but that means the body also has the ability to be injured in such a way so as to need healing. It also means that if the body has the ability to heal itself, that ability can be hindered.

What hinders that ability? One of the functions of the brain is to communicate with the body via the brainstem's connection to the spinal cord. When the upper neck vertebrae, also called the upper cervical spine, is out of alignment by only ½ millimeter, that hinders the brain's ability to communicate with the body.

The brainstem serves various functions throughout the body, so hindering it's ability to communicate properly will lead to many adverse effects. We listed some of its functions and those adverse effects that may take place because of that miscommunication.

 

Functions of the Brainstem

  • Motor control
  • Fine touch
  • Vibration sensation 
  • Pain
  • Regulation of cardiac function
  • Regulation of respiratory function
  • Regulation of the central nervous system
  • Consciousness
  • Sleep Cycles
  • Heart rate
  • Breathing
  • Eating
  • Sleeping

Upper Cervical and the Source of Your Pain

As you can see the brainstem plays no small role in how the body functions, and a misalignment in the upper neck vertebrae can lead to various types of conditions and diseases that can hinder a person's ability to live their day to day life free of pain and dysfunction.

If you are experiencing pain in your neck or other symptoms it is important that you have a thorough evaluation of your upper neck by an upper cervical specialist. It will be able to determine if you have an undetected brainstem injury that may be leading to your problem.

 

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Spinato call (858) 484-0444 or just click the button below.

 

Continue reading
754 Hits
0 Comments

TMJ Causes and Relief

I've got that Jaw Clicking Feeling

So, you feel clicking in your jaw, but you're not sure what it is. Well, it may be TMJ, also known as TMD. This occurs when your Temporomandibular Joint, which is the hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull, is moved out of position. That little joint gives you the ability to move your jaw up and down and side to side, as well as to talk chew and yawn. So, what causes TMJ? Well, one of the most common causes of TMJ is whiplash. But that is not the only cause. It can also be caused by the following factors.

Causes of TMJ

  • Grinding or clenching teeth (This puts undue pressure on the joint)
  • Arthritis in the Temporomandibular joint
  • Movement of the soft cushion or disc that is between the joint's ball and socket
  • Stress (this can cause your facial or jaw muscles to tighten)

No matter what caused it, it is easy to just learn to live with this condition, but it is important not to leave it uncared for. TMJ can be a sign of an underlying problem, so just learning to live with it can lead to adverse effects. So, what can you do about it? Well, here are some things you can do to alleviate your jaw or facial pain: 

TMJ Remedies

  • Use moist heat or cold packs – Apply an icepack to the side of your face and temple for 10 minutes, then gently stretch your jaw (no further then is comfortable), and then hold a warm towel or washcloth to the side of your face for five minutes
  • Eat soft foods – This will allow your Temporomandibular Joint and other facial muscles to rest
  • Relax your Jaw – Don't overuse your jaw by yawning too much. Also, don't chew such things as gum and ice as little as possible. Other things to avoid are yelling and singing
  • Good Posture – It's easy to cradle the phone between our ear and shoulder, but it's not recommended
  • Teeth Positioning – Keeping your teeth apart will help you to not clench them

The Best TMJ Remedy

Okay, so whether your TMJ is due to whiplash, grinding your teeth, or anything else, there is one other thing you can do to relieve the pressure. In fact, this last one will not only relieve the pressure, it will eliminate the pressure by focusing on the underlying cause. Frequently TMJ is a result of a misalignment the head and neck. Accidents and injuries will tear loose the connective tissue that holds the spine in place and allow the head shift slightly from its normal centered position. This will lead to uneven pressure into the jaw joints. Correcting the head and neck alignment with a specific upper cervical corrective procedure has shown to be extremely effective at addressing the underlying cause of TMJ and other conditions.

 

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Spinato call (858) 484-0444 or just click the button below.

