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What Is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is a debilitating condition that can gradually take away a person’s ability to handle everyday activities. It can be especially upsetting to a family when one member is affected. Long testing periods leading up to a diagnosis can be very stressful, leading to things such as sleepless nights, feelings of hopelessness, and even fights among family members as tensions rise. Hopefully, understanding more about the condition and knowing that help exists will relieve some of the stress.

Understanding the Effects of Multiple-Sclerosis

The myelin sheath is responsible for protecting the nerve cells. When a person suffers from MS, that covering is damaged, and this results in a slowing down of the body’s nerve signals. As a result, communication between the brain and body suffers. When this communication slows down, the outward symptoms of MS are the result.

 

Unfortunately, there are numerous conditions that can cause similar symptoms resulting in a long process of ruling out other conditions in order to get an official diagnosis. This can be the most frustrating part of the battle. However, whether you have a diagnosis yet or not, there is something you can do help your body’s internal communication system.

 

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Benefits

When a person is suffering from MS, having the brain and body communicate optimally is critical. Another factor that can affect this communication is an upper cervical subluxation, which can put pressure on the brainstem and restrict the proper flow of fluids such as a blood and cerebrospinal fluid.

By identifying and correcting these misalignments, an upper cervical chiropractor can provide many potential benefits. Among these may be decreased symptom severity or fewer flare-ups of chronic conditions like MS.  If you are suffering from such a chronic condition, especially if you have a history of head or neck trauma that could have caused a misalignment, a consultation may be your first step on the road to being more active again.

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

 

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The Far-Reaching Effects of Whiplash

Enduring whiplash due to a car accident or another similar trauma can have a negative effect on the entire body, leading to a number of different health conditions. It may not be a well-known fact, but trauma such as whiplash can actually change the flow of blood and cerebrospinal fluid that reaches the brain. Often, this disruption in fluid leads to symptoms such as migraines.

How Vehicle Accidents Cause Migraines

Migraines remain a mystery in the medical community. No one is sure exactly why they occur. One thing that is agreed upon, however, is that migraines often are connected to a misalignment in the upper bones of the neck – in particular, the C1 (atlas) and C2 (axis). Migraines may be a result of whiplash. In fact, the injury may have happened many years ago and is now just making itself known as a migraine.

It is vital for anyone who has had a recent injury to the head or neck to seek the care of an upper cervical chiropractor. By caring for neck injuries in a timely manner, one may reduce the risk of further complications down the road. Whiplash can do damage to someone’s neck at as slow of a speed as 5 MPH. Seeking care immediately is the best way to ensure one’s future health.

How Upper Cervical Chiropractic Helps Whiplash Injuries

If whiplash causes a misalignment in one’s upper cervical spine, this may hinder the central nervous system from working properly. It can also be the reason for a reduction in the amount of blood and cerebrospinal fluid reaching or exiting the brain. Either of these conditions can wreak havoc on the body.

Here at San Diego Integrative Spine Center, we use a gentle method to help the bones of the upper neck to move back into their original place. Once this is done, the body can take over and begin to repair the damage. This is often all that is needed to see a decrease in the symptoms of whiplash such as migraines.

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

 

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Eliminating Trigeminal Neuralgia in San Diego, CA

Trigeminal neuralgia is a very painful condition of the facial nerves. It takes
hardly any pressure or stress at all to stimulate these nerves and cause extreme pain. Things that can cause this to happen range from  brushing one’s teeth or smiling. Those suffering from it refer to it as invisible pain.

Doctors will most likely prescribe some sort of medication to help reduce symptoms. If this is unsuccessful, more invasive care may be suggested, such as Botox, glycerol injections, or even surgery. Most people suffering from this condition want a natural solution that will last. To find this, one must consider what the root cause may be and look closely at how to address it.

Trigeminal Neuralgia and the Upper Neck

The spine has the very important job of protecting the spinal cord. In turn, the spinal cord relays messages to and from the brain and body to keep things functioning at their peak. If something has caused the upper bone of the neck – the C1 vertebra or atlas bone – to misalign, pressure can be interfering with the function of the central nervous system. This means that improper signals can be sent to the brain about pain in the body. If the brain receives a signal that the nerves of the face are in pain, the end result is trigeminal neuralgia.

This is the exact type of misalignment that we deal with at San Diego Integrative Spine Center. Once we find the location of the problem, we use a low force correction to a specific area of the neck that encourages the atlas to move back into place. This may relieve the pressure on the trigeminal nerve.

Upper cervical chiropractic was administered to a 10-year-old boy who was suffering from trigeminal neuralgia. After 5 days, he stated that he had no more pain whatsoever. When following up a year and a half later, he was still pain-free. We strive to provide similar results for our patients.

 

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

 

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How Those in San Diego, CA Are Coping with Seizures Naturally

Seizures, Clonic and MyoclonicOne may be concerned that if he has one seizure, he will continue to have them throughout the rest of his life. This is not necessarily the case. Out of every 10 people, 1 will have a seizure and never have another. Often it depends on why the seizure occurred. This brings about a question to ponder: Is it wise to begin taking medication immediately after only one seizure?

Because seizures have no understood cause and are so hard to care for, this is not an easy question to answer. Doctors, as well as patients, find that the correct course of help for seizures is sometimes impossible to decide upon. There are a variety of seizures such as:

  • Clonic: Repeated jerking movements

  • Myoclonic: Occasional jerking movements

  • Absence: Briefly losing consciousness

  • Grand mal: Unconscious, convulsions, stiff muscles

  • Atonic: Losing muscle tone

  • Tonic: Stiff and rigid muscles

Finding Answers to Help with Seizures

It seems as if more and more people are trending towards wanting natural solutions to their health problems. One area that offers patients this type of care is that of upper cervical chiropractic. Here at San Diego Integrative Spine Center, we take an alternative approach to helping patients cope with seizures. By using the latest technology to examine the atlas bone—the C1 vertebra—we can determine whether or not it is misaligned. A misalignment in this area of the body can be placing pressure on the brainstem and, in turn, keeping the central nervous system from functioning properly.

During a recent study, patients having more than one seizure were observed. After receiving upper cervical chiropractic adjustments to their atlas, it was noted that their seizures stopped. Using a gentle adjustment, the atlas bone is moved back into place, restoring communication and blood flow in the body. This is often all that is needed to see an improvement in or the end of seizure activity.

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

 

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San Diego Residents Have a New Way to Cope with Vertigo

Vertigo Relief, Dizziness Relief, Dizzy, Meniere’s Disease Relief, Vertigo, Dizziness, Meniere’s , Meniere’s Disease Vertigo is one of the main symptoms of vestibular neuronitis. While no one really knows what causes this condition, a theory is that it has to do with a virus that has infected the 8th cranial nerve. This particular nerve is partly responsible for keeping one in balance. Besides vertigo, vestibular neuronitis is known for:

  • Eye jerking movements called nystagmus

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • A duration of between 7 and 10 days

Because these symptoms last for so long, it can become extremely exasperating for the person suffering from it. Medical doctors will usually recommend medication and possibly vestibular rehabilitation to help with balance issues that may ensue. The good news is that there is a natural alternative route of care that can provide help for vertigo sufferers.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care and Vertigo

Why does upper cervical chiropractic help with vestibular neuronitis? To understand this, we must understand how the body works. The spine is made to protect the delicate spinal cord. The spinal cord has the job of delivering signals to the brain and body about everything that is happening within the body. If the top bone of the spine, the atlas or C1 vertebra, is not in its proper position it can place pressure on the brainstem. This hinders the signals that are being sent to the brain.

I have been specifically trained to find these small misalignments and then work to correct them. I use a gentle method that helps the bones move back into their original position without popping or cracking the spine or neck. Once this is done, patients may see an end to vertigo and other symptoms.

A case study was conducted involving 60 patients who had chronic vertigo. After receiving atlas-specific adjustments, 48 of them saw their vertigo go away entirely. The rest reported a significant decrease in the severity and frequency of symptoms over the next six months of care.

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

 

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Keep Your Spine Healthy Through NUCCA

NUCCA is a specific form of chiropractic that has to do with caring for the upper cervical spine, specifically the C1 (atlas) and C2 (axis) vertebrae. The brainstem is also a vital part of the equation as it is responsible for a number of functions of the body such as:

  • Coordinating jaw and eye movement, the tongue and larynx, facial expressions, and movement of the head and neck

  • Delivering messages to and from the brain and body via the nerves

  • Controlling vital basic functions such as breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate

  • Connecting the cerebrum—the lower part of the brain— to the spinal cord

The body relies heavily on the cranial nerves and the nerves that pass through the brainstem. If the brainstem becomes severely damaged, the body is negatively impacted. Injuries and ailments, such as stroke, can lead to a coma or even a progressive vegetative state.

Due to the fact that the brainstem is responsible for so many vital functions, stroke can damage a person’s speech, movements, vision, or pain receptors. This is just part of why keeping the upper cervical spine in alignment is so important to one’s health and well-being.

How NUCCA Helps the Spine

At San Diego Integrative Spine Center, we use a specific method of upper cervical chiropractic called NUCCA. This method involves a low force correction to a part of the neck that helps the bones to realign in a natural way. We never resort to popping or twisting the spine to readjust the bones.

A misalignment in this area of the neck can have negative influences on the entire body. By realigning these bones many patients see serious health problems, such as migraines, vertigo, sciatica, and many others, go away entirely. It is important for everyone to make sure that their body is in the best working order as it possibly can be, and the neck plays a key role in overall health and wellbeing.

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

 

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Gentle Care for Young Migraine Sufferers

When most people think of migraines, children are not the primary age group we associate this issue with. However, as much as 5% of those under the age of 10 may experience migraines, and that number quickly rises to 10% for preteens and teens.

Most parents would agree that the kinds of medications usually prescribed for migraines, and all of the side effects that come along with these drugs, are not really something for kids (and the FDA hasn’t approved most of them for use with children anyway). That raises the question: Is there a safer way to get help for migraines?

Searching for the Cause of Migraines

The biggest problem with migraine medications is that they only take care of symptoms and don’t really stop migraines from occurring. To reduce the severity and frequency of migraines, and perhaps even eliminate them altogether, that means attacking the problem at its source. For many, this is an upper cervical misalignment.

When the C1 and C2 are misaligned, this can affect blood flow to the brain, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drainage, and even put pressure on the spinal cord or brainstem. This is because these bones are situated right at the base of the skull where the spinal cord and brainstem meet. In fact, the very bottom of the brainstem is protected inside the C1 when these bones are aligned properly.

How Upper Cervical Chiropractic Provides Relief

At San Diego Integrative Spine Center, we use the NUCCA technique, a specialized form of upper cervical chiropractic that makes use of diagnostic imaging in pinpointing the misalignment and utilizes an extremely gentle adjustment to correct these subluxations. As a result, this form of chiropractic is safe for those of all ages.

Once the upper spine is realigned, blood flow, CSF drainage, and brainstem function can all be restored to normal. For many this has meant a significant reduction in or even an end to migraines as many case studies have shown.

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

 

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Relief from the Headaches of Post-Concussion Syndrome

Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) can occur after a person suffers from an MTBI. Even minor head injuries run the risk of leading to further symptoms. According to some researchers, there really is no link between the severity of the head injury and the risk of PCS developing. With estimates putting sports-related head injuries at more than 3 million per year, this makes PCS a major public health concern.

The Symptoms of Post-Concussion Syndrome

The primary concern when it comes to a concussion is that it can lead to chronic issues with headaches. This is often the primary symptom used to diagnose PCS. Other symptoms may include insomnia, anxiety, dizziness, and more. As a result, care often focuses on medications that address each individual symptom. Therefore, a person may end up taking painkillers for the headaches, sleep aids, anti-anxiety meds, and so on. Is there a better way?

Upper Cervical Chiropractic and Concussions

When it comes to post-concussion syndrome, many of the symptoms relate to an injury that may have occurred at the time of the head injury. Any time the head is struck hard enough to cause a concussion, it is possible that the vertebrae of the upper neck have become misaligned. When this happens, pressure may be placed on the brainstem, blood flow to the brain may be reduced, or proper drainage of cerebrospinal fluid may be hindered. Any of these factors can contribute to the headaches and other symptoms of PCS.

Thus, it is a good idea to seek the care of an upper cervical chiropractor following any suspected concussion. An examination of the upper cervical spine can reveal such a misalignment, and allow a practitioner to correct it before the symptoms of PCS can present or worsen. If you are already suffering from PCS, an adjustment may help to alleviate some of the symptoms.

References:

Mayo Clinic. Post-concussion syndrome. [homepage on the Internet]. 2014 [cited 2015 Jun 4]. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-concussion-syndrome/basics/definition/con-20032705

Leddy JJ, Sandhu H, Sodhi V, Baker JG, Willer B. Rehabilitation of Concussion and Post-concussion Syndrome. Sports Health. 2012;4(2):147-154. doi:10.1177/1941738111433673.

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

 

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Hypertension—A Rapidly Growing Concern

Even though this is a very prevalent condition, most Americans seriously underestimate how serious it can be. However, that’s not a big surprise in a nation that treats many poor health practices as routine (high sugar intake, fast food, highly processed foods, etc.). The lifestyle that is prevalent in the US is the primary reason that more than 70 million in the country suffer from high blood pressure. If you’re keeping score, that’s shockingly close to one-third of the adult population.

Consider just a few of the dangerous health conditions that are related to hypertension:

  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis

How to Find Natural Relief

The standard for hypertension care in the US is medication. That is pretty much the same response to every ailment in an industry run by pharmaceutical companies. While blood pressure medications often come with a host of side effects, those side effects are better than being killed by the high blood pressure, so most people just deal with it. However, some case studies have shown that there may be a better way.

When the C1 or C2 vertebrae are out of alignment, many problems can result including an increase in blood pressure. Why is this the case? Studies conducted have not explained the exact reasons why, only that it works. However, consider the following:

  • The vertebral arteries bring blood to the brain by passing through the vertebrae of the upper cervical spine (hence the term vertebral). When the top bones of the spine are out of alignment, they can hinder this blood flow to the brain. Thus, the proper alignment of the spine is related to vascular health.

Once the misalignment is corrected, proper blood flow can be restored. In turn, blood pressure may level off. According to a 2007 study, the results of upper cervical chiropractic care were the equivalent of taking two blood pressure medications. If you are ready to find a natural way to control your blood pressure, upper cervical chiropractic may be the right choice for you. 

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

 

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Migraines Linked to Panic and Anxiety Disorders

Migraines and panic attacks may not seem to be likely companions, but let’s take a closer look at both of these conditions and see how they are related.

A migraine is a neurological disorder that has the following symptoms:

  • Severe, throbbing head pain

  • Sensitivity to light, sound, and odors

  • Nausea and vomiting

Panic and/or anxiety disorders are known for:

  • Sudden attacks of nervousness and fear

  • Sweating

  • Racing heart

Interestingly, studies have revealed that there is a strong link between migraines and panic attacks. Some people experience a migraine when a panic attack is at its worst point. Others have migraines or other headache types before a panic attack. It seems as if those who have both migraines and panic attacks have a tougher time coping with the panic disorder, while depression plays a role for a person who has more migraines overall.

Where to Find Migraine Relief in San Diego, CA

At San Diego Integrative Spine Center, we use a different approach when helping migraine patients cope with their pain. We utilize specialized that allow us to take a close look at the person’s upper cervical spine, focusing particularly on the C1 and C2. If a misalignment is present here, it can have a profound effect on the nerves that lie below the brainstem and the brainstem itself. The body cannot communicate properly, and intracranial pressure can build up if blood and cerebrospinal fluid are not regulated correctly. This can lead to the onset of a migraine.

Once the misalignment has been found, a gentle technique called NUCCA is used to encourage the bones to move back into place more naturally. The body can then begin utilizing its own healing powers to repair the damage done by the misalignment. Case studies have shown that it only takes one or two adjustments to see improvement in most people. Some see their migraine symptoms decrease, while others find that migraines go away completely.

 

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

 

 

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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

 

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Coping with Common Migraine Triggers in San Diego, California

Migraines are a difficult condition to live with for both the one dealing from the problem as well as those who have to see a loved one suffering. While the detrimental effects of a migraine are readily apparent, understanding what causes migraines to occur is anything but clear. There are a number of recognized factors that can trigger a migraine. As a result, some people are advised to make dietary or other lifestyle adjustments. Here are a couple of other triggers that are less well-known.

 
  • In Missouri, a study was conducted that revealed migraines become more common when lightning is nearby. Barometric pressure and levels of humidity are two other weather conditions that have been linked to migraine occurrence.

  • Migraines can spring up when a person returns to a calm state after being stressed. When a person’s mood shifts from anxious to relaxed or sad to happy, a “let-down” migraine may occur. This is connected to the fact that certain hormones in the body decrease in production when calmness or happiness returns.

 

Rather than being tied to medications, many are looking for natural ways to cope with migraines. Recognizing triggers is one way to reduce migraines or at least be prepared for the likelihood of one. Of course, as with medication, avoiding triggers does not address the underlying issue.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic for Migraines

At San Diego Integrative Spine Center, we take a different approach to helping migraine patients. We specifically examine and correct misalignments of the C1 and C2 vertebrae. This is because a misalignment in this part of the neck can interfere with the correct function of the brainstem, the proper flow of blood to the brain, and the drainage of cerebrospinal fluid. Once this misalignment is corrected, many experience fewer or less severe migraines. Some never have to worry about migraines again.

 

Reference:

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/surprising-facts-migraines/story?id=19581796#5  

 

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

 

 

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How to Avoid the Pain of Carpal Tunnel in San Diego, CA

Carpal tunnel syndrome is brought about by pressure on the median nerve, the central nerve in the wrist. The symptoms are:

  • Muscle weakness in the hand and a tendency to drop things.

  • Numbness and tingling in the fingers or hand, but never the little finger. It can extend from the wrist up your entire arm.

  • Having pain all the time in the hand or wrist area.

Can a person take any steps to prevent carpal tunnel? Here are some suggestions:

  • Maintain good posture: This helps prevent nerve pain and assists in keeping the wrists at the right angle (your hands should not be lower than your wrists when typing).

  • Use the proper equipment: A vertical mouse and an ergonomic keyboard might seem hard to use at first, but once a person gets used to them the benefits outweigh the discomfort.

  • Use a brace for the wrist: There are special braces designed to help one not overuse certain muscles of the wrist. This is important to use if a person is already feeling stress on the wrist.

  • Give it a rest: Keep an eye on how the wrist is feeling. If it starts to feel strained, stop what you are doing and give it a break for a few minutes. Resting now and then is much better than having to take weeks off to recover from surgery.

Alleviating Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel

If one is already experiencing the symptoms mentioned above, he may find relief by visiting an upper cervical chiropractor. At San Diego Integrative Spine Center, we examine each patient to find exactly where the nerve damage is coming from. Sometimes, it may be due to misalignment in the upper neck vertebrae.

I have been specifically trained to find and correct these kinds of issues by using a gentle procedure aimed at realigning the C1 and C2 vertebrae. It does not require me to pop or force the spine into place. After correcting this misalignment, many patients report feeling better overall.

 

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

 

 

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A Deeper Understanding of Autism

Autism is a perplexing condition. Some new research has linked the function of the cerebellum, if impaired, as contributing to autism. The cerebellum is the part of the brain that is responsible for movement, coordination, sensory perception, and motor control. It receives signals from the body as to how it is coping with its environment. This new research points out that the cerebellum plays a vital role in how the other parts of the brain are working, such as how the brain controls a person’s cognitive function. It is now seen that the cerebellum absorbs information from the environment around the child and uses this to enhance the neocortical circuit.

What does this all indicate?  Well, a child begins processing information from the world around him long before he is able to communicate his feelings. If the cerebellum is not functioning at its optimum, this information is not processed correctly. This can impact the rate at which a child matures. This leads to issues with other parts of the brain and something called developmental diaschisis occurs.

Considering all of this, it makes sense that children with autism find it awkward to interact in social settings. This can be displayed by refusal to speak or problems understanding how to react. Sometimes it is thought to be that the child does not understand right from wrong. However, it is more likely that the child simply cannot properly process all the stimuli around him and is unsure how to react to it.

Autism Helped by Upper Cervical Chiropractic

Since the cerebellum is malfunctioning, one may wonder how a chiropractor can help his or her child. The brainstem is the communication highway between the body and brain. If the child has a misalignment in his upper cervical neck— often due to the birthing process or trips and falls that naturally accompany childhood— the brainstem can be hindered from sending proper signals. Correcting this problem through a very gentle means that causes no pain to the child can help the brain interpret the outside world a little better. It only takes ¼ of a millimeter misalignment to throw off the function of the brainstem.

 

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

 

 

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Coping with Shoulder Pain in San Diego, California

What type of shoulder pain are you experiencing? Is it a feeling of weakness or numbness? A tingling feeling that extends down the arm? A dull ache, or perhaps even a sharp shooting pain? Consider a few of the underlying causes of shoulder pain:

 

  • Problems with the shoulder itself

  • Labral injuries

  • Rotator Cuff injuries

  • Shoulder dislocations or separations

 

Nerve Damage Resulting in Shoulder Pain

When the shoulder itself is the source of the problem, it may be that the nerves are being irritated by a neck misalignment. The nerves in the shoulder extend all the way down to the hand, so any numbness, tingling, or pain in the hand, arm, or shoulder may go back to this one underlying issue.

This calls for a visit to an upper cervical chiropractic. We specifically focus on finding and caring for upper cervical misalignments that may result in shoulder nerve irritation. The process begins with x-rays that will reveal if a misalignment exists. Then a gentle program of adjustments can be tailored to meet the patient’s specific needs.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic and Shoulder Pain

Many patients find that shoulder problems are improved following the first adjustment. Even if this is not the case, one of the advantages of upper cervical care is that adjustments hold for a longer amount of time than general chiropractic. This gives the body more time to heal from the nerve irritation the misalignment was causing. As a result, the pain may also resolve over a period of time.

All of this is done without the popping, twisting, or cracking involved in general chiropractic. The gentle adjustments offer patients with should pain a natural means of seeking relief. Patients who have a history of head or neck trauma are more likely to have such a misalignment and to reap the benefits of an adjustment.

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

 

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How Is NUCCA Different from General Chiropractic?

This is a great question, and it is usually one of the first things a patient will ask. Understanding the difference between NUCCA and general chiropractic starts with one very basic discrepancy. While general chiropractic involves popping, twisting, or cracking of the spine, NUCCA is a more specific and gentle adjustment.

What makes NUCCA such a precise procedure? The idea is that focus is placed on the C1 and C2 vertebrae at the top of the neck—the upper cervical spine. When this part of the neck is in alignment, the rest of the spine should follow suit. However, this is a very sensitive area of the spine calling for precise adjustments. Therefore, very specific calculations are made to ensure the correct realignment is provided.

Because upper cervical adjustments are so gentle, the effects are often more long-lasting. The body doesn’t fight back against gentle pressure as it does if confronted with a sudden jerking motion. When an adjustment stays in place longer, the body has more time to heal from the damage caused by the misalignment, and the patient enjoys paying for fewer visits.

The NUCCA Process

NUCCA starts with an examination, patient history, and specialized x-rays that reveal the exact location and degree of a misalignment. This allows the practitioner to know how to position the patient, where to stand, and the location to place the gentle pressure for optimal results. Over time, it may be necessary to take some more x-rays. This will show how well the adjustments are holding and can help determine a continued course of maintenance so that adjustments are provided only as needed.

Imagine you had a water leak in your home. Would you prefer the plumber search for the specific location of the leak and fix only that or make adjustments to every pipe in the home? This helps to illustrate the difference between general chiropractic and the precision of upper cervical care.

Even if you have had a bad experience with general chiropractic in the past, I encourage you to give NUCCA a try. You’ll be amazed at the difference and just how much can be accomplished in even one adjustment.

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The Role of Inflammation in Multiple Sclerosis

 Multiple Sclerosis. MS, Extreme tiredness, Dizzy, Dizziness, Weak, Fog The debilitating condition multiple sclerosis (MS) is becoming one of the leading neurological diseases affecting young adults. The disease affects both men and women, but it occurs twice as much in women as it does in men. The disease is more often found in the northern temperate climate zones. In the United States, there are 250,000 known cases of MS.

 

The brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system, and this is the system that MS affects. Nerves have a protective coating or sheath. This cover of the brain and spinal cord becomes damaged and scar tissue forms. Exactly what causes MS to happen has eluded the medical community. Often, treatments can only focus on reducing the symptoms felt by the patient. This makes it difficult to find a lasting solution or even lasting relief from the problem. Studies have discovered a few facts regarding MS and some of its nature.

 

  1. The condition is an autoimmune disease (the body attacks itself)

  2. Inflammation can adversely affect the brain and that, in turn, can lead to MS-like symptoms

 

Inflammation is a natural response triggered by the immune system. Improving immune system function can aid in reducing the inflammation. How can this be done?

 

Upper Cervical Care and Multiple Sclerosis

The upper cervical vertebrae located at the base of the skull are directly related to proper immune function as indicated by researchers. If there is a misalignment of these bones, nervous system function as well as immune function can be hindered. Aligning the structures to their proper position may have great effects on an individual suffering from MS. Studies conducted on MS patients who are under upper cervical chiropractic care found that MS symptoms were reduced, and healing of the degeneration was noted.

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

 

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The Nature of Headaches

headachew09The sudden onset of headaches or experiencing more headaches than usual could be the result of an injury or medical condition. When headaches are the result of these factors, they are called secondary headaches. Unfortunately, medications are often ineffective at managing them. For some, medications commonly prescribed for headaches can have no effect and in others, they can actually cause headaches to become worse.

 

There are a number of reasons that this might happen. Some people see issues because the ingredients in the medication (such as caffeine) are not well tolerated. The type of headaches experienced and the frequency of which medication is taken can also contribute to the aforementioned outcomes.

 

Common Causes of Secondary Headaches

Let’s take a look at a few common and less common reasons behind secondary headaches.

  • Concussion

  • Post-Concussion Syndrome

  • Dental Problems

  • Panic Attacks

  • Acute Sinusitis

  • Dehydration

  • Whiplash

  • Certain medications

  • Structural Damage at Base of the Skull (Chiari Malformation)

  • Misuse of pain medication

  • Damage to the nerve connecting the brain and face (Trigeminal Neuralgia)

 

Helping Secondary Headaches

Knowing the source of a headache can help determine where to go to get help for the pain and suffering. For example, a misalignment of the top two vertebrae of the neck can hinder communication between the brainstem and the body. A misalignment of as little as ¼ millimeter can impede normal nervous system function and communication. Complications arise if this is the case and is left uncorrected for long periods of time.


In such situations, the disease or injury responsible for secondary headaches could be resulting from this structural imbalance. Scheduling an appointment with an upper cervical chiropractor will determine if there is a need for an alignment of the upper neck vertebrae. Gently easing the vertebrae into place will aid in opening up communication between the brain and the body. When this is accomplished, it allows for natural relief from chronic headaches.  

 

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

 

 

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When a Child Has Multiple Sclerosis

Receiving word that your child has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis can be devastating. Parents naturally want what is best for their young ones, especially in the way of health and happiness. Multiple sclerosis is a condition that can be challenging and life altering. What is MS? What can be done to help treat the condition?

 

Nerve Damage and MS

 

Each nerve cell has a protective coating called the myelin sheath. For individuals with MS, this sheath is damaged. Nerve cells play an integral part in the communication between the central nervous system and the rest of the body. Damage to these cells slows down or stops normal communication. How do these cells become damaged?

 

An autoimmune reaction is normally blamed for the attacks to the myelin sheath. As far as what triggers this type of response in the first place, there are a few ideas. One theory, in particular, has been getting more attention due to research results. It centers on what is known as chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency or CCSVI. CCSVI is obstructed venous flow, particularly as it pertains to the draining of the brain and spinal cord. The condition correlates closely to MS. The structural issues within the vascular network can create a host of issues. Research is pointing to multiple sclerosis as one of them.

 

Upper Cervical Care and Multiple Sclerosis

 

Links between the uppermost vertebrae in the neck and MS continue to be found. One study published noted that 100% of the participants with MS had a history of an injury resulting in the misalignment of the upper cervical vertebrae. Another more recent study showed the dramatic benefits that realigning these vertebrae had on the disease. In one case study, the reversal of MS symptoms was documented. These findings highlight the close link between upper neck alignment and the debilitating neurological effects of MS.

 

 

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

 

 

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Whiplash—What to Do Next After Icing It

After a whiplash injury, ice is a great way to keep swelling to a minimum. However, icing the injury is not the only element of the healing process. For example, putting ice on your neck won’t correct any underlying misalignments caused by the accident or injury.

Upper cervical chiropractic care has been specifically developed to correct this exact type of misalignments in a gentle way. Adjustments that fix the misalignment can help to prevent or correct other issues that often arise from a whiplash injury.

The Connection Between Whiplash and Vertigo

Even a slight misalignment in the neck can have far-reaching effects. This is because such a misalignment can actually affect blood flow to the brain. That can cause numerous symptoms including vertigo (the sensation of movement when there is none).

The vestibular system controls balance and orientation in space. When this system is not working properly, vertigo and other symptoms can occur. While this may seem like something you don’t necessarily have to worry about just because you experienced a whiplash-type injury, in reality, up to half of people who experience whiplash will also experience vertigo following the injury.

While whiplash refers to a neck injury, a misalignment of the upper cervical spine can actually affect the brainstem. It may cause pressure to build up due to restricting proper blood and cerebrospinal fluid flow.

Upper Cervical Care

In conclusion, ice is definitely an important part of treating an injury. It can help with swelling and pain. However, you shouldn’t stop at just ice, especially if you are having other symptoms (even if the injury occurred a number of years ago). Getting examined by an upper cervical chiropractor is a great way to get help for additional symptoms or maybe even nip them in the bud.

The goal is to maintain your overall health and help you get back to full ability as soon as possible, whether that means getting back to work as fast as possible or just being able to care for daily activities.

 

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

 

 

 

 

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Muscle Knots—Causes and Treatment

Muscle knots happen to just about everyone at some time. It may just be a dull ache, but sometimes they can cause a sharp pain. Moving may make the pain worse. Whether the knot is in your neck, shoulder, back, or somewhere else, what can you do to make it feel better? Let’s consider a natural remedy that can help the pain of muscle knots without the use of medication. 

 

Knots often develop due to overuse of a muscle, but they can also be caused by misuse of a muscle. When the muscle fibers constrict and will not release, a knot is the result. Some knots can be as small as a pinhead, and yet may still cause pain. Others may be the size of a person’s thumb.

Other Ways that Muscle Knots Form

If a person has been involved in an accident or has been injured in some other way, muscle knots can result. This is often the case with a whiplash type injury. Knots may appear following a strenuous workout or after a difficult day of physical labor at work or around the house. Of course, knots don’t have to come about in some spectacular way. Just laying or sitting the wrong way for a lengthy period of time can cause a knot to form. To keep knots from forming, one must be careful to use proper posture at all times.

Natural Relief from Knots

Most people immediately think about going to a massage therapist when they want natural relief from muscle knots. While that may be an expensive solution, a person may not always have a mate or close friend with the finger strength and skill to work out a knot through massage. Of course, many items such as foam rollers are available to help work knots out.

 

Another means of natural knot relief is upper cervical chiropractic care. This is especially true when the knots are due to an injury. Even a knot that is in the lower back may be related to an upper neck injury. When the upper vertebrae are properly aligned, the effects are felt throughout the entire spine. This makes upper cervical care a great way to treat neck, back, and shoulder pain.

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

 

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Sciatica—A Persistent Problem During Pregnancy

pregnancy, sciatica, back pain, prenatal, pregnantSciatica is just one of the things that can make it tougher to enjoy pregnancy as much as you should. While it won’t be long before you trade your current situation for that of raising your new child, it is still a good idea to take action to limit pain during your pregnancy.

When a child is growing inside you, your organs have to shift to make room. One possible result of this is sciatica. The problem is that the sciatic nerve splits into two branches to go down each leg, but these nerve branches extend right under the uterus. As a result, pressure can be placed on either side of the nerve and cause pain. The pain can be felt in the hip, backside, leg or even foot, deepening on which side of the nerve is being encroached on.

What can you do to relieve sciatic pain during your pregnancy?

How to Control Sciatica During Pregnancy

  • Ice the pain to reduce swelling
  • Elevate the leg on the painful side
  • Avoid long periods of standing
  • Do not lift anything heavy
  • Lie on the opposite side when resting

How Upper Cervical Care Can Help

Proper spinal alignment is very important for pregnant women. A properly aligned spine can even make the birthing process easier when it comes time to deliver your baby. A twisted spine or misaligned hips can cause a difficult birth and additional pain. This makes it a good idea to see an upper cervical chiropractor during pregnancy, especially if you are suffering from sciatica.

If you are wondering if upper cervical chiropractic is safe for your unborn child, rest assured that there is no twisting, popping, or cracking of the spine such as is the case with general chiropractic. Upper cervical techniques are gentle, long-lasting, and help restore proper alignment to the entire spine.

 

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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.

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Cluster Migraine Awareness: Deadly Headache and Natural Solutions

Migraines are no joke for anyone, but the “suicide headache” is the worst of all. They earned the nickname of suicide headache because patients want to be rid of the excruciating pain so badly. Recently March 21st, 2016 was Cluster Headache Awareness Day.

The More You Know

You may commonly know of it as a cluster migraine, or wish you never knew about it if you have them. It is the worst of all migraines, coming in episodes as short as 15 minutes and lasting up to 3 hours. Attacks may happen sparingly or up to 10 times per day only to disappear for weeks and then come back again with the same intensity. It affects one side of the head with a severe, stabbing type of pain that comes in clusters.

These types of migraines are easily diagnosed, but due to the severity of the condition, they are not so easily treated. A common treatment is breathing pure oxygen because of the known abnormalities in blood flow to the head and neck with migraines. The standard procedure involves powerful drugs aimed to minimize the pain during the episodes. Many patients struggle from the extremes of the pain and the dismal treatment options, leaving a desire for something more holistic.

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

 

Taking the Problem Head-on

As a migraine specialist, I see many people coming to me who are defeated from the agony of the condition. I am an Upper Cervical Chiropractor, and I offer something very different in addition to hope for the challenging condition. By focusing on the first bone in the spine known as the atlas bone, we are able to help patients get natural relief. This is because of the relationship of the spine to the brain, nervous system, and blood flow.

When the atlas is misaligned (typically as a result of trauma), it affects the brain, nerves, and blood vessels even if just slightly. If this is left untreated for a long enough period of time, migraines can be the result. Clinical studies have shown that patients under upper cervical chiropractic care have experienced relief in as little as one adjustment and even complete resolution. When the proper blood flow is restored to the brain and nervous system, the body is able to resolve the condition on its own over time.

If you are struggling with severe migraine pain, let us show you how we can help.

References:

1. Rome T. Raise awareness for cluster headache. https://migraine.com/blog/raise-awareness-for-cluster-headache/ (accessed 01 April 2016).

2. Elster EL. Upper cervical chiropractic care for a patient with chronic migraine headaches with an appendix summarizing an additional 100 headache cases. J Vert Sublux Res 2003;AUG(3):1-10

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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).

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Meniere’s Disease and Whiplash: What Is the Connection?

Meniere’s disease (which affects the inner ear), vertigo, tinnitus and other vestibular conditions can have a dramatic effect on a person’s quality of life. They may also be difficult to treat as the causes can be unknown. 

However, at San Diego Integrative Spine Center in Rancho Penasquitos, California, we believe there is a connection between these conditions and the bones in a person’s upper spine.   

This is because the nerves in a person’s upper neck extend up to their ears, which means an injury to the upper neck can also affect the nerves in the brain, for example, causing hearing loss. The upper spine also houses the brainstem, which connects the spinal cord and brain and ensures the body functions correctly.   

I’ve also noticed a connection between these conditions and whiplash, which is often caused by the bones in the upper cervical part of the spine becoming misaligned. 