 

Continue reading
830 Hits
0 Comments

Common Causes of Neck Pain

If you are experiencing pain in your neck or back, that is not something you want to ignore. We know you're in pain, and you may not be able to get into our office right away. That means you will have the temptation to crack your neck or spine. Please, don't do that. That will only make the problem worse. The best thing you can do, if you are experiencing pain, and need relief now, is ice your back. Here's a list of steps you should take to receive the most benefit from icing. 

Icing Tips

  1. Find a comfortable chair where you can recline or a bed where you can lay down
  2. Cover an ice pack with a paper towel to ensure you won't get frost bite
  3. Place it on the area of discomfort 
  4. Set the timer for 20 minutes and relax

Depending on the source of your pain, you may need to ice more than once a day. But don't leave the ice pack on your neck or back for any longer than 20 minutes. Just go throw it in the freezer, and leave it there for a while. 

If your pain persists, it may be due to something more than a knot in your back. Here are some common causes of neck and back pain. 

Neck Pain Causes

Herniated Disc – (Also called a Slipped Disc) There is a soft, gel like substance between each of your vertebra that keeps them from grinding against one another. When that gel like substance slips out of position, and two of the vertebra grind against each other, you feel the pain.

Degenerative Disc Disease – This most likely happens due to a low energy injury to the disc. Since the disc has no blood supply, it cannot go through the same healing process as other tissue, and over time the disc wears out.

Cervical Osteoarthritis – (Cervical Spondylosis) This occurs because of the degeneration of the facet joints in the cervical spine and causes Arthritis in the neck. 

Whiplash – Your neck is only meant to move a certain distance in any direction. This occurs when your neck muscles are overextended.

 

If you iced your neck, but your pain persists, these are just some of the conditions that might be causing your pain. Even if your pain subsides after you ice a few times, it is still a good idea to have an upper cervical specialist examine you. There are many underlying conditions that could pop-up later if the initial pain is left untreated.  

To schedule your NUCCA evaluation, click here.

Want to hear from real people like you? Check out our reviews here.

Dr. Dan Spinato of the San Diego Integrative Spine Center in San Diego, California is a Rancho Penasquitos Chiropractor and an Upper Cervical Specialist trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). Over the past 30 years, Dr. Spinato has helped many people find natural relief in San Diego, California. His upper cervical clinic also serves the communities of Rancho Penasquitos, Carmel Valley, Poway, Scripps Ranch and Rancho Bernardo. He is uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems, including migraine headaches, chronic neck and back pain, fibromyalgia, allergy and sinus problems and temporomandibular joint disorders. More information can be found on his website at http://www.powaychiropractor.net.

Tags:
Continue reading
807 Hits
0 Comments

What Causes Severe Migraine and Neck Pain?


Severe Migraine and Neck Pain

Neck pain can be an early sign of a migraine or may show up after the episode, leaving sufferer's with a throbbing pain at the back of the neck. According to an online survey generated by the National Headache Foundation, 38% of migraine patients said they always experience neck pain and 31% said they frequently had neck pain along with their migraine headaches.

It is very common for a tightness in the shoulders and neck to cause a cervicogenic headache (or migraine), which is a condition connected to the cervical spine. This occurs because tightness in the neck muscles and joints stimulates nerves in the neck that extend into the head, resulting in the pain traveling to the head, causing a headache. When it comes to the neck and migraine, the same process takes place except that when the signals reach the head it causes a migraine for those who are prone to getting them.

Muscle tightness and neck pain are usually signs of mental or physical stress and posture, all that can be effectively addressed naturally without drugs. Instead of simply opting for medication to treat migraine neck pain, take a look at your overall health and see if any changes need to be made, including finding time to relax, exercise and to learn stress relieving techniques.

Migraine Medication Management

Medication management of migraine and neck pain generally starts with analgesics like aspirin, acetaminophen and NSAIDs, however the results vary from patient to patient. Sometimes a combination of medications is prescribed, however, this approach has the potential for causing rebound migraine. If this approach fails, a cautious use of an opioid can be prescribed, using a sustained release medication around the clock for unrelenting headaches in the hopes of preventing a rebound effect. Invasive practices may also be considered and they include trigger point injections, facet joint blocks, occipital nerve blocks, nerve root blocks, segmental nerve root blocks, etc. it is important to be aware that all of these pharmaceutical approaches have side effects, and do not address the underlying cause of the migraines only attempt to relieve symptoms temporarily.