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

 

Interestingly only half of all whiplash injuries are caused by car accidents. The rest are due to some kind of trauma or injury to head, which could take place during strenuous exercise, contact sports, or a particularly bad fall.    

Sometimes it can take as long as 15 years for a person to experience symptoms, and for this reason, many people don’t realize they’re suffered a whiplash injury many years in the past, especially if the injury was not caused by a car accident.   

The recent research has also shown that when the bones are misaligned a lesion can form that affects the eustachian tube, which can affect hearing. It may be that this connection was not made in earlier studies because of the length of time between an injury and the manifestation of symptoms.   

So if you suffer from Meniere’s, tinnitus, or even frequent acute ear infections, it may be worth visiting an upper cervical chiropractor who will be able to check for any problems in your upper spine and realign neck vertebrae that have moved out of place. 

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

 

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Migraine Medications - The Ugly Truth and What You Can Do About It

Anyone with migraines would be thrilled to hear that there is a cure for migraines, but that is not the case. A new treatment using Botox has gained popularity over the past year for migraine relief, but it has its limitations. The FDA regulated migraine treatment is explicitly for controlling chronic migraines and is not a cure. While many people have experienced some temporary relief using botox injections, it is not a viable long-term option.

Migraine Facts:

Migraines are now considered to be a neurological disease that is one of the most common conditions in the world. In America, it is estimated that as much as 12% of the population suffers from migraines on a regular basis.(1) To make matters worse, women are up to 3x as likely to have migraines in their lifetime.

Treatment Options:

Migraines are a unique condition that affects each individual person differently. They also give major headaches to all kinds of healthcare providers as the standard methods of treatment are limited in their success. As with the Botox, most treatment and drug options only provide temporary relief and do not correct the cause of the condition. This often leads patients to feel defeated and hopeless in their choices, which has spurred a market for natural migraine relief and treatment.

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

 

 

A new look at an old problem:


As a migraine specialist, I see a variety of the options out there, and people come to me when nothing else has worked. I focus on the integrity of the upper neck, brain, and nervous system as they relate to migraines. By looking at the body first and the condition second, we offer patients something different and effective. By focusing on the proper alignment of the first bone in the neck known as the atlas, patients experience natural relief once we can achieve proper alignment.

When the atlas bone is out of its proper position, it has negative effects on the brain, nervous system, and even blood flow which all play a crucial role in the etiology of migraines. Clinical studies have shown that patients receiving upper cervical chiropractic care have not only experienced short-term relief but even resolution long-term.(2)

If you have tried many options with no results, I would love to see how we can help.

References:

  1. Migraine Research Foundation. About Migraines. http://www.migraineresearchfoundation.org/about-migraine.html (accessed 4 March 2016).
  2. Elster EL. Upper cervical chiropractic care for a patient with chronic migraine headaches with an appendix summarizing an additional 100 headache cases. J Vert Sublux Res 2003;AUG(3):1-10

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Natural Migraine Treatment? Go with your Head

Statistically at least one out of ten people reading this article suffers with migraine headaches. As much as 12% of the American population has migraines on a regular basis.1 If you are a woman, you are 3x as likely to have a migraine and 30% of women have migraines in their lifetime. Migraines are a serious issue that affects many people from leading normal healthy lives.

Now you would think that such a serious health condition would be easily treated and curable, sadly that is not the case. Migraines are as unique as the individuals who have them and that makes it very challenging for both patients and healthcare providers. Migraines involve many factors including; the brain and nervous system, blood flow, muscles of the head and neck and many more. Treatment options can be boiled down into pharmacological interventions and therapeutic methods to treat the effects of the migraines.

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

 

 

As a migraine specialist I take a much different route to offering people hope for their debilitating condition. Many patients end up seeing me because they want a natural option for migraine relief. I am an upper cervical chiropractor that specializes in the alignment of the head and neck. The reason that is so important is because the first bone in the neck, known as the atlas, is very susceptible to misalignment. When the atlas is misaligned it has a global effect on the brain, nerves and nervous system, biomechanics, muscles and even blood flow. Any one of these are known to cause migraines.

By carefully examining each patient to precisely locate their misalignment I customize an adjustment to correct the misalignment unique to each person. Large studies done on migraine patients utilizing upper cervical chiropractic have shown relief in as little as one or two adjustments.2 It can be quite common that after correcting the underlying misalignment for a long enough period of time that headaches are resolved.

  1. Migraine Research Foundation. About Migraines. http://www.migraineresearchfoundation.org/about-migraine.html (accessed 5 February 2016).
  2. Elster EL. Upper cervical chiropractic care for a patient with chronic migraine headaches with an appendix summarizing an additional 100 headache cases. J Vert Sublux Res 2003;AUG(3):1-10

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Origin of Migraines – Nervous System and Brain Connections

Just how common are migraines? It has been estimated that one in four households has a member that suffers from the condition in North America alone. While the effects are widespread, the actual inner workings that create the migraine are not well known. There are theories that continue to be explored. A broad spectrum of symptoms makes it difficult to research. Some of these include pain (at times severe), nausea and vomiting, visual disturbances, and sensitivities to touch, sound, or light.

One of the theories as to the cause of migraine headaches is that changes in the vascular system within the brain can trigger migraine symptoms. A recent experiment, using drugs called vasodilators which widen blood vessels, showed how the changes in the vascular networks within the brain heighten neuronal activity. In the study, the dilation of the vessels affected the central part deep within the brain. Researchers found that an increase in neurotransmitters firing in this part of the brain caused triggered symptoms similar to that of migraines.

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

 

Research such as this helps highlight what upper cervical chiropractors have known for quite some time. It is vitally important that pressure on the nervous and vascular system within the brainstem be released. This type of pressure can inhibit normal vascular function and increase the production of neurotransmitters. When allowed to continue, it can create unstable environments where migraine activity can easily be triggered. Through careful measurements and gentle adjusting of the upper cervical vertebrae, any pressure that was caused by the misalignment of these structures is released. The body is able to heal and then regulate the processes that were affected. When this happens, many experience long-term relief from the often debilitating effects of migraine headaches.

If you or someone you know is suffering from migraines, come by our office. We have experience in helping many patients overcome this condition – and without the use of pharmaceuticals.

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

 

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Migraine Pain: Going From One to None

If you have migraines, you know there is nothing worse than when you feel that little twinge in your head that will soon become crippling pain. Migraines come in many forms and affect as much as 10% of the global population, including children.1

 

One of the most common forms of migraines involves one side of the head becoming extremely painful. Migraines are very difficult to diagnose properly which is an important part of treatment plans. Often this type of pain is misdiagnosed as a migraine but is now being recognized as Occipital Neuralgia. This is the proper term and diagnosis for pain which can be caused by compressed arteries or nerves at the base of the skull.2 When the blood flow or nerves are impeded it causes the pain sensation. Unfortunately, there are few treatments that are minimally invasive, and the most effective treatment is a nerve block.

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

 

 

As a healthcare provider who specializes in the proper alignment of the head and neck, these cases are quite common. The neck is extremely complex and requires great detail to effectively treat patients who are in pain. If the arteries or nerves are compressed at the base of the neck, the best treatment would be to relieve the compression by restoring proper alignment. All too often, the pain is not the cause of the problem, so by correcting the underlying cause, the problem corrects itself over time.

References:

1. Migraine Research Foundation. About Migraines. http://www.migraineresearchfoundation.org/about-migraine.html (accessed 5 February 2016).

2. Rome T. A one-sided headache that isn’t migraine. https://migraine.com/blog/a-one-sided-headache/ (accessed 5 February 2016)

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Are Migraines Related to Neck Pain?

Many people complain of a sore neck before or after they experience a migraine. This is not uncommon. The National Headache Foundation discovered that thirty-eight percent of those with migraines also have neck pain before or after a headache. Some thirty-one percent say they have neck pain in conjunction with migraines. So, overall, sixty-nine percent of migraine sufferers also have neck pain. That is a pretty large number.

The Cause

Pain in the neck can be caused by a tightness felt in the muscles surrounding the neck and shoulder area. Because this affects the nerves of the cervical spine, it is referred to as a cervicogenic headache. Something causes the nerves of the spine to become activated. These nerves reach into the head and, when irritated, cause migraines. The tightness experienced in the neck area can be caused by stress or tension. This can be mental or physical. What can cause this?

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:

 

The Environment

Sometimes the environment in which a person lives can be a cause of stress. This needs to be examined carefully. Some things to do to alleviate a stressful environment are to

  • Schedule downtime to relax
  • Eat a healthier diet
  • Be sure to spend time doing an enjoyable activity

Exercise and techniques to help reduce stress, such as breathing exercises, can also be helpful. Dealing positively with stress will help reduce migraines. What if something more is needed?

The Solution

A person may do all of the above and are still not seeing a reduction in head pain. A professional may need to be consulted. If a natural, pain-free treatment is desired, it is a good idea to consult with an upper cervical chiropractor. You may be feeling the effects of a tiny misalignment of ¼ of a millimeter in your upper neck. A past accident or injury could have caused this. It could be something you don't even remember happening. This misalignment can cause changes in blood and spinal fluid flow and nerve damage. This, in turn, can affect your nervous system causing migraines.

At San Diego Integrative Spine Center, we use the NUCCA technique to detect and correct these misalignments. Adjustments are both gentle and effective. This can result in positive, long-lasting effects and may even completely eliminate a patient’s migraine problem.

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Migraine Headaches and Kids: Not Child’s Play

We all know that raising children can be filled with headaches for parents. Children can all too often complain about things from their homework to chores. However, there may be more to it. Children are among one of the fastest growing populations to suffer from migraine headaches.

It is estimated that 10% of children from the ages of 5-15 years old experience migraines for both boys and girls. When the hormonal changes of puberty begin, approximately 50% of girls experience a migraine headache. Headaches have been reported in babies as early 18 months old in some cases and are more likely in babies that have had colic.

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

 

As this problem begins to affect more children, it is a challenge not only for the children and parents but for healthcare providers. Many children do not know how to properly verbalize their pain to get an accurate diagnosis of the problem. Children experience more of a steady pain compared to that of a “pounding headache” as seen in adults. The hallmark symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and dizziness are consistent for both adults and children. There are very few conservative treatment options for migraines, and they typically involve pharmaceutical intervention. Any treatment can be difficult to predict in the ever-changing body of a child.

One doctor is helping children get natural relief from migraines. Migraine headache specialist Dr. Dan Spinato takes a different approach to these delicate cases. As an upper cervical chiropractor, Dr. Spinato focuses on the atlas bone, which is the very first bone in the neck. The atlas plays a major role in the coordination of the brain and nervous system as they relate to headaches. If the atlas bone is out of its normal position, it can have adverse effects on the brain, nerves, and blood flow, which are all known mechanisms of migraine headaches.

Through a detailed procedure, Dr. Spinato examines children for atlas misalignment and caters a customized plan to correct the problem. Clinical studies have shown that upper cervical chiropractic has helped children get natural relief from migraine headaches.

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

 

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The Problem of Headaches and a Natural Solution

No one looks forward to having a headache. In fact, they can disrupt lives for minutes, hours, or days. They interfere with daily activities and cause debilitating pain. But knowing exactly what type of a headache is being experienced can be helpful.

Tension headaches can be described as dull pain that feels like the head is being squeezed. It is generally not accompanied by nausea and vomiting. This is the most common type of a headache. Cervicogenic headaches are less common. They are usually located on only one side of the head. Neck movement may be limited and can actually trigger a headache. Sometimes pain in the arm or shoulder exists on the same side.

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

 

 

Treatment Options

If a general practitioner is consulted, he will, no doubt, suggest prescription medication or even surgery. Home remedies abound that may or may not help. One area that has found to be successful in the majority of patients is that of upper cervical chiropractic care.

An upper cervical chiropractor, such as Dr. Dan Spinato of Rancho Penasquitos, California, is trained in treating headaches naturally. A study revealed that, after just one treatment, 233 patients saw a great improvement in head pain. Why is this so?

A muscle lies in the center of the bones in the upper cervical neck. It is called the rectus capitis posterior minor. It connects to the atlas bone (the C1 or top bone of the vertebrae) and the part of the spine that protects the spinal cord. If Dr. Spinato detects a misalignment here, it can be the root cause of headaches. He will then use advanced tests and techniques to find out exactly where the misalignment is located. Imaging helps him to determine the exact angle. He then can provide a detailed treatment plan just for the specific needs of the patient. An adjustment is only given when needed. When these misalignments are corrected, healing can begin, and headache symptoms may just disappear altogether.

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

 

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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.

 

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Asthma Amplifies Migraine Pain

Migraines are one of the most common neurological conditions people face across the globe. An estimated 12% of the population suffers from migraines to the sum of 36 million Americans.(1) It is three times more common if you are a woman compared to men. The classic symptoms of migraines include head and/or neck pain, light and sound sensitivities, and even nausea. 7% of the population suffers from chronic migraines, which is considered 15 or more migraines a month.A recent look at people with asthma may be a predictor of migraines.

A recent study looking at people suffering from asthma on a regular basis reveals they may be more likely to develop chronic migraines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports about 7 percent of American adults have asthma. The cause of both migraines and asthma is not clearly known, but they have similar mechanisms that are related to each other. Both conditions are known to be related to blood flow which affects how much oxygen can get to the lungs and/or brain. It is more likely for people with asthma to develop chronic migraines.(2) One theory is that inflammation caused by allergens suppresses the amount of oxygen that is available to the body. The predominant train of thought is the relationship between the nervous system and overall body function.

 

One doctor is taking a different approach to helping patients get natural relief to migraines in San Diego, California. Headache specialist Dr. Dan Spinato is helping patients get migraine relief with Upper Cervical Chiropractic. By focusing on the role of the first spinal bone known as the Atlas, Dr. Spinato helps to restore the body to its natural healing ability. The Atlas is so important because the entire spinal cord and the nervous system pass through it, connecting the brain to the entire body. When the atlas bone is misaligned from its proper position, it affects the ability of the nervous system to self-regulate important body functions such as blood flow.

By carefully examining each patient for their exact needs and creating a custom adjustment, it is possible to make the perfect correction for each atlas misalignment. Large studies performed on migraine patients under Upper Cervical chiropractic care have shown that patients have gotten major relief and even resolution in some cases with as few as one adjustment.(3)

References:

  1. American Migraine foundation
  2. Feller S. Asthma can make occasional migraines a chronic condition. http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2015/11/30/Asthma-can-make-occasional-migraines-a-chronic-condition/6771448903351/ (accessed 4 December 2015).

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

 

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Migraines Caused by Miscommunication in the Brain

You may wonder why there is a miscommunication happening in the brain and how this manifests itself as a migraine. Well, a misalignment in the upper area of the neck can place undue pressure on the spinal column and the brainstem. The brainstem is the communication highway from the brain to the body. When pressure is exerted here, it slows down the flow of the cerebral blood and spinal fluid. This restricts the ability of the brain to communicate with the rest of the body.

What was Revealed in a Recent Study?

There was a study done involving two people that both had whiplash, and as a result, suffered from horrible migraine headaches. The patients went through specific testing using an upper MRI machine. This measured the flow of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). The result of the MRI showed that the Atlas, or the uppermost vertebrae in the neck, was indeed misaligned, and this was placing pressure on the brainstem. The flow of CSF was hindered, the end outcome being a migraine headache.

At this point, both patients were treated by adjusting their upper cervical spine. Then they were rescanned. The flow of the CSF had normalized after their adjustments. They received an almost instant reprieve from their headaches!

Supporting Research

Previous researchers have found that an obstruction in the spinal column shows a connection between intracranial pressure headaches and CSF flow. This type of obstruction can cause many conditions in addition to headaches, such as a numb feeling, pain in the area of the neck, a tingling sensation in the body, and other physical complaints.

Whatever way the misalignment presents itself, the only real way to relieve the symptoms this causes is to address the root problem. This is done through the care of an upper cervical chiropractor, such as Dr. Dan Spinato of Rancho Penasquitos, California. Dr. Spinato can examine the vertebra in the upper neck to see where the misalignment originates and can begin to correct this through the appropriate adjustments.

Once the spine is back in alignment, CSF and cerebral blood will begin to flow normally once again. This will restore communication in the body, and you will begin to feel relief from the pain of your migraines. Schedule your assessment today with Dr. Spinato, and get your life back on track.

 

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

 

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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.

 

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Exercise Helps Break a Sweat... and Migraines!

Migraines have a devastating effect on those who suffer from their effects. Worldwide as much as 46% of the population has an active headache issue, and an estimated 10% of the American population has this condition.1 Migraines are more prevalent among women than they are men.

The ways migraines are currently managed is largely ineffective as migraines are unique from one person to the next. They are a difficult condition to properly diagnose and even more of a challenge to treat for all healthcare providers. It is well known that things like red wine, caffeine, and chocolate may trigger migraine episodes, but there are few ways known how to make them better that do not involve the use of powerful drugs.

More and more people are looking for ways to get natural migraine relief. Migraines typically cause pain so intense and debilitating that it makes many sufferers retreat to a dark and quiet place to rest. New research is showing that the exact opposite approach may be much more effective: exercise. By engaging in moderate exercise, the body will release endorphins (aka feel-good hormones) and can even block the sensation of pain. One German study found that exercise was 65% effective in headache patients, making it a better solution than most headache medications available.2 Exercise is showing itself to be a great way to relieve the pain but still does not get to the actual cause of migraines.

 Migraine specialist Dr. Dan Spinato has been helping his patients to achieve natural relief from migraines and to get to the root cause of migraines in San Diego, California. Dr. Spinato is an upper cervical chiropractor who specializes in balancing the nervous system by focusing on the Atlas bone (C1 vertebra). This bone plays an important role in the how the body functions as it houses the brainstem where the brain turns into the spinal cord, thus forming the central nervous system.

When the Atlas is misaligned from its normal position, often headaches are a late stage symptom. In a scientific review of 100 patients with migraines that had Atlas misalignments, all patients improved with as little as 1-2 upper cervical chiropractic adjustments.3 Many patients went months before having another headache as the body began to heal properly and the correct spinal alignment was maintained.

 

References:

  1. Stovner LJ, Hagen K, Jensen R, Katsarva Z, Lipton R, Scher A, Steiner T, Zwart JA. The global burden of headache: a documentation of headache prevalence and disability worldwide. Cephalgia 2007;27(3):193-210
  2. Eaves A. Cure Your Headache with This Simple Exercise Routine. http://www.menshealth.com/health/exercise-cures-migraines (accessed 6 November 2015).
  3. Elster EL. Upper cervical chiropractic care for a patient with chronic migraine headaches with an appendix summarizing an additional 100 headache cases. J Vert Sublux Res 2003;AUG(3):1-10
 

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

 

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From Headaches to Hardware: New Migraine Treatment Methods

Migraines are a brutal reality that make even day to day tasks seem challenging. A Migraine episode always seems to come at the worst time and always lasts longer than anyone would hope. It is estimated that 35 million Americans suffer from Migraine Headaches, and 27 million are women.

Migraines typically present with an onset of an aura or throbbing around the top of the head. Symptoms include ringing in the ears, visual disturbances, and in extreme cases nausea and vomiting. As a health condition, they can also cause healthcare providers of all types headaches. Each migraine case is as unique as the person who has it, and treatment options fall short as they are typically generic. Common treatments include heavy-grade pharmaceuticals or avoiding the common trigger foods such as wine, caffeine and chocolate.

There is a new treatment being used in a few places in the United States. This new method involves an electronic nerve stimulator that is surgically implanted around the major nerves of the head. The stimulator works to treat migraines by using an electrical impulse to “jam” the frequency of pain felt by the brain.1 Some patients have reported that there has been a reduction in the frequency of migraines but not resolution. This treatment has only been used on 8,000 patients and requires a commitment to having an electronic device in your head. Many migraine sufferers are now looking for nontraditional and natural treatments.

In, Rancho Penasquitos California, patients are finding a new way to help relieve their migraines and regain their health naturally. Migraine specialist, Dr. Dan Spinato, is taking a fresh approach to this healthcare epidemic. Dr. Spinato is an Upper Cervical Chiropractor who specializes in the Atlas bone (C1 vertebra) and the brainstem. In his experience, Dr. Spinato has found that migraine headaches are often a result, not the cause, of the problem. The alignment of the Atlas, which is the top bone in the neck, is crucial to patients with migraines. Because the brainstem is housed in the spinal bones, a misalignment can cause neurological and vascular deficits that often lead to headaches.

In clinical research, large groups of patients with migraine headaches have not only benefited from Upper Cervical Chiropractic, but many have even had a complete resolution in as little as 1 or 2 adjustments.2 When the misalignment is properly measured and then precisely adjusted according to the individual needs of each patient, headaches often resolve naturally.

References:

  1. Watts K. Have migraines? New treatment now offered in Portland.http://www.kptv.com/story/30112594/have-migraines-new-treatment-now-offered-in-portland#ixzz3p177Q9L3 (accessed 19 October 2015).
  2. Elster EL. Upper cervical chiropractic care for a patient with chronic migraine headaches with an appendix summarizing an additional 100 headache cases. J Vert Sublux Res 2003;AUG(3):1-10
 

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Is Your Spine at Risk to be affected by Arthritis?

Most of the time, we hear about people having arthritis in their hands, joints, or knees. Would you be surprised to learn that arthritis can be in the spine? It is known by various names, such as subluxation degeneration, degenerative joint disease, and disc disease. It is a fairly common occurrence. But, you may wonder, what causes it?

Let’s keep in mind that we are talking about degeneration. This is defined as deteriorating, or breaking down, over a period of time. When we are talking about subluxation degeneration, the beginning phase of this can take up to 20 years to progress. When the spine experiences trauma, such as whiplash or a car accident, the body reacts by trying to stabilize the joint. It does this by fusing together the bones that make up the joint that has been damaged. Calcium is brought to the area where there is inflammation. It is the calcium that causes the fusing as the deposits build up. This causes abnormal bone growth. This can take a toll on your health.

Can I Prevent Arthritis in the Spine?

The answer is yes! If you can maintain movement in your joints, by not allowing them to fuse, and proper joint alignment, it is possible you may not experience the pain of arthritis.

How does trauma to your spine occur? It actually can happen while being born, when you are a toddler and have instances of falling while learning to walk, and it continues throughout your teen years on up to adulthood. It can actually take up to 40 or more years for degeneration set in. Imagine if you fell out of bed at age two. You have been living a long time with a misalignment! It is important to get an upper cervical chiropractor involved in your care, such as Dr. Dan Spinato of Rancho Penasquitos, California. Upper cervical chiropractors are specially trained to detect any type of misalignment or defect in the spine. If it is found early enough, there is a good chance that you will be able to get the problem corrected and be protected against any further deterioration.

Dr. Spinato can help you to improve your joint function, movement, and alignment. He can also help you find the right exercises to for your spine to keep your condition from progressing and to help relieve the pain you are experiencing. Why not give him a call today?

 

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

 

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Migraines Rise with the Change in the Season

Migraine headaches are one of the most common health problems that people face. As seasons change, so do our routines and our surroundings. The fall is possibly one of the hardest seasons if you have migraines, and it’s not because of all the pumpkin spice.

A common occurrence with many migraine sufferers is that the weather can affect or even trigger migraines. There are many drastic changes that happen during this season such as temperature, the amount of daylight, air pressure, and the environment around us. Perhaps the biggest culprit is air pressure (aka barometric pressure) as it can rapidly change when coupled with temperature changes. Shorter periods of daylight also affect the nervous. As we marvel at the beauty of the colors of the fall leaves, they also contribute to pollen and dust in the air. Anyone of these factors has the capability to cause a migraine, but the combination can increase the frequency of migraines.

Dr. Ian Bulow, a migraine specialist in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is taking a different approach to providing natural relief from migraine headaches. As an Upper Cervical Chiropractor, Dr. Bulow is an expert on the Atlas Bone (C1 vertebra) and how it relates to the brainstem and central nervous system. The Atlas bone encompasses the brainstem from where it exits the skull and passes through the spine to become the entire nervous system.

If the Atlas moves from its natural position and becomes misaligned, it affects the brain and entire nervous system. This leads to the body not being able to adapt. By careful analyzing and providing a specific chiropractic adjustment only when needed, the Atlas can return to its proper position. Studies have shown that patients with migraine headaches have improved with as little as one Upper Cervical Chiropractic adjustment.1

When the Atlas is in its proper alignment, the nervous system can normally function in regulating migraines and the healing process over time.

References:

  1. Elster EL. Upper cervical chiropractic care for a patient with chronic migraine headaches with an appendix summarizing an additional 100 headache cases. J Vert Sublux Res 2003;AUG(3):1-10
 

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

 

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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.

 

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Popular Natural Migraine Treatments

Migraines are a condition that is characterized by pulsing and throbbing in the head. It is estimated that 36 million Americans suffer from migraines. As many as 18 million Americans have chronic migraines, which would be 5 or more migraines monthly. Migraines may last for only a few hours or several days, and many people accept this as part of daily living.

Migraines are a challenging condition to treat as they are as unique as the individual who has them. This makes it very hard for patients and doctors alike. The market for drug treatments is constantly expanding. In this day and age, many people are no longer looking for a pill to cover up the symptoms and want a natural solution for migraines.

 

Recently an unconventional, somewhat controversial treatment has shown promising results. Medicinal Marijuana (MMJ) is now legal in several states and used for many patients with debilitating neurological disorders including migraines. 100% of patients reported a reduction in pain with the use of medicinal marijuana. The reason MMJ works so well is because it affects the pain centers in the brain. Imagine pain being perceived by the brain as a very loud noise. MMJ turns down the volume by reducing the amount of stimulation to the pain centers. While MMJ is effective, it begs the question: Is there another way to get the brain to function properly and manage pain?

In Rancho Penasquitos, California many people with migraines are getting results using a different method. Migraine specialist Dr. Dan Spinato helps migraine sufferers get natural migraine relief. As an Upper Cervical Chiropractor, Dr. Spinato specializes in the Atlas bone (C1 vertebra) and the coordination between the brain and nervous system as it relates to migraines. When the Atlas bone moves from its natural position, it has consequences that may result in migraines. By analyzing and correcting the Atlas misalignment using a gentle and precise Upper Cervical Chiropractic adjustment, migraines are often reduced as the brain and nervous system return to normal function. In clinical studies of migraine patients, it has been shown that 1-2 upper cervical Chiropractic Adjustments not only improve migraine condition but may even lead to a complete resolution.1

 

References:

  1. Elster EL. Upper cervical chiropractic care for a patient with chronic migraine headaches with an appendix summarizing an additional 100 headache cases. J Vert Sublux Res 2003;AUG(3):1-10

 

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

 

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New Migraine Treatments Cause a Buzz

Migraines are a harsh reality for many Americans. Migraines affect an estimated 10% of people globally and are ranked as one of the top 20 of the world’s debilitating illnesses. In the USA, it is estimated that 1 in 4 per household suffers from migraines, which is an estimated 36 million Americans. Migraines have a grip on women three times as much as men.1

Migraines are a challenge for both people who have them and the health care providers seeking to provide a higher quality of life. Migraines are somewhat mysterious; the exact cause is not known as well as the symptoms are. Many treatments are designed to treat those symptoms rather than correct the underlying cause of migraines.

It is well known that migraines are prevalent in people who are subject to overstimulation of the brain and the surrounding nerves in the head, neck, and face. A new device has undergone scientific studies in an effort to give relief to those suffering from migraine pain. The device, which looks like a headband, gives off electrical impulses to soothe the Trigeminal nerves in the head.2 During a migraine episode, these nerves are often over-stimulated. The theory is to apply a mild electrical current to the over-stimulated nerve to trigger the nerves (which operate by carrying an electrical current) to relax. While this has been shown to offer some relief during an episode, it has not been proven to resolve migraines.

Patients are finding natural relief for migraines in San Diego, CA with Dr. Dan Spinato. As an Upper Cervical Chiropractor, Dr. Spinato is a migraine specialist who specifically specializes in the first bone of the neck known as the Atlas (C1 vertebra). The Atlas bone is regarded as one of the most important structures in the human body as it is located where the brainstem meets the spinal cord that connects to every organ and muscle in the body. When the Atlas is misaligned, it can cause adverse stimulation of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves, which may produce headaches as a result.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic has been proven to help migraine patients in groups as large as 100 in clinical studies.3 By carefully adjusting the Atlas in the precise direction to correct the misalignment, brain and nerve function can be normalized which often resolves migraine headaches over time.

References:

  1. Migraine research Foundation. Migraine Fact Sheet. http://www.migraineresearchfoundation.org/fact-sheet.html (accessed 4 September 2015).
  2. Russo A, Tessitore A, Conte F, Marcuccio L, Giordano A, Tedeschi G. Transcutaneous supraorbital neurostimulation in "de novo" patients with migraine without aura: the first Italian experience. J Headache Pain. 2015 Dec; 16:551.
  3. Elster EL. Upper cervical chiropractic care for a patient with chronic migraine headaches with an appendix summarizing an additional 100 headache cases. J Vert Sublux Res 2003;AUG(3):1-10
 

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The Lasting Pain of Car Crashes: Migraines, Vertigo and More

Studying Pain

A case study by the Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic Group using an upright MRI showed evidence of how head and neck injuries are linked to migraine headaches and Vertigo.

Here's a quote from Dr. Lenarz's case report:

A 54 year-old female patient entered the office with complaints of migraines 1-2 times per week and extreme chronic neck pain and vertigo for the past 10 years. She was injured in a motor vehicle accident ten years prior to her first visit in our office. The patient was seen 19 times over a period of 12 weeks. She received 3 upper cervical corrections during this time. The patient reported having 1 migraine 2 weeks after the first correction. Since that time, she has reported no migraine episodes, neck pain or vertigo.

 

Vertigo and Migraine Headaches

Using the upright MRI, its inventor, Dr. Raymond Damadian, conducted research that revealed that a misalignment in the upper cervical spine, which are the top two bones in a person's vertebrae, can alter the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to, from, and through the brain. The importance of that fluid is that it lubricates the brain and the spinal cord, so the improper flow of CSF can lead to a lot of pain.

Though, a back up in CSF can also cause increased intracranial pressure, and all of that can be the result of a misalignment in the top two bones in a person's upper neck vertebrae. The good news is that that misalignment can be corrected, and correcting that misalignment can restore the proper flow of CSF, cerebral blood, and more.

Healing through Upper Cervical

Now, we know you may not feel that pain today, tomorrow, or even for weeks or years. But a misalignment in the upper neck may not cause a condition such as vertigo, migraine headaches, or worse to arise for that length of time.

Though, it's important that if you suffered a car accident at five MPH or more that you seek out the care of an upper cervical chiropractor. It only takes being from behind at that low of a speed to cause whiplash, and it only take a few minutes to make an appointment with an upper cervical chiropractor.

When they examine your upper neck vertebrae, they will check for any misalignments that may be the cause or potential cause of any conditions that may arise. They will then make the necessary corrections to that misalignment, in order to allow your body to heal itself.

 

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

 

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Back to School Headaches?

Headaches are a health challenge that many adults struggle with in daily living. It is estimated that up to 46% of adults are presently suffering from a headaches.1 While many adults deal with the problem there is another group of people suffering from headaches that is on the rise. Approximately 4-10% of children have headaches; The American Migraine Foundation estimates 60% of children have an occasional headache.2

A recent study performed by Nationwide Children’s Hospital found an interesting trend amongst children and headaches. Children from the ages of 5-18 typically get the most headaches in the fall during the start of the new school year.3 This is attributed to many factors; excessive caffeine consumption, dehydration, skipping meals, lack of exercise poor sleep, and prolonged electronic device use. Couple these factors with a new schedule, academic stressors, and extracurricular activities it is not surprising.

 

Children of all ages need to be performing at their best when school starts not just mentally but physically as well. Headaches are difficult to manage and the most common treatment is over the counter drugs which have marginal effectiveness.

 

Headache specialist Dr Dan Spinato, has found great success using a natural approach to headaches. Dr Spinato is a specially trained chiropractor that focuses on the Atlas C1 bone known as Upper Cervical Chiropractic, with benefits for both adults and children. The Atlas bone house the brainstem which is where the brain connects to the rest of the entire body. When the Atlas bone becomes misaligned headaches often occur as a result. Studies have shown that children have improved from headaches while under Upper Cervical Chiropractic care, as well as other behavioral disorders.4 Children that do not suffer from headaches will surely perform better in all areas of school.

 

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

 

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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.

 

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New Migraine Treatment: Less is More

Migraines are a brutal reality that makes even day to day tasks seem challenging. A Migraine episode always seems to come at the worst time and always lasts longer than anyone would hope. It is estimated that 35 million Americans suffer with Migraine Headaches and 27 million are women. 

Migraines pose a challenge not only to the people who have them but also to healthcare providers offering treatment. The traditional treatment route for headaches involves powerful medications and even in some cases invasive surgery. Now many people including doctors, are shying away from these types of treatment in favor of more natural approach to treating migraines.

One of the primary causes for migraine headaches is an abnormally sensitive brain receives too much stimulation. The trend is to modify parts of daily living to prevent the triggers of migraines. A recent article in the Huffington Post highlighted some of the common stressors influencing migraines such as; poor sleep patterns, caffeine, red wine, sugar/artificial sweeteners, hormonal imbalance, and emotional stress.1 Taking this approach is a good way of limiting things that may trigger a migraine but do little in the way of prevention.     

In the San Diego area patients are finding a new way to help relieve their migraines and regain their health naturally. Migraine specialist, Dr Dan Spinato, is taking a fresh approach to this healthcare epidemic. Dr Spinato is an Upper Cervical Chiropractor who specializes in the Atlas bone (C1 vertebra) and the brainstem. In his experience, Dr Spinato has found that migraine headaches are often a result not the cause of the problem. The alignment of the Atlas which is the top bone in the neck is crucial to patients with migraines. Because the brainstem is housed in the spinal bones, a misalignment can cause neurological and vascular deficits which often lead to headaches.

In clinical research performed on large groups of patients with migraine headaches have not only benefited from Upper Cervical Chiropractic but many have even had complete resolution in as little as 1 or 2 adjustments.2 When the misalignment is properly measured and then precisely adjusted according to the individual needs of each patient, headaches often resolve naturally.

 

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

 

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Natural Relief for your Headaches in San Diego

Did you know it is estimated that 46% of adults throughout the world suffer from active migraine or headache disorders. Notice we stated that a person may suffer from a migraines disorder but not a headache disorder. That's because a migraine is a neurological disorder and not a type of headache.

Though, because the leading symptom of a migraine is a headache, they are often diagnosed and treated as such. That's the bad news. The good news is scientific authorities have documented the brainstem as being the region of the brain (the portion of the brain that extends from below the brain and into the upper neck and connects to the central nervous system) where migraines begin.

 

Here are some other things you should know about migraines:

 Finding the cause:

·      Headaches are linked to insufficient oxygen to the brain

·      The brain consists of specific pathways that control blood flow and neurology that can be distorted

·      The instability of the upper neck (upper cervical spine) makes the brainstem is prone to injury

·      The misalignment of the upper cervical spine can negatively effect a person's neurology and blood flow

 

 

What can be done?

While the medical world continues to search for answers as to the causes of and answers to migraine pain, there is a form of chiropractic that gives many people the answer they seek. Upper cervical chiropractic is a gentle and precise form of chiropractic that focuses on aligning the top two vertebrae in the neck.

When those two vertebrae, the upper cervical spine, are out of alignment by only ¼ of a millimeter it hinders the brain's ability to communicate with the body. This can lead to all sorts of health problems, but the good news is realigning those top two vertebrae many times can restore that communication process.

 

 

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

 

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Hole in One Vertigo Treatment

Vertigo is a condition that affects many across the US whether it be the average American or international golf star. The statistics on vertigo show that Vertigo happens in 5-10% of people and jumps to 40% if older than 401 and Vertigo accounts for 2.5% of all emergency room visits from 1995-2004.2

There is no known singular cause of Vertigo; however it is known what parts of the body are affected. There is a system in the body which regulates orientation and balance known as the Vestibular System.3 This is a small part of the Central Nervous System (CNS) which is composed of the brain and spinal cord. The middle ear contains fluid and crystals that communicate to the CNS and brain which can get distorted causing Vertigo symptoms.