Natural Migraine Alternative

Symptoms of cervical spine dysfunction usually include tension and migraine headache (cervicogenic headache). Upper cervical chiropractic care is focused on finding and correcting any alignment issue in your neck that can cause not only migraine neck pain, but a number of other chronic health problems and conditions. Because the human response to trauma and injury is to realign the body, down to even the pelvis and hip area, tension is placed on the spine as well as the cranial nerves, nervous system and also affects blood flow. Gentle and safe upper cervical corrections can relieve and even eliminate neck pain, getting the neck and spine back into the correct positions, without jerking or twisting your neck during the procedure.

Correcting underlying neck injuries will frequently decrease or eliminate migraine headache pain. The best and safest approach available to address severe migraine and neck pain is upper cervical chiropractic and positive lifestyle changes that include following a healthy diet plan, getting a proper amount of sleep, exercise and finding a way to reduce tension.

What to Do Next

 

To find an upper cervical specialist in your area go to www.upcspine.com or if you are in the San Diego, California area to schedule your NUCCA evaluation, click here.

Want to hear from real people like you? Check out our reviews here.

Dr. Dan Spinato of the San Diego Integrative Spine Center in San Diego, California is a Rancho Penasquitos Chiropractor and an Upper Cervical Specialist trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). Over the past 30 years, Dr. Spinato has helped many people find natural relief in San Diego, California. His upper cervical clinic also serves the communities of Rancho Penasquitos, Carmel Valley, Poway, Scripps Ranch and Rancho Bernardo. He is uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems, including migraine headaches, chronic neck and back pain, fibromyalgia, allergy and sinus problems and temporomandibular joint disorders. More information can be found on his website at http://www.powaychiropractor.net/ 

Continue reading
1307 Hits
0 Comments

How Are Shoulder Weakness and Neck Pain Related?

Why Is the Shoulder Weak?

When you say that your shoulder is weak, what do you mean? Do you mean that your shoulder and arm is numb? Do you feel tingling in your shoulder and arm? Do you have a loss of strength? Do you have pain in your shoulder that is causing this weakness?

Depending on the answer to those questions may help you in determining what is wrong with your shoulder. Shoulder weakness can be caused by many things, including problems with the shoulder itself, such as rotator cuff injuries, labral injuries shoulder dislocations and separations. You can also have shoulder weakness because of injury to nerves.

For instance, when you have problems in your neck that are leading to nerve irritation this can severely influence your shoulder and arm. Nerves leave the lower portion of your neck and go down your arm all the way to your hand. So frequently and a shoulder, arm or hand problem originates in the neck.

Neck Specialists

If you are seeking to find someone who is an expert at evaluating neck and shoulder injuries, then an upper cervical chiropractor may be your answer.

An upper cervical chiropractor specializes in evaluating head, neck and spinal alignment, that may be leading to nerve pressure and resulting symptoms.

The 1st step when you come to an upper cervical chiropractic office is to take a thorough history and then evaluate you for postural imbalances and nerve dysfunction that may be leading to shoulder weakness and other health problems.

If you are found to have postural misalignments the Dr will take specific x-rays to evaluate the alignment of the spine. He or she will then be able to mathematically calculate how best to realign your spinal column and improve nerve function.

Upper cervical chiropractors are able to accomplish this without your popping, cracking or twisting of the spine associated with general chiropractic and other manipulative treatment because of the precision with which they work.

There are many individuals that feel relief from pain and improved nerve function almost as soon as they are placed back into normal alignment. For others this relief may take longer. Once proper alignment has been reached the upper cervical chiropractor can show the individual some things that they can do to help stay in alignment.