Vertigo recently headlined the golf circuit at the U.S. Open. Australian golfer Jason Day collapsed during day 2 of the tournament with a bout of Vertigo. This is not the first time that Day has had the condition as he has been battling Vertigo since 2010 with limited success.4 While having vertigo symptoms Day still managed to put up an impressive score of 6 under 66, only one stroke away from the leader. Day is currently taking medication in an effort to maintain his performance while competing.

Many patients struggling with Vertigo are just trying to make it through the week with out symptoms let alone be a top contender on the professional golf scene. Dr. Dan Spinato, is helping patients get natural relief from vertigo in San Diego California. Dr Spinato is a NUCCA Upper Cervical Chiropractor that focuses on the Atlas Bone (C1 vertebra). The Atlas bone can have a profound effect on balance issues if it is misaligned as it is connected to the Eustachian tube in the ear. In a clinical study of 60 patients with Vertigo receiving Upper Cervical Chiropractic care 48 patients had total resolution of symptoms and the remaining 12 patients had reductions in the severity of vertigo symptoms.5

When the Atlas is out of its normal position it can distort the normal function of the ear as it relates to balance. Once the Atlas is restored the communication between the inner ear, brain, and body, vertigo symptoms often resolve naturally in time.

References:

  1. Friedman M, Hamid MA, Samy HM.. Dizziness, Vertigo, and Imbalance.. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2149881-overview (accessed 29 May 2015).
  2. Kerber KA, Meurer WJ, West BT, Fendrick AM. Dizziness presentations in U.S. emergency departments, 1995-2004. Acad Emerg Med. Aug 2008;15(8):744-50.
  3. Voron, Stephen. "The Vestibular System". University of Utah School of Medicine.
  4. Busbee J. Jason Day's vertigo update: 'I'm not thinking about falling over on my face again'. http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/golf-devil-ball-golf/jason-day-s-vertigo-update---i-m-not-thinking-about-falling-over-on-my-face-again-164446234.html (accessed 17 June 2015).
  5. Elster E. Sixty patients with chronic vertigo undergoing upper cervical chiropractic care to correct vertebral subluxation: a retrospective analysis. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, Nov. 8, 2006:1-9.
 

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

 

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Natural Headache Treatments Take a New Direction

Migraines are a condition that is characterized by pulsing and throbbing in the head. It is estimated that 36 million Americans suffer from migraines. As many as 18 million Americans have chronic migraines, which would be 5 or more migraines monthly. Migraines may last for only a few hours or several days, and many people accept this as part of daily living.

Migraines are a challenging condition to treat due as they are as unique as the individual who has them. This makes it very hard for patients and doctors alike. The market for drug treatments is constantly expanding for treatments. In this day and age many people are no longer looking for a pill to cover up the symptoms and want a natural solution for migraines.

Many patients are now turning to Medicinal Marijuana (MMJ) in hopes of headache relief as it is now legalized in many states in the US. A recent study shows that MMJ helps in buffering the pain for headaches and many chronic diseases by modulating the pathways of how the brain perceives pain.1 As MMJ is gaining traction across the country many patients how have not obtained relief from traditional methods may try MMJ. It has shown success in mitigating the symptoms but not in total resolution of headaches.

 

In San Diego, CA many people with migraines are getting results using a different method. Migraine specialist Dr Dan Spinato helps migraine sufferers get natural migraine relief. As an Upper Cervical Chiropractor Dr Spinato specializes in the Atlas bone (C1 vertebra) and the coordination between the brain and nervous system as it relates to migraines. When the Atlas bone moves from its natural position it has consequences which may result in migraines eventually.

By analyzing and correcting the Atlas misalignment using a gentle and precise Upper Cervical Chiropractic Adjustment, migraines are often reduced as the brain and nervous system return to normal function. In clinical studies of migraine patients it has been shown that 1-2 upper cervical Chiropractic Adjustments not only improve migraine condition but may even lead to complete resolution.2


References: 

 

  1. Baron EP. Comprehensive Review of Medicinal Marijuana, Cannabinoids, and Therapeutic Implications in Medicine and Headache: What a Long Strange Trip It's Been … Headache 2015; 55(6).
  2. Elster EL. Upper cervical chiropractic care for a patient with chronic migraine headaches with an appendix summarizing an additional 100 headache cases. J Vert Sublux Res 2003;AUG(3):1-10.
 

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

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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Migraines are a Growing Problem Amongst Children

Migraine headaches are a problem that is all too familiar for adults, as many as 46% of adults globally suffers from the condition.1 There is an alarming trend in which children are starting to also have migraines. The American Migraine Foundation estimates 60% of children have an occasional headache and approximately 4-10% of children have headaches consistently.2 The largest concern is that 8%-23% of children over the age of 11 have migraines.

Treatment options are limited for all patients with migraines. Depending on the healthcare provider the treatment may vary from dietary changes and meditation to heavy grade medications or even surgery. There is limited efficacy between treatments as each person with migraines is unique and responds differently. This is especially challenging in children during developmental periods where hormones levels fluctuate and growth spurts.

Recently the FDA has approved a new drug for children with migraines. The drug Sumatriptan comes in a doseage approved for children. The dosage is merely a scaled version of the quantity approved for adults. The drug is designed to improve the blood flow to the brain and the layer of tissue that protects the brain and spinal cord known as the Dura Mater. The drug has been shown to be slightly more effective than a placebo in clinical trials and also comes with risk of: heart attack, stroke, clotting, as well as ulceration and bleeding of stomach and intestinal tissues.3

Many patients are now seeking natural treatment for migraine headaches. Dr Dan Spinato, a migraine specialist in San Diego, California is helping patients get natural relief from migraines. Dr Dan is an Upper Cervical Chiropractor who specializes in the the top bone in the neck, aka the Atlas bone (C1 vertebra), and how it relates to headaches. It has been shown that when the moves from its normal alignment it puts stress into the Dura Mater and affects normal blood flow to the brain.4 Often this turns into migraines after a long enough period of time. By correcting the misalignment of the Atlas through a precise adjustment migraines have been shown to be reduced in children and improve overall development and health.5


References: 

 

  1. Stovner LJ, Hagen K, Jensen R, Katsarva Z, Lipton R, Scher A, Steiner T, Zwart JA. The global burden of headache: a documentation of headache prevalence and disability worldwide. Cephalgia 2007;27(3):193-210.
  2. Headaches in Childrem. http://www.achenet.org/resources/headaches_in_children (accessed 5 June 2015).
  3. P Anderson. FDA Okays Sumatriptan/Naproxen (Treximet) for Migraine in Teens. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/844752 (accessed 5 June 2015).
  4. Grostic JD. Dentate Ligament-Cord Distortion Hypothesis. Chiropr Res J, 1988; 1(1):47-55.
  5. Elster EL. Upper cervical chiropractic care for a nine-year-old male with Tourette syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, asthma, insomnia, and headaches: a case report. J Vertebral Subluxation Res, July 12, 2003:1-11.

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

 

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Migraines: Natural Relief by Lifestyle Changes

Migraines are a way of life for many people, but by no means a way to live. Every year 12 million Americans are going are seeking relief from Migraines. It is estimated that one quarter of the entire US population has an ongoing migraine or headache condition.1

In this day and age of technology and information those suffering with migraines are now able to be more active in their healthcare and diagnostic tools are much more advanced. However the internet can be a dangerous place to manage any health condition due to the amount of information or misinformation. Many patients are more assertive for advanced testing that may not be necessary, cost effective and potentially harmful. Research is showing that the method of diagnosis and treatment for migraines is ineffective.2

Now many patients are seeking a natural way to manage migraine headaches other than the traditional methods. Migraine Specialist Dr Dan Spinato is helping these patients get relief from migraines in San Diego, CA. Dr Spinato is an Upper Cervical Chiropractor who takes a different approach to treating migraines and helping his patients by assessing the Atlas bone (C1 vertebra). The Atlas bone is very important as it house many of the nerves known to be related to migraine conditions. When the Atlas moves out of its proper normal position it will have adverse affects on how the brain and nervous system function, which commonly leads to migraines as an end stage result. By carefuy analyzing and delivering a specific adjustment to the restore proper position of the Atlas bone; headaches often resolve as the brain and nervous system normalize.

Scientific research has shown Upper Cervical Chiropractic to not only relieve migraines and headaches but also long term resolution. Studies show that natural relief can occur in as little as 1-2 adjustments as the Atlas bone returns to its normal state.3

References:

1.      Neighmond P. For Headaches, A Lifestyle Change May Be Better Than A Doctor Visit. http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/05/11/404693609/for-headache-pain-a-lifestyle-change-may-be-better-than-a-doctor-visit (accessed 15 May 2015).

2.      John N. Mafi, Samuel T. Edwards, Nigel P. Pedersen, Roger B. Davis, Ellen P. McCarthy, Bruce E. Landon. Trends in the Ambulatory Management of Headache: Analysis of NAMCS and NHAMCS Data 1999–2010.Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2015; DOI: 10.1007/s11606-014-3107-3.

3.      Elster EL. Upper cervical chiropractic care for a patient with chronic migraine headaches with an appendix summarizing an additional 100 headache cases. J Vert Sublux Res 2003;AUG(3):1-10

 

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

 

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Overcoming Vertigo in San Diego

Two Types of Vertigo

Do you ever stand still and wonder why everything else around you is moving? You might be experiencing a sensation called Vertigo. An example of this is what happens when you spun around when you were a kid and got dizzy. That's self-induced vertigo, but there are episodes of this disorder that occur because of serious internal problems.

Causes of Vertigo

If you suffer from this disorder, it's either peripheral or central. If the cause is in your brain or spine, then it's central. But if the cause is in your inner ear or the nerves that go to the inner ear, then it's peripheral.

Of course, you can't just experience an episode and then know whether it's one type or the other. That's why we'll give you a list of questions to answer that will help you know more about the Vertigo you suffer from.

·      Have you ever had a head injury?

·      Have you ever had a stroke?

·      Are you a smoker?

·      Do you drink alcohol?

·      Do you have a tumor?

·      Do you suffer from Basiler Artery Migraines?

·      Do you take blood pressure or anti-seizure medicine?

·      Do you suffer from Basiler Artery Migraines?

·      Do you have high blood pressure, heart disease, or Diabetes?

·      Do you have Multiple Sclerosis?

·      Do you take antidepressants or aspirin?

 

The Upper Cervical Solution

Did you answer yes to any of those questions? If you did, and you suffer from Vertigo, there is a very good chance your episodes are due to a problem with your inner ear. You should note that even if you can answer yes to any of the above, there still may not be a correlation with your inner ear.

Though, there is a way you can find out for certain whether you suffer from central or peripheral Vertigo. It will mean entrusting your health into the care of an upper cervical chiropractor, but they can determine the cause of your condition for certain.

When they examine you, they can check for any misalignments in your upper neck vertebrae that may effect the brain and nerves that travel to the inner ear. A misalignment in the top two vertebrae of your spine isn't that easily detectable without a three-dimensional X-ray, but an upper cervical chiropractor has the knowledge and equipment to make that determination for you. They will then make any necessary adjustments to your upper neck vertebrae, so as to correct any misalignments, thus allowing your body to heal itself. 

 

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

 

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Migraines in Rancho Penasquitos CA

If you are struggling with migraines headaches you are not alone. Currently it is estimated that at least 10 percent of the population have migraines. Migraine headaches are most common from the ages of 25-55 years old and affect 18% of all women.

Proper treatment and diagnosis for headaches is difficult for many health care providers. A new study found that 12 million Americans annually are over treated for Migraine and headache conditions. The method of diagnosis involves advanced imaging of the brain which is both costly and often inconclusive. While migraines are painful and debilitating, they often self resolve in between episodes.

Many people are demanding natural relief for Migraines over the ineffective traditional methods. Headache treatment guidelines have evolved lately and doctors are recommending lifestyle changes over the use of powerful drugs and other invasive treatments. Researchers are showing some interesting methods of helping deal with migraines:

  • Getting proper amounts of sleep and rest
  • A healthy diet
  • Exercise
  • Meditation

All of these methods are now recommended because of the balancing effects on the nervous system.1

Many migraine patients are finding natural relief from Migraines in San Diego, CA with Migraine specialist Dr Dan Spinato. As an Upper Cervical Chiropractor, Dr Spinato is able to provide natural relief from migraines by evaluating the first bone in the neck known as the Atlas (C1 vertebra) and its relationship to the brain and entire nervous system. If the Atlas is not in the proper position, the ability of the brain and nervous system to properly function is diminished and migraines are often a result. Studies have shown a high correlation of patients suffering with migraines and Atlas misalignment. In a review of 100 headache cases all patients with Atlas misalignments improved with 1-2 Upper Cervical Chiropractic adjustments. By precisely analyzing the misalignment and delivering a gentle and specific adjustment to the Atlas, it allows for the normal function to take place.

References:
1. Mulcahy L. Migraine studies yield fresh approaches to ward off pain. http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-migraine-20150321-story.html (accessed 1 May 2015).
2. Elster EL. Upper cervical chiropractic care for a patient with chronic migraine headaches with an appendix summarizing an additional 100 headache cases. J Vert Sublux Res 2003;AUG(3):1-10

 

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

 

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Controlling Inflammation and Controlling Meniere’s Disease

Meniere’s Disease is a debilitating condition that affects balance, hearing and vision similar to being seasick. According to Dr Lewis Romett 200 people for every 100,000 are affected by the disease usually starting at the age of 40 years old.1 The affected system of the body is the Vestibular system (part of the Central Nervous System) and the inner ear. There is no known cause but some evidence suggests that it may be caused by an injury to the head or neck.

Meniere’s Disease is a difficult disease to properly diagnose and treat due to the overlap of symptoms such as migraine headaches and vertigo, which makes it a challenge for doctors everywhere. The treatment options are quite limited as there is no FDA approved drug for Meniere’s and many of the other options are not reproducible from one person to the next. The latest link to the disease is inflammation that takes place in the fluid of the inner ear which is responsible for balance and coordination. 

Meniere’s Disease Treatment Options

An experimental drug is being tested, a steroid that is injected into the ear itself in hopes of reducing and removing inflammation. Some positive outcomes have been achieved but only lasting weeks at best, not correcting the cause long term. Here in San Diego, CA most people want a natural treatment for Menieres Disease that is noninvasive, Dr Dan Spinato is helping those people regain their health and lives.

Dr Spinato is one of few doctors that practice an advanced method, Upper Cervical Chiropractic. This procedure focuses on the proper alignment of the first bone in the neck known as the Atlas (C1 vertebra) for proper nervous system function. The muscles that attach to the Atlas can affect the ears ability to proper drain the fluid that establishes balance, when the atlas is misaligned.2 By precisely correcting the Atlas to its proper and normal position, it has been proven to help Meniere’s Disease patients naturally with Upper Cervical Chiropractic.3

If you are suffering from Meniere’s Disease in San Diego consult Dr Spinato for a consultation and his expert opinion.

References:
1. Earls S. Colorado Springs drug study could help Meniere’sDisease sufferers. http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-drug-study-could-help-menieres-disease-sufferers/article/1545298 (accessed 17 April 2015).

2. Murphy D & Gay, C (2011). Manual therapy and ear pain: a report of four cases. J Can Chirop Assoc; 55(1):40-46.

3. Burcon MT. Upper cervical specific protocol and results for 139 patients with medically diagnosed meniere’s disease. , J Vertebral Subluxation Res November 14, 2010:1-10.

 

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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.

 

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No More Advil! 92% of Headache Sufferers Find Help with Upper Cervical!

Is That Advil Really Helping You?

While there are many different causes of headaches, there has never been a documented case where the underlying cause was Advil deficiency! Advil, aspirin, Tylenol and others are only masking your symptoms while the underlying cause continues to worsen. While we have seen amazing results in our own patients. There is also a growing body of research that shows that upper cervical specific chiropractic is very effective at helping people with a variety of different headaches.

Reports documenting successful treatment of patients with headaches using upper cervical chiropractic care are many. Including seeing positive results where the headaches were improved or eliminated in approximately 1000 headache patients from the Palmer research clinic.

Other Studies…

“Based on Literature Review of Several Headache Treatment Options, a Panel of 19 Multidisciplinary Experts Concluded That Spinal adjustments resulted in almost immediate improvement for cervicogenic headaches and had significantly fewer side effects and longer lasting relief of tension type headache than a commonly prescribed medication.” [McCrory DC, et al. “Evidence Report: Behavioral and Physical Treatments for Tension type and Cervicogenic Headache.” Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center, Durham, North Carolina, January 2001.]

1296 Less Headaches!!

In another study by Dr. Erin Elster, 101 chronic headache cases were examined. The 30 days prior to starting care in Dr. Elster’s office, the 101 patients had a total of 1407 headaches! Or, approximately 14 headaches per month per person. All 101 patients began upper cervical chiropractic care. The 30 days following the conclusion of their upper cervical chiropractic care program, the 101 patients had a total of 111 headaches (or approximately one headache per patient per month on average).

That is a 92% reduction in headache frequency! Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care is extremely effective in correcting the underlying cause of a variety of different headaches.

Who do you know that is struggling with chronic headaches?

References: http://www.erinelster.com/files/headache%20paper.pdf

 

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

 

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When Migraines Attack

Not just Headaches

When many people who do not suffer from migraines think of migraines, they often think of headaches, but headaches are only one symptom. Another symptom, which we will explore in this blog, is nausea. And that nausea could become so severe that it could cause a person who suffers from this neurological condition to vomit.

So, now the question is what are migraines and why is nausea a symptom? Though, we understand that understanding why nausea is a symptom is not as important as know what you can do about this debilitating pain that seemingly takes over your life when it strikes.

Well, no one is quite sure what causes this neurological condition, and many believe it may be the result of more than one reason. Research suggests it could either be due to an accident, genetics, certain activities, one's environment, chemicals release in the brain during a migraine attack, or dietary habits.