How Is Your Shoulder Problem Affecting Your Life?

When shoulder weakness or pain is involved even walking can be painful. Also when a shoulder is in pain simple things like eating and drinking can become miserable. In addition to these things when there is a shoulder problem every movement we make can cause the pain to increase and the injury to become worse.

Shoulder weakness and pain may also start to interfere with sleeping habits. Every movement while sleeping can be painful and cause trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. Not being properly rested through the day will cause problems of its own. Shoulder problems are really something that needs to be taken care of as soon as possible.

 

To find an upper cervical specialist in your area go to www.upcspine.com or if you are in the San Diego, California area to schedule your NUCCA evaluation, click here.

Want to hear from real people like you? Check out our reviews here.

Dr. Dan Spinato of the San Diego Integrative Spine Center in San Diego, California is a Rancho Penasquitos Chiropractor and an Upper Cervical Specialist trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). Over the past 30 years, Dr. Spinato has helped many people find natural relief in San Diego, California. His upper cervical clinic also serves the communities of Rancho Penasquitos, Carmel Valley, Poway, Scripps Ranch and Rancho Bernardo. He is uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems, including migraine headaches, chronic neck and back pain, fibromyalgia, allergy and sinus problems and temporomandibular joint disorders. More information can be found on his website at http://www.powaychiropractor.net/

Continue reading
1021 Hits
0 Comments

Shoulder Pain Linked to Neck Problems

Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is a terrible thing to have to live with. People never realize how much their shoulders play a role in everyday living until it starts to hurt. Shoulder pain can be caused by many things but the most common causes are overuse or doing activities that are not usually done.

Some individuals when suffering from shoulder pain will go to a medical doctor. Frequently the result of that visit will be sending you home with some sort of over-the-counter or prescription pain or anti-inflammatory medication. Often the pills will help with the pain, but they won’t fix the root of the pain.

An underlying cause of shoulder problems can be related to posture and poor body mechanics as a result of misalignments in the spinal column. If the position of the head is altered as a result of accidents or injuries, the shoulders will frequently be tilted. Sometimes you can see this postural change in the mirror where one shoulder is lower than the other. This postural imbalance can lead to overuse or straining of the shoulder with unusual activity.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic

Going to an upper cervical chiropractic clinic is an excellent way to seek the underlying cause of your shoulder problems. An upper cervical chiropractor will look for postural imbalances that may be leading to your shoulder dysfunction. Misalignments in the spine can also lead to nerve irritation and nerve related numbness, tingling and pain in the shoulder and arm.

An upper cervical chiropractor is able to correct these underlying postural imbalances without any of the popping, cracking or twisting of the spine common with general chiropractic manipulation. Because the upper cervical approach is non-traumatic to your spine, it leads to maximum recovery for misaligned joints and structures.

Upper Cervical Chiropractors also have a large knowledge of exercises that can help to strengthen the muscles that will support the alignment and help keep it in place. There are many individuals that have felt instantly better after going to an upper cervical chiropractor.

Shoulders are used every day and when they hurt it certainly will get our attention. Injuries rarely happen at a convenient time, but it is important that we respect pain signals. To see the underlying cause, rather than just covering up the symptoms will lead to less problems down the road.

To schedule your NUCCA evaluation, click here.

Want to hear from real people like you? Check out our reviews here.

 

Dr. Dan Spinato of the San Diego Integrative Spine Center in San Diego, California is a Rancho Penasquitos Chiropractor and an Upper Cervical Specialist trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). Over the past 30 years, Dr. Spinato has helped many people find natural relief in San Diego, California. His upper cervical clinic also serves the communities of Rancho Penasquitos, Carmel Valley, Poway, Scripps Ranch and Rancho Bernardo. He is uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems, including migraine headaches, chronic neck and back pain, fibromyalgia, allergy and sinus problems and temporomandibular joint disorders. More information can be found on his website at http://www.powaychiropractor.net/

Continue reading
930 Hits
0 Comments