Solutions for Migraine Sufferers

It is not uncommon for a doctor to prescribe an antidepressant, beta blocker, or even an anti-seizure medication to those who suffer from this neurological condition. The purpose of prescribing any of these is to lessen the symptoms and thus reduce the suffering of migraine sufferers, but all of these have side effects.

Though, people who do not want to put foreign substances into their body do have another choice. The first thing they can do is to keep a food journal to help them determine what might cause these attacks. Though, as we said, those attacks may or may not be because of one's diet or allergies, so a food journal will not necessarily help a person get to the source of their pain.

Migraines and Your Upper Cervical Spine

Though, what will help a person discover the source of their pain is an examination by an upper cervical chiropractor. They will examine the top two vertebrae in a person's neck to see if there are any misalignments that may be the underlying cause of a person's migraine pain.

When those two vertebrae are out of alignment by just ¼ of a millimeter, it effects the brain's ability to communicate with the body via the brainstem. This often leads to various complications throughout the body including migraine attacks.

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

 

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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.

 

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How to Reduce Whiplash Recovery Time

Whiplash is something that may stick with you long after a car accident. The name for whiplash comes from the motion of cracking a whip that happens typically after a rear end auto accident. The condition can leave long lasting affects as it can damage the muscles in the neck, the ligaments that maintain proper position of the bones, and discs between the bones.

Whiplash can happen at speeds as low as 5 mph1 and distort the bones in the neck from the proper position.2 68% of people in accidents experience damage and degeneration to the spine.3 Once you have whiplash it is difficult to recover as patients experience the symptoms for as long as 5-10 years.3

A new study reviewing all the literature on whiplash showed that whiplash patients primarily recover in the first 3 months before healing levels off.4 This review shows the importance of getting proper treatment early for proper healing to take place.

Dr Dan Spinato, a whiplash specialist in San Diego, CA helps whiplash patients get natural relief, as an Upper Cervical Chiropractor focusing on maintaining the proper alignment of the upper neck. This method using exacting testing to ensure that the Atlas (C1) bone is proper aligned at the base of the skull and top of the neck.

Research has shown that whiplash patients under chiropractic care have an average recovery time of 29 weeks.3 It has been proven when the spine is properly aligned after a whiplash type injury pain, muscle strength, range of motion, and neck alignment improve. If you have just had a whiplash injury or are suffering years later, having the neck alignment examined by an Upper Cervical Chiropractor is a proven and reliable method for natural relief.

References:
1. 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.
2. Deans GT,Magalliard JN,Rutherford WH.Incidence and duration of neck pain among patients injured in car accidents. British Medial Jouranal 1986;292:94- 95.
3. 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.
4. Kamper SJ, Maher CG, McAuley JH, Rebbeck TJ, Sterling M. Course and prognostic factors of whiplash: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Pain 2008 Sep 15;138(3):617-29. doi:10.1016.

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Meniere's Disease – Causes and Triggers

Do you suffer from Vertigo? Do you also hear constant ringing? If you said yes to both of those, your dizzy spells and ringing in your ears may be symptomatic of Meniere's Disease. This condition is accompanied by fluctuating hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), and a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear, and bouts of Vertigo. It can affect anyone at any age, but it most commonly affect people in their 40's and 50's.

Causes of Meniere's Disease

The causes are unknown, but current research suggests it may either be the result of a large amount of or types of fluids in the inner ear. The inner ear contains hair-like sensors that respond to fluids that move throughout it. There needs to be a certain amount of volume, pressure, and chemical compound that tell these hair-like sensors to function properly. Research suggests that a probable cause may be that when those factors of fluid are altered, Meniere's Disease occurs.

Other possible causes include:

  • Improper fluid drainage (caused by a blockage or anatomic abnormality)
  • Abnormal Immune Response
  • Allergies
  • Viral Infection
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Head Trauma
  • Migraines
Though, knowing what causes Meniere's Disease is not as important as knowing what you can do about it. It's very important that you not just live with it because if left alone it can lead to permanent hearing loss. You can begin by eliminating certain foods and beverage from your diet that may trigger this condition

Meniere's Disease Triggers

  • Salt
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Tobacco
  • Allergies (anything you allergic to may trigger Meniere's Disease)

Eliminating those items may lessen your episodes, but they will not focus on the source of the problem. An upper cervical chiropractor can. They can examine your upper neck vertebrae and focus on the underlying cause of your problem by correcting any misalignments in your upper neck that may be contributing to your inner ear problems. Misalignments in the upper neck have been shown to influence the nerves that control the year and lead to problems with fluid accumulation and other neurological issues.

 

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

 

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Quick Migraine Relief is Possible with Advanced Procedure

Quick Migraine Relief

When you suffer from the extreme pain and other effects caused by migraine headaches, you long for quick relief. Unfortunately, most treatments provided by conventional medicine are slow to mitigate symptoms or fail to do so all together. There is an alternative, however, and that is upper cervical chiropractic care. Read on to learn how upper cervical chiropractic care can provide quick migraine relief.

The fact is that many people never have a migraine until they suffer some form of head or neck trauma. Then, suddenly, they start to suffer from these debilitating neurological experiences. This is due to the fact that a serious head or neck trauma can throw the top two vertebrae in your neck out of alignment. When a bone is out of alignment, it can pinch nerves and wreak all sorts of havoc on the body. Imagine what it can do when that bone is positioned at the brain stem like the C1 and C2 vertebrae are.

Car accidents, sports injuries, and even injuries caused at birth can be the source of a C1 or C2 misalignment. Upper cervical chiropractic can fix this misalignment and provide quick relief for injury related migraines. Even if the injury isn't the cause of the migraine, upper cervical chiropractic can help your central nervous system to operate at a better capacity, so that your body can work to heal itself to the best of its ability. Upper cervical chiropractic may even be a permanent solution to your migraine problem.

Research with upright MRIs has shown that when a misalignment occurs in the upper neck. Blood and cerebrospinal fluid flow is changed, which can result in migraine headaches. Correcting this upper neck misalignments has been shown to change the flow of fluid to, from and through the brain, resulting in improved brain health and reduced or eliminated migraine symptoms.

What to Do Next

If you are interested in seeing if your migraines are a result of a misalignment in your upper neck. Find an upper cervical chiropractor in your area.

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

 

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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.

 

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Natural Relief of Meniere’s Disease in San Diego

There are very few things that can make living in San Diego unpleasant. Between 70 miles of beach and over 260 days of sunshine. Unless you suffer from Menieres Disease, which can make the sound of ocean waves deafening and any bright light agonizing.

Menieres Disease equally affects men and women typically from the ages of 20-50 years old. The condition is related to the fluid of the inner ear which is responsible for balance and proprioception (the body’s orientation of where it is in space). Symptoms of menieres include:

  • Sensation of fullness in the ears
  • Tinnitus
  • Hearing loss
  • Vertigo
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Menieres Disease is difficult to diagnose and is even harder to effectively treat. Treatments may vary from dietary changes to invasive surgery, and have limited effectiveness. Natural relief of Menieres disease has been shown through upper cervical chiropractic.

There is a relationship between Menieres Disease and the upper neck/upper cervical spine. Misalignment (subluxation) of the C0/Occipit, C1/Atlas, and C2/Axis bones may be a causative factor in Menieres symptoms. In a research study of 139 patients with medically diagnosed Menieres disease, 136 experienced reduction and/or of symptoms after one or two upper cervical adjustments1 . The same technique utilized in this study gives hope for natural relief of Menieres Disease in San Diego at San Diego Integrative Spine Center.

The specialized upper cervical procedure uses tests to detect misalignment (subluxation) in the upper neck. If it is present specific x-rays are taken to measure the exact degree of misalignment and tailor the perfect adjustment. Adjustments are delivered only as needed and when the neck is properly aligned the body can regain it’s ability to balance properly. 

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

 

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Me and my Meniere’s Disease

If you or anyone you has Meniere’s disease, you know how devastating it can be to living daily life with this condition. It may be as simple as ringing in the ears, a headache or mild dizziness, or as severe as crippling vertigo, nausea, and vomiting lasting for days. Whether mild or extreme, neither is enjoyable.

What it is:

Meniere’s disease is characterized by the American Academy of Otolaryngology as having several key symptoms including:

  • Vertigo
  • Hearing loss
  • Tinnitus
  • A sensation of fullness in the ears.

In Meniere’s disease these symptoms come in episodes that may last only 20 minutes or up to 4 hours. The common cause is believed to be abnormal amounts of the fluid that is in the inner ear; this fluid is how the body establishes balance and relates that information to the brain through the Vestibulocochlear nerve/Cranial Nerve VIII. This typically happens in adults from the ages of 20-50 years old, equally affecting men and women.1

What to do:

The simple treatments for Meniere’s vary from: low salt diets, anti-vertigo medications, injections made into the inner ear, and invasive surgery. Since there is not one particular known cause the results differ from case to case depending on the treatment.

M. Hülse, Professor of ENT at Heidelberg University, found that in 259 patients with Meniere’s disease type symptoms could be linked to abnormalities in the upper neck. This area is technically termed the “upper cervical spine” and consists of the C0/Occipit, C1/Atlas, and C2/Axis bones. He found in a study of 62 patients that hearing deficits could be reversible under the use of chiropractic care.2

Upper Cervical chiropractors utilize techniques and tools to assess the integrity of the upper neck and make a specific correction if necessary. If there is a misalignment between C0/C1/C2 it may cause symptoms like Meniere’s disease. One upper cervical chiropractor examined and adjusted 139 patients who were medically diagnosed with Meniere’s disease. 136 of the 139 experienced “an absence or dramatic reduction of symptoms, especially vertigo” within one or two specific adjustments.3 All 139 patients reported previous injury to the neck.

If you have Meniere’s disease or any of the symptoms associated it is crucial to have the upper neck examined by an Upper cervical chiropractor.

References:

1. American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. Meniere's Disease. http://www.entnet.org/content/menieres-disease (accessed 2/2/201).

2. Hulse M. The Cervical Vertebra as a Cause of Hearing Disorders. German HNO Conference, Muenster 1993,42:604613.

3. Burcon MT. Upper cervical specific protocol and results for 139 patients with medically diagnosed meniere’s disease. , J Vertebral Subluxation Res November 14, 2010:1-10. 

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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.

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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/

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Glee Star Kristin Chenoweth Has Meniere’s Disease

Kristin Chenoweth and Ménière’s Disease

Contact music is reporting that Glee star Kristin Chenoweth is suffering from the inner ear condition Meniere's disease, which can cause episodes of vertigo, tinnitus and hearing loss, and she's struggling to deal with the condition.

Talking to Twitter.com, she writes, "Oh menieres disease. I'd like to eliminate you."

Chenoweth has yet to share any further details about her illness, and it is not clear whether her current condition is related to the accident she suffered on the set of TV legal drama The Good Wife last July, when a lighting rig fell and hit her on the head. The incident left her with a fractured skull, concussion, three cracked teeth, and neck, rib and hip injuries.

But frequently head and neck trauma can initiate the onset of Ménière's disease and other conditions. Some of the most hopeful research for Ménière's sufferers has come out in the past 5 years.

Latest Research Points to the Upper Neck

Dr. Michael Burcon has investigated the effects of upper cervical specific chiropractic management of patients medically diagnosed with Meniere’s disease. Dr. Burcon has shared his findings with Ménière's research conferences around the world.

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

 

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Can Colic in Infants Be an Early Form of Migraines?

Colic in Infants

On April 16, 2013, Several major news sources, including USA Today, Reuters, the Huffington Post, WebMD and CBS news reported on new research coming out of France published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that links having colic as in infant and having migraines as a child or an adult. This is the 4th study to come out recently linking colic to migraines.

The Huffington Post reported:

"In the study, children ages 6 to 18 who visited an emergency room for migraine headaches were about six times more likely to have experienced colic — or frequent, unexplained crying — as an infant compared with children who visited the emergency room for other reasons...The new findings suggest infant colic and migraines may be symptoms of the same underlying condition, said study researcher Dr. Luigi Titomanlio, of the pediatric emergency department at Robert Debré Hospital in Paris."

But what could this underlying condition be?

The Same Underlying Condition

When the upper part of the neck is misaligned it will change the flow of cerebral spinal fluid and blood to and from the brain. This change in CSF and blood flow can lead to a variety of neurological problems. Including colic in children and migraine headaches in adults.

When a baby is born frequently the upper neck is injured. This injury can show symptoms such as colic, GERD, ear infections and other childhood problems. If the upper neck injury is corrected by an upper cervical procedure such as Upper Cervical then the colic or other symptoms are frequently eliminated.

However, if the upper neck misalignment is not corrected, then migraine headaches or other conditions will frequently develop later in life.

So whether colic is an early form of migraines or not the underlying condition can be addressed safely, gently and effectively by Upper Cervical care.

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

 

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Natural Vertigo Treatment

Is Your Vertigo All in Your Neck?

Medical doctors will use over 50 different medications in an attempt to control dizziness or vertigo. But many people are unaware of a common cause of dizziness or vertigo that can be addressed naturally without drugs.

Dr. Michael Burcon in Michigan has done excellent work in researching the connection between the upper neck and conditions like vertigo, Meniere's Disease, tinnitus and others.
Burcon has established a link to these conditions with whiplash injuries that misalign the base of the skull with the top of the neck creating a lesion affecting the Eustachian tube. About half of these traumas are caused by car crashes and the other half from injuries involving head trauma. Burcon believes that the correlation was not made because it takes an average of fifteen years from the time the patient was injured until the onset of symptoms.

Patients typically get diagnosed with these conditions in middle age. Their injuries most often happened during high school or college years from a car accident, sports injury or fall on their heads. Few patients list these old injuries on their doctor’s admission paper work. In fact, they have often forgotten about them, believing they were not hurt if they were not admitted to the hospital.

In Dr. Burcon’s he saw over 90% improvement in patients diagnosed with vertigo following upper cervical chiropractic.

Whiplash and Vertigo

Following a whiplash injury, such as those common during a motor vehicle accident, as much as 25 to 50% of people will experience dizziness or vertigo. Many times this dizziness will subside after a few days, but other times it will linger for weeks, months or even years.

Whiplash clinically is similar to post concussion syndrome, but with the addition of neck complaints.  Long term studies show that aches and pains may persist in 20 to 45% of patients with significant whiplash.

When the cause is addressed with an upper cervical chiropractic technique such as Upper Cervical, will, amazing recovery can take place. But the cause has to be identified and addressed.
Have you been diagnosed with vertigo or other related conditions?

Are you looking for a drug free vertigo treatment?

Have you ever had your upper neck thoroughly evaluated to see if the underlying cause could be there?

Today could be your day.

 

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

 

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Medicating your Migraines may Cause your Migraines

Caffeine and Your Migraines

Do you suffer from Migraines-headaches? Did you know migraines are sometime caused by chemicals and preservatives within some foods and beverages. One of those chemicals is caffeine, which everyone knows is found in chocolate and can be found in coffee. Though, not everyone knows caffeine can also be found in certain headache medications.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic care should always be a preferable treatment to taking medicine, as medication introduces foreign substances into your body that only cover the symptoms rather than addressing the cause. Though, now, there is another reason for you to avoid medicating your body.

Here is a list of medications that contain caffeine:

Over-the-Counter Caffeinated Headache Medications

  • Anacin Maximum Strength: 32 mg
  • Actamin Super: 65.4 mg
  • Anacin Tablets and Caplets: 32 mg
  • Aspirin-Free Excedrin Caplets: 65 mg
  • Bayer Select Maximum Strength Headache Pain Relief: 65.4 mg
  • Dristan Capsules: 16 mg
  • Excedrin Caplets: 65 mg
  • Excedrin Extra Strength Caplets and Tablets: 65 mg
  • Goody's Extra Strength Tablets: 16.25 mg
  • Goody's Headache Powder: 32.5 mg
  • Midol Menstrual Maximum Strength Caplets: 60 mg
  • Midol for Cramps Maximum Strength Caplets: 32.4 mg
  • NoDoz: 200 mg
  • Vanquish Caplets: 33 mg
  • Vivarin: 200 mg

Prescription Caffeinated Headache Medications

  • Cafergot Suppositories (Cafertrine, Cafetrate, Migergot, Wigraine): 100 mg
  • Cafergot Tablets (Ercaf, Ergo-Caff, Gotamine, Wigraine): 100 mg
  • Fiorinal Capsules and Tablets: 40 mg
  • Fiorinal with Codeine No. 3: 40 mg
  • Norgesic; Norphadrine: 30 mg
  • Norgesic Forte; Norphadrine Forte: 30 mg
  • Triaminicin with Codeine Tablets: 30 mg

Now that you know what types of medications might be triggering your migraines, you have two choices. The first is that you can find a prescription or non-prescription medication that doesn't use caffeine, alleviate your migraines, and cover your symptoms. That will mean remaining dependent upon taking medication for the rest of your life. Your second option is to receive the care of an upper cervical specialist, who will determine the source of your headaches and make the necessary adjustments to any misalignments in your upper neck.

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Migraines, Seizures, and Walking Problems Could They Be Related?

Migraines and Seizures

When the upper neck is misaligned it affects the way the brain is working. These brain changes can mimic a variety of different conditions.

Recently the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research had a very interesting case study that discussed the impact of an upper neck misalignment on the brain.

After seeing a series of medical doctors, cardiologists and neurologists a 75-year-old woman finally found a neurologist who was familiar with upper cervical chiropractic. The neurologist determined that she had an upper cervical misalignment which he thought was causing an exacerbation of symptoms related to an old concussion.

According to the neurologist she had a history of concussion 10 years prior. Although her current episode was worse than ever before, the patient reported similar episodes in the past dating back to the concussion. The nature of the injury was a fall resulting in the impact of the back of her head with the floor. She was unable to talk immediately following the fall and was taken to the hospital. She reported receiving a CAT scan and MRI along with many neurological examinations over the next 3 months and then was released.

Her current symptoms were as follows:

  • gait ataxia (unsteady and uncoordinated movement)
  • strabismus (laziness) in the left eye
  • activity or posture induced seizures
  • low energy levels
  • migraine headaches

Exhaustion or bending forward brought on her seizures. When the seizures occurred, she felt a hot sensation in her upper chest, lost the ability to speak, and developed a painful migraine of the common type (no aura).

A Thorough Upper Neck Evaluation

After a postural and x-ray evaluation, it was determined that her atlas was out of alignment. After her initial adjustment her walking had improved as well as her neck range of motion - specifically rotation, which had been severely decreased "for years." The patient reported an increase in energy.

The patient's care was continued. During each visit, she was checked to make sure the adjustment was holding through subjective evaluation, scanning palpation, and supine leg check. Further visits saw improvement in her walking including the ability to walk heel-to-toe. Her balance improved to where she could stand on one foot. She noticed a general improvement in her vision - specifically clarity, brightness, and color perception are her lazy eye diminished and then finally went away. Finally, it should be noted that she had not had a seizure with the accompanying migraine since beginning care.

The authors suggest a change in blood flow to the brain a likely cause of the patient symptoms.

Do you have a collection of strange neurological symptoms? Do you have a history of head or neck trauma or concussion?

Then an upper cervical evaluation could be your answer.

References: Source: 
Seizure, Ataxia, Fatigue, Strabismus and Migraine Resolved by Precise Realignment of the First Cervical Vertebra: A Case Report Roy Sweat DC, BCAO & Tyson Pottenger DC Journal of upper cervical chiropractic research March 12, 2012

 

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Vertigo Emergency Room Visits Cost $4 Billion per Year

Dizziness Is Expensive

According to Dr. Ali S. Saber Tehrani and colleagues, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, emergency department costs for patients presenting with dizziness or vertigo are considerable, accounting for about $4 billion per year (about 4 percent of total emergency department costs), the study was published in the July issue of Academic Emergency Medicine.

The researchers found there were 3.9 million U.S. emergency department visits for dizziness or vertigo in 2011. A majority of the money is spent on diagnostic testing. There are many different causes of vertigo or dizziness. Medical doctors will use over 50 different medications in an attempt to control dizziness or vertigo.

But many people are unaware of a common cause of dizziness or vertigo.

Whiplash Injuries and Vertigo

Following a whiplash injury, such as those common during a motor vehicle accident, as much as 25 to 50% of people will experience dizziness or vertigo. Many times this dizziness will subside after a few days, but other times it will linger for weeks, months or even years.

Whiplash clinically is similar to post concussion syndrome, but with the addition of neck complaints. Long term studies show that aches and pains may persist in 20 to 45% of patients with significant whiplash. Degenerative problems develop after injury in about 40% of patients. They are more common in persons with more severe collisions.

Upper Cervical, Whiplash and Vertigo

When vertigo symptoms persist, it is important to thoroughly evaluate the neck. Following any head or neck trauma there will be a tearing loose of the connective tissue that holds the spine in place. This will lead to a weakness that will allow the spine to breakdown and lock into a stressed position. This misalignment pattern frequently develops as the heavy head is slightly misaligned from the upper neck bones.

As little as three quarters of a degree is enough to alter the position of the head and force the brain to adapt the spinal posture in order to keep the eyes and ears level with the horizon. This is known as the righting reflex within the brain.

Once this upper neck misalignment has occurred and posture has changed, blood and cerebrospinal fluid flow from the brain to the body and from the body to the brain begins to be altered as well.

These upper neck misalignments can only be corrected by someone trained in specialized upper cervical chiropractic procedures.

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Ménière’s Disease Helped Naturally

Are Your Ear Problems All in Your Neck?

Meniere's Disease, Cochlear Hydrops, Tinnitus, hearing loss, chronic ear infections and even vertigo can frequently be related to trauma to the nerves from the upper neck (lower brain stem area) that go into the ears. Upper neck trauma can lead to a variety of different ear problems due to the neurological connections.

Dr. Michael Burcon in Michigan has done excellent work in researching the connection between the upper neck and conditions like Meniere's Disease, tinnitus, vertigo and others.

Patients typically get diagnosed with these conditions in middle age. Their injuries most often happened during high school or college years from a car accident, sports injury or fall on their heads. Few patients list these old injuries on their doctor’s admission paper work. In fact, they have often forgotten about them, believing they were not hurt if they were not admitted to the hospital. It is possible to have fewer than the four classic symptoms of Meniere's Disease (hearing loss, fullness, tinnitus, and vertigo) yet be diagnosed with Meniere's Disease; this is sometimes said to be "atypical" Meniere's Disease. Some Meniere's Disease patients experience hearing loss, fullness, and tinnitus with no vertigo at all, a condition sometimes described as "cochlear hydrops."

When the cause is addressed amazing recovery can take place. But the cause has to be identified and addressed.

Upper Cervical and Ménière’s Disease

Have you been diagnosed with Cochlear Hydrops, Meniere's, vertigo or other ear related conditions? Have you ever had your upper neck thoroughly evaluated to see if the underlying cause could be there? Today could be your day.

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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.

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Everyday Triggers of Migraine Headaches

Migraine Statistics

Did you know 5% of all people have had a migraine by the age of 15? With age, that percentage increases, leading to an estimate by the National Headache Foundation that 28 million people in the U.S. experience migraines.

No one is quite sure what causes migraines, but it seems they are often triggered by external factors. Knowing these factors can help individuals take steps to reduce the onset of these debilitating headaches, so they can live more pain free lives.

Migraines Headache Triggers

Food Allergies – Often it is not the food itself that triggers them, rather it is a chemical or preservative in the food or beverage that causes them. Some common culprits include: aged cheese, alcohol, pepperoni, hot dogs, lunch meat, and MSG. Up to 30% of migraine sufferers may experience these debilitating headaches because of a food or beverage related additive or preservative.

Emotional Stress – Our bodies are equipped with self-defense systems, which often go into defense mode when external factors try to invade our bodies. When a person experiences stress, certain chemicals are released into the brain. The release of these chemicals can cause vascular changes, which can lead to migraines.

Caffeine – This can occur in people because they either consume too much caffeine, but it often occurs in people who do not get enough caffeine. The blood vessels of a person who is addicted to caffeine develop a sensitivity to a certain amount of caffeine. They become dependent on receiving the proper amount of caffeine.

Migraines and Upper Cervical Care

If you suffer from migraine headaches, you can take steps to alleviate them. Though, the proper care from an upper cervical chiropractor can determine the cause of your headaches and make sure you receive the proper care. Changing your diet or avoiding situations that may trigger these headaches may mean changing your lifestyle, but a NUCCA specialist can make adjustments to your upper cervical spine so your brain and body communicate better.

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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.

 

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Common Back and Neck injuries

After Your Concussion or Whiplash

Did you recently fall, or were you recently inured in a car accident or sports related accident? Now, maybe you're thinking that you weren't injured and your back or your neck feel fine. It may be tempting to think icing your back will take care of any pain that resulted from that fall or accident. The truth is there are various back and neck problems that may not occur for weeks, months, or even years after your injury.

You may have suffered whiplash or a concussion, and those injuries could lead to more painful, prolonged injuries if left uncared for.

Common Back and Neck Injuries

  • Fibromyalgia – Common symptoms include widespread pain, insomnia or chronic fatigue syndrome, and irritability or other mood changes
  • Migraines – These are a mysterious type of headache that occur in a central location, last anywhere from a four to 72 hours, and have a type of nature of their own
  • Spondylolisthesis – This injury is found most often at the base of your spine and occurs because of the slipping of your vertebrae, due to a fracture or defect in the wing shaped parts of your vertebrae, over a bone below
  • Cervical Radiculopathy - This occurs when a person's nerve function is damaged or disturbed due to the compression of one of the nerve roots near the cervical vertebrae (top seven vertebrae in a person's spine)

Upper Cervical and Your Hidden Pain

So, is that it? Are there any others? Yes, there are, and we'll explore those other long-term injuries that may follow that whiplash or concussion in next week's blog. The truth is that you don't want to leave any blow to your head unchecked.

So, it's important that you receive the proper care, which means allowing an upper cervical chiropractor to examine your upper neck vertebrae. They will make any necessary adjustments so as to correct any underlying issues that may lead to further back or neck problems. A misalignment of only ½ millimeter in your neck can lead to many serious problems.

 

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Whiplash: when, why and what’s next.

You may have just been in a major auto accident and now have pain and symptoms diagnosed as whiplash. Whiplash is most commonly caused by rear end collisions which account for 15% of auto accidents in America. Recent studies are showing that whiplash can happen in even the smallest of fender benders at speeds as low as 5 miles per hour.1-4

What it is:

Whiplash is the result of the head being forced backwards suddenly and then all the way forward as a reflex as the head comes to a stop. This motion is like that of cracking a whip, hence the name. When the head goes forward it causes damage to the muscles, ligaments, and vertebral discs in the neck.

  • This can cause pain and disrupt the proper position of the bones in the neck.
  • 84% of people have reported pain after a rear end accident.
  • Seatbelts increase the chance of whiplash by 20%.
  • 25% of people have chronic whiplash symptoms for 5 years.
  • 86% continue to have conditions for 10.8 years.
  • 68% of people have damage and degeneration to the neck/cervical spine.

What to do:

The Journal of Orthopaedic Medicine has stated: “The Chiropractic Answer to Whiplash Chiropractic may offer the best opportunity for relief from the pain of whiplash”. In a study they conducted of 93 patients with varying symptoms, 83% improved under chiropractic care and 31% had complete resolution of symptoms.

In another study of 57 patients showed an average recovery time of 29 weeks under Chiropractic care. These patients all had whiplash and were only examined for the presence of misalignments/Vertebral Subluxation in the spine, and most importantly the upper neck. Not only was there relief of pain but also, improved range of motion, muscle strength, and alignment of the neck demonstrated by x-rays. The most important part of this study showed that patients who stayed under care for longer periods of time and received fewer chiropractic adjustments continuously improved to the point of maximum benefit.

References:

1. 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.

2. McConnell WE, Howard RP, Guzman HM, et al. Analysis of human test subject kinematic responses to low-velocity rear-end impacts. SAE Tech Paper Series 930889, 21-31, 1993.

3. McConnell WE, Howard RP, Poppel JV, et al. Human head and neck Kinematic after low-velocity rear-end impacts: understanding "whiplash." 39th Stapp Car Crash Conference Proceedings 952724, 215-238, 1995.

4. Szabo TJ, Welcher JB, Anderson RD, et al. Human occupant kinematic response to low-speed rear-end impacts. SAE Tech Paper Series 940532, 23-35m 1994.

5. Deans GT,Magalliard JN,Malcolm K,Rutherford WH.Neck sprain-a major cause of disability following car accidents.Injury 1987;18:10-12.

6. Deans GT,Magalliard JN,Rutherford WH.Incidence and duration of neck pain among patients injured in car accidents. British Medial Jouranal 1986;292:94-95.

7. Watkinson A, Gargan MF, Bannister GC. Prognostic factors in soft tissue injuries of the cervical spine.Injury 1991;22(4):307-309.

8. Khan S, Cook J, Gargan M, Bannister G. Symptomatic classification of whiplash injury and the implications for treatment. J Of Orthopedic Medicine 1999;21(1):22-24.

9. 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.

 

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What Doctors Won't Tell You About Allergies and Sinus Pressure

If you deal with sinus pressure or allergies, you may feel stuck. You may feel like you either have to deal with those issues or take medication for the rest of your life. It's easy to try to alleviate the issue by doing what we see or think we see everyone else is doing. The television is great at telling a captivated audience that certain medications will cure these issues.

Now, the truth is all of those medications those pharmaceutical companies tell you will help cure your allergies or sinuses, won't. They will help alleviate the symptoms, but they will also cause you to need to buy more medication. Sounds like a pretty good marketing technique. Find a problem, create a temporary solution, convince a captivated audience that solution will improve their life, and get them addicted to that temporary relief.

Sinus Pressure

For people who deal with sinus pressure, sprays may alleviate the inflammation in the mucus membrane, but they will not deal with the underlying cause of the inflammation. When your upper cervical spine is out of alignment, the signals from your brain stem do not reach your sinus. This causes your sinus to work over time, and thus you start sniffling and sneezing.

Allergies

For those who deal with allergies, there is something in the environment causing the body to go into self­ defense mode. This self­ defense system reacts automatically, much like the sprinkler system in a building, because your immune system is not reacting properly. Your body is doing it's job by fighting off the foreign objects, but your immune system is not functioning properly. Rather than adding more foreign objects that cause that self ­defense system to shut down, you will want to focus on helping your immune system adjust to that environment.

Whether you deal with sinuses or allergies, when your head is balanced on the spine, and your spine is in alignment, your body functions properly. This means your spine will send signals throughout your body properly, signals will get from your brain stem to your sinus properly, and your immune system will adjust better to environmental changes.

 

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5 ways to get rid of migraine headaches

If you get migraine headaches you know how debilitating they can be. So here’s 5 ways to address migraine headaches.

  1. Imitrex
  2. Maxalt
  3. Zomig
  4. Relpax
  5. Upper cervical

The first 4 are all prescription medications given to migraine sufferers. This is the most common form of migraine treatment today. Not only are these medications costly, but they also can cause numerous, negative side effects.

  • Abnormal Sensations (tingling, burning)
  • Dizziness (Vertigo)
  • Weakness
  • Neck, Jaw, and Throat Pain
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal Pain

But what about the 5th one? What is upper cervical?

In the Journal of the American Medical Association it was once stated “Headaches are not headaches at all but really a pain in the neck.” Seletz E. Whiplash Injuries. JAMA, 1958; 168(13): 1750-1755

So why is most headache help focused on numbing the head?

Upper cervical is focused on not just covering up the symptoms but eliminating the Migraines completely by correcting a common cause.

Upper cervical Specialists have helped thousands of patients reduce the frequency and intensity of their migraine symptoms. Because the upper cervical region of the neck (C1-C2) is more susceptible to injury than the rest of the spine, upper cervical Doctors have found a link between a misalignment of the upper neck area and migraine and other chronic headaches. And they are able to gently and safely address this underlying problem.

Because a major factor with Migraines is blood flow. Or more properly the improper flow of blood and cerebral spinal fluid from the brain. Research with migraine patients under upper cervical care has shown an improvement in blood flow and CSF flow on before and after MRI's. So not only are people feeling better with upper cervical care but the underlying cause is actually being reversed.

So what are you waiting for?

The science is showing the connection and if you want to hear from more real people like you who have found the help that they needed than check out our stories of hope.

Only a small group of doctors have been trained in this specialized procedure. Fortunately for you, two of these doctors are within your own community.

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Natural Vertigo Relief

When you are not moving, but it feels like everything else around you is moving, you might be experiencing a temporary sensation called vertigo. When you were a kid, if you ever spun around, in order to get dizzy, that was self-induced vertigo.

What causes Vertigo?

Well, it depends on whether it's peripheral and central. If it's central, the cause is in your brain or spine. If it's peripheral, the problem can be in your inner ear or the nerves that supply the inner ear. That doesn't tell you much. Well, if you can answer yes to one of these questions, then you will have a better understanding of your vertigo.

  • Have you ever had a head injury?
  • Have you ever had a stroke?
  • Do you have Multiple Sclerosis?
  • Do you have a tumor?
  • Do you suffer from Basiler Artery Migraines?
  • Do you take anti-seizure or blood pressure medication?
  • Do you take antidepressants or aspirin?
  • Do you have high blood pressure, heart disease, or Diabetes?
  • Are you a smoker?
  • Do you drink alcohol?

If you suffer from vertigo, and you can answer yes to any of the above, your condition is likely due to problems with your inner ear or the nerves that go into your inner ear. Though, two important things to note here are just because you experience these dizzy spells and can answer yes to any of the above, does not mean there is a correlation.

So, while quitting smoking, drinking, or certain medications may alleviate your dizzy episodes, quitting those things will not stop the cause. That's why it is essential to seek out the care of an upper cervical chiropractor, who can determine whether your vertigo is central or peripheral and how best to proceed going forward.

Head and neck injuries that affect the brain and also the nerves that supply the inner ear have been linked to misalignments of the upper neck. Misalignments of the upper neck can be very difficult to correct and less they are thoroughly evaluated by three-dimensional x-rays. Upper cervical chiropractors routinely perform these types of examinations when determining how best to help someone that is struggling with vertigo.

 

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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.

 

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Migraines - 7 Surprises

Do You Get Migraines?

Migraines can be a debilitating health problem. Here are 7 things that you probably have not heard about your migraines.

1. They’ve been linked to suicide risk

Several studies have now linked migraines with an increased risk for suicide attempts and even completed suicide. The risk may be even higher among people with migraine with aura or the flashes of light and other sensory symptoms that can accompany the headaches. It’s not clear why migraines and suicide are related, but depression and migraine share a similar biology, says Dawn Buse, PhD, a health psychologist with Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. Migraine sufferers need to know that “they’re not alone. They can get help,” says Buse.

2. Your medication could be making migraines worse

Although drugs are meant to help ease the pain of migraines, in some cases this strategy can backfire–badly. Too-frequent use of migraine medications can result in what’s known as “medication-overuse headaches” and a quickly spiraling vicious cycle. This type of headache can occur with many different medications, including narcotics, acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, like ibuprofen) and triptans, a class of drugs used specifically to treat migraines. The solution? Try not to use migraine medication, even over-the-counter varieties.

3. Lightning and migraine can strike together

A study of migraine sufferers in Ohio and Missouri found that the risk of migraine went up on days when there was lightning nearby compared to days when there wasn’t. And weather-related factors such as barometric pressure and humidity, both of which have been linked with migraines in the past, couldn’t explain all of the elevated risk. The study authors speculated that electromagnetic waves from the lightning could be triggering the headaches or that lightning might increase the production of ozone or fungus spores, either of which might spur a migraine.

4. Migraines are linked to other serious health problems

People with migraines have an elevated risk of stroke and of other cardiovascular problems when compared with the general population. The risk of stroke, in particular, is higher still when the migraine is accompanied by aura and in women aged 35 or over, especially those who use oral contraceptives or who smoke. Researchers aren’t sure why stroke and migraines are linked but, regardless, “a history of migraine with aura should be considered an important risk marker for stroke,” says Buse.

5. A drop in your stress level can bring on a migraine


If you think that finishing your finals or having that big work presentation out of the way will reduce your chance of a migraine, think again. Research by Buse’s team actually found a 20% higher risk of migraines after someone’s mood changed from sad or nervous to happy or relaxed. These “let-down” migraines may be caused by a sudden, dramatic drop in hormones. How to reduce the likelihood of being let down in this way? Try to avoid peaks of stress in the first place. If it’s finals week, do some yoga or take copious breaks.

6. Migraines have been closely linked with head and neck trauma
In the Journal of the American Medical Association it was once stated “Headaches are not headaches at all but really a pain in the neck.” Whiplash and other neck injuries have been linked to the onset of migraine headaches. This occurs because the upper cervical region of the neck (C1-C2) is more susceptible to injury than the rest of the spine. These undetected Brain stem injuries can lead to migraines and other chronic headaches. So why is most headache help focused on numbing the head?

7. There is an effective and natural solution to getting to the cause of migraines
A corrective procedure focused on rebalancing the upper neck and removing pressure from the brainstem has proved extremely effective at helping people suffering from migraine headaches. This procedure is called the upper cervical procedure and is focused on not just covering up the symptoms but eliminating the Migraines completely by correcting a common cause.

Upper cervical Specialists have helped thousands of patients reduce the frequency and intensity of their migraine symptoms. And they are able to do this gently and safely while addressing this underlying problem.

References: http://news.health.com/2013/06/27/surprising-about-migraines/ Seletz E. Whiplash Injuries. JAMA, 1958; 168(13): 1750-1755

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

 

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Migraine headaches, multiple sclerosis and upper cervical

So what does Multiple Sclerosis have to do with Migraine Headaches? New research is now providing a possible explanation of the correlation between MS & Migraine sufferers and how Upper Cervical Specialists are able to get such good results with the correction of Atlas misalignments in both conditions.

A paper, titled “The Possible Role of Cranio-Cervical Trauma and Abnormal CSF Hydrodynamics in the Genesis of Multiple Sclerosis," was recently published and appears in the journal Physiological Chemistry and Physics and Medical NMR (Sept. 20, 2011, 41: 1-17).

Commenting on the study, the lead researcher, Raymond V. Damadian stated, “These new observations have uncovered biomechanical barriers that appear to give rise to multiple sclerosis, and, even more excitingly, these barriers may be therapeutically addressable."

Translation: problems in the neck affect the flow of fluid to and from the brain and this change in fluid is likely leading to multiple sclerosis. The findings are based on viewing the real-time flow of cerebrospinal fluid in a series of randomly chosen patients with multiple sclerosis. The cerebrospinal fluid, known as CSF, lubricates the brain and spinal cord.

In addition, the Upper Cervical Research Foundation (ucrf.org) has been doing some very interesting research with Phase Contrast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (PC MR) lately.

In their paper Changes in Cerebral Blood Flow Patterns and Velocities of Migraine Subjects Following an Atlas Correction they stated "Results of a case study describing a subject diagnosed with migraine headache (without aura) reveal compelling results. The subject was evaluated using the protocol of the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (upper cervical) to determine the presence of an Atlas misalignment. After Atlas correction, a follow-up PC MR Study demonstrated changes in cerebral venous outflow. A change in vessel outflow pattern from a jugular to the paravertebral plexus route was discerned. Venous flow rate and vessel pulsatility decreased as well as cerebrospinal flow rate across the Atlas (C-1) vertebra. Most significantly, the imaging procedure measured a distinct decrease in intracranial compliance. The subject obtained relief from migraine headache pain consistent to maintenance of his Atlas correction by the end of thirty days. The PC MR exam continued to show improvement of the hemodynamic parameters measured over the 16-week study period consistent to maintenance of Atlas alignment."

What does that all mean in English...if you correct problems with the alignment of the bones at the top of the neck with a precise form of chiropractic care called upper cervical then it changes the blood and CSF flow to and from the brain to the body. And since Migraine headaches are frequently vascular in origin...changing the blood flow from the brain is important and can take away the migraines completely...as in this case study and many others.

 

So what does this all have to do with Multiple Sclerosis?

According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society website Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI) , is a reported abnormality in blood drainage from the brain and spinal cord, this may contribute to nervous system damage in MS. CCSVI has been getting a lot of press recently because Dr. Paolo Zamboni from the University of Ferrara in Italy published his initial findings in June 2009 from a study of approximately 65 patients. Based on the results of preliminary research which has been published in respected peer journals, Dr. Zamboni and others have recommended larger scale studies to determine if CCSVI may be treated through an endovascular surgical procedure, which involves inserting a tiny balloon or stent into blocked veins in order to improve the flow of blood out of the brain and spinal cord. This procedure produced complete remissions in MS in 90% of the participants of the study!

My question is why are the veins blocked to begin with? What has occurred that has led to the changes in the veins? Instead of forcing the veins open with a stent...why not correct the underlying cause of the malformation?

Then you look at Dr. Erin Elster's research with trauma and multiple sclerosis where she found that 90% of patients diagnosed with MS have had a trauma to the head or neck prior to the onset of the symptoms. And when x-rayed these patients have a clearly misaligned spine that is putting pressure on the nervous system and the blood vessels. When these misalignments of the upper cervical spine are corrected over 90% of the patients in her study had results. Some patients were able to get out of their wheelchairs!

What happened to them? The same thing that Dr. Zamboni was doing...changing the blood flow from the brain to the body. Only in Dr. Elster's results she wasn't artificially forcing the vessels open she was correcting the underlying cause of the vessels malformation!

Now not all MS patients responded to either of the treatment options...and perhaps there are other factors involved...but wouldn't it make sense if you have MS or Migraine headaches to have an upper neck evaluation by an upper cervical specialist? Especially if you have a history of head or neck trauma?

The longer you wait the more damage is done...put your scepticism aside and see if you can be helped!

References:
http://www.ucrf.org/projects-funding/project-descriptions
http://www.nationalmssociety.org/research/intriguing-leads-on-the-horizon/ccsvi/index.aspx
http://www.erinelster.com/ConditionsDetail.aspx?ConditionID=17

 

 

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/

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Upper Cervical and Vertigo

Upper Cervical is an upper cervical chiropractic approach that provides a natural, non-invasive answer for a number of health issues, including migraines, back and neck pain, ear aches in children and more. One little known fact is that Upper Cervical also helps those suffering with vertigo.

What is Vertigo?

Vertigo presents with dizziness, the feeling that everything around the afflicted is spinning. While vertigo is typically a symptom of inner ear infections, it has also been linked to vision problems. It’s difficult to establish the exact causes of vertigo, however studies are showing that upper cervical problems can be an underlying cause for some forms of vertigo, including cervicogenic vertigo, Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) Meniere’s disease and Disembarkment Syndrome. Symptoms of vertigo are generally intermittent, however, can be extremely incapacitating and can last anywhere from 15 minutes to a number of hours. During an episode, besides a feeling of dizziness and the spinning sensation, the patient can feel extremely sleepy. All of the vertigo symptoms can make it difficult for the individual to walk because of the spinning and dizziness, and also makes it hard to go to work or carry out regular day to day activities.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic - Upper Cervical Care

The upper cervical region of the spine pertains to the two vertebrae found at the top of the spine, underneath the head and it's responsible for the flexibility and rotation of the neck and head. Similar to the rest of the spine, this area is vulnerable to injury. In many cases, patients are able to recall a specific injury like a car accident or other head injury that took place before they experienced symptoms. In other cases, sufferers aren't able to pinpoint the injury that led to their vertigo problems. As a matter of fact, it can take months for the signs of vertigo to show up after an injury.

 

Because there's a large number of important nerves transmitted through the upper cervical spine area, traveling to and from the brain, an injury to this area, even simple stresses, can cause a number of problems in other parts of the body; this is where the connection between Upper Cervical and vertigo presents itself. If the vertebrae are forced out of alignment, even marginally, vertigo can develop. Upper Cervical care entails correcting the injured cervical vertebrae's positioning, thereby realigning the vertebrae, which can eliminate, or at the very least, reduce the symptoms of several types of vertigo.

If you're tired of feeling dizzy, off balance and like you're living in a fog, Upper Cervical may just be the answer to your problems. A lot of primary care physicians believe that vertigo is primarily caused by neck or ear issues, however they typically don't know how to treat it except to prescribe prescription medications. Upper Cervical provides a safe, gentle, natural vertigo approach that's proven to help vertigo problems that are related to upper cervical misalignment and are well worth considering.

 

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/

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Understanding Vertigo and it Causes

Vertigo is one of those conditions you can't ignore. It may only last for a few moments or it might be recurring condition. So, what is it? It is the sensation that a room is spinning even when there is no movement. This happens due to a dysfunction in the Vestibular system, which is part of the inner ear, and allows us to maintain our balance and recognize spatial orientation. Now that you know what it is, it is important to know what causes it.

Vertigo Inducing Conditions

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo – This is the most common cause of Vertigo and is a sudden spinning sensation. It can be triggered by sudden movements of the head and neck. It can be the result of a fall, car accident, other collision, or just standing up too quickly.

Meniere's Disease – This is a disorder of the inner ear that leads to hearing loss, Tinnitus, sometimes causes pressure in one of your ears, and can occur at any age but most often occurs in people in their 40's or 50's.

Vestibular Neuronitis – This is an inflammation of the inner ear, or the Vestibular Nerve, that causes this nerve to send incorrect signals to the brain that the body is moving. It may also lead to hearing loss or a ringing in your ear, and can be triggered by something as common as a cold or a flu.

Labrynthitis – This is an irritation and swelling of the inner ear and can lead to hearing loss. It is usually caused by a virus or bacteria that can be triggered by a cold, flu allergies, respiratory infection, and various other conditions.

When people think of Vertigo, they may think of a chronic condition that only effects a small percentage of people. The truth is it can affect anyone at any age. Sometimes it only comes because of standing up to quickly or because of a collision and only lasts for a few minutes or hours. But for some people it can become a chronic condition caused by one of the above conditions due to an upper cervical injury. For those who suffer from recurring and often more intense episodes, it is important for them not to accept it as part of their lives but to seek proper Upper Cervical care.

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.

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The Importance of Neck Exams Following a Concussion

Post Concussion Syndrome - Much More Than Just a Lingering Headache 

When most people think about a concussion they think of the damage that is done to the brain. MRIs, Cat Scans, x-rays and neurological exams are generally focused on the skull and brain. But persistent symptoms related to a concussion may have more to do with the neck, then the head.  

Concussion is classified as a mild traumatic brain injury. According to mayoclinic.com, usual symptoms that accompany a concussion are headache, amnesia and confusion. But many other symptoms may follow, sometimes not for days or weeks following the initial injury. These may include ongoing headaches, dizziness, brain fog, light or noise sensitivity and feelings of depression or frustration. If symptoms develop or persist over a period of a weeks, months or years, you likely have what is termed “post concussion syndrome.”

A study conducted by the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (as presented in the JAMA Pediatrics, Feb 2013) indicated that post concussion syndrome (PCS) developed in 29.3% of children between the ages of 5-18 who presented to the emergency department with concussion. Other studies also indicate that about one third of those who experienced a concussion injury will develop PCS.

Dr. Robert Cantu, a Neurosurgeon and world renowned expert in concussion and post concussion symptoms suggests a list of 26 symptoms that can be related to PCS. In his book, Concussion and our Kids, Dr. Cantu highlights 4 categories of symptoms: Somatic (affecting the physical), Emotional (affecting mood), Sleep disturbance and Cognitive (affecting thinking and processing information).

It is clear that a concussion and post concussion symptoms can leave you with much more than just a headache. But why are the symptoms lingering?

Concussion? You Need to Have Your Neck Examined

Following any head or neck trauma that is significant enough to cause a concussion, there will be a tearing loose of the connective tissue that holds the spine in place as well. This will lead to a weakness that will allow the spine to breakdown and lock into a stressed position. This misalignment pattern frequently develops as the heavy head is slightly misaligned from the upper neck bones. As little as three quarters of a degree is enough to alter the position of the head and force the brain to adapt the spinal posture in order to keep the eyes and ears level with the horizon.  This is known as the righting reflex within the brain. Once this upper neck misalignment has occurred and posture has changed, blood and cerebrospinal fluid flow from the brain to the body and from the body to the brain begins to be altered as well. This misalignment in the upper neck and subsequent brainstem dysfunction has been shown to be an underlying cause of post concussion syndrome. Once this upper neck misalignment is corrected, precisely, gently and specifically symptoms of post concussion syndrome have resolved almost miraculously at times. These upper neck misalignments can only be corrected by someone trained in specialized upper cervical chiropractic procedures.  

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.

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Common Causes of Back Pain

Pain: A Built-in Warning System

Most people deal with back pain at least once in their life. When you experience it, it's important to not ignore this pain, or any other pain. Our bodies feel pain to warn us that something is not right. 

In the case of back pain, not only is your body telling you of an immediate problem, but it might also be telling you of an underlying problem. Here are some of the more common conditions this pain might be tell you about:

Causes of Back Pain

 

  • Lumbar Disc Herniation – A disc is the spongy substance between your vertebrae that keeps them from grinding against each other. A herniated disc occurs when one of your discs degenerates and two of your vertebra grind against each other.

 

  • Degenerative Disc Disease – This is most often caused by the wear and tear of your discs. A major trauma, such a car accident may certainly be a cause, but this condition most likely progresses over time due to a low energy injury impact.

 

  • Isthmic Spondylolisthesis – This occurs when one vertebrae slips forward because of a small fracture, which is caused by stress, to the bone that connects that vertebrae to the one below it. 

 

  • Facet Joint Osteoarthritis – Your facet joints, which consist of two bone-like surfaces with cartilage between them, are located in the back portion of your spine. Joints move without pain due to the cartilage and fluid, but the cartilage breaks down because of facet join arthritis and pain occurs 

 

These are only some of the conditions your back pain might be telling you that you should not ignore. Your body has a built in self-defense mechanism that fights off invaders. It would be nice if one of the ways it fought off these invaders wasn't to cause pain, but pain tells us there's something wrong with our bodies that we should not ignore. 

Regardless of the underlying condition of the lower back, pain is frequently related to imbalances in muscles due to postural misalignments. Injuries to the head, neck or spine can lead to misalignments. The misaligned spine typically begins as a result of a misalignment between the head and the neck leading to compensating misalignments throughout the rest of the spinal column. This is frequently a hidden cause of lower back pain.

  

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.

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When Can a Headache Causes a Headache?

Mixed Tension Migraines 

Have you ever had two headaches at once? Did you know it's even possible to experience two headaches at the same time? Well, it is. Sometimes, a person can experience a Mixed Tension Migraine also known as a transformed migraine, chronic migraine, or chronic daily headache. That's when a person has a Tension Headache and a Migraine Headache at the same time.

Now, you probably know what a migraine is, but you might not know what a Tension headache is or why you all of the sudden have two headaches at once. A Tension headache is a common type of headache that causes pain either behind the eyes, or in the head or neck. They are caused by muscle contractions in the head or neck that are caused by certain foods, activities, or stressors.

Here's a list of factors that may trigger them:

Tension Headache Factors

  • Alcohol*
  • Eye Strain
  • Fatigue
  • Smoking*
  • Cold or flu
  • Sinus infection*
  • Caffeine*
  • Poor Posture
  • Emotional stress*

Those factors with asterisks are also factors that can trigger migraine headaches.

Your Plan to a Healthier Head

While these two types of headaches may occur at the same time, they may not have started out that way. Usually, when a person develops Mixed Tension Migraines, they have had a history of migraine headaches. Though, sometimes, a person can experience them so frequently that it may become difficult to differentiate between the two.

Now that you know it's possible to have two headaches at once, you can take steps to reduce the frequency of or eliminate this pain. First, you will want to get to the root cause of these Mixed Tension Migraines by seeking the care of an upper cervical chiropractor. They can determine the commonality between the two types of headaches that may be causing them.

A common cause of migraines and tension headaches is a head or neck injury, which can lead to misalignments in the upper neck and changes in blood flow. These misalignments can also affect the balance of your muscles around your head, neck and spine. It is important to have a proper upper cervical evaluation including three-dimensional x-rays to determine if this may be the cause of your mixed tension migraines.

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.

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What Is the Difference Between a Headache and Migraine?


Do you suffer from frequent headaches? 

How can you tell if your problem is actually a migraine? Read on to learn the difference between the two.

The closest thing to compare a migraine headache to are the symptoms of a severe tension headache, but there are definitely things that set a migraine apart. Pain level is one thing. Migraines reach a much higher pain level. In fact, the pain can be so severe that it leads to nausea. Also, since migraines are actually a neurological disorder, they are often associated with sound and light sensitivities as well as aura as a precursor to the migraine (a less common symptom, but one not associated with regular headaches).

Your doctor can help you to determine if the headaches you suffer from are migraines. If they are, there are a number of options for you to consider. Some doctors provide medication to combat the chemical imbalance that leads to migraines. These may include antidepressants, beta-blockers, or even certain seizure medications (the aura experienced by some migraine sufferers is similar to that experienced by persons who have seizures). Since the medical community isn't certain how migraines arise, these medication are primarily used to treat symptoms.

Natural relief

But what if you want natural relief? Upper cervical chiropractic may be of assistance. This is because the C1 and C2 vertebrae are positioned right at the base of the brain stem. An adjustment may thus result in greatly reduced symptoms.

Research with upright MRIs has shown that when a misalignment occurs in the upper neck. Blood and cerebrospinal fluid flow is changed, which can result in migraine headaches. Correcting this upper neck misalignments has been shown to change the flow of fluid to, from and through the brain, resulting in improved brain health and reduced or eliminated migraine symptoms.

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.

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The Benefits of Stretching the Sciatic Nerve

Healing vs. Medicating Your Pain 

 

There's good news! You don't need to live with the pain of Sciatica. You can take medication, but that will only cover the symptoms and won't focus on the core issue. That may help you feel better in the short term, but your pain will come back and more permanent problems may follow. 

It's important an upper cervical specialist evaluate your condition, so they can work with you to help you live a healthier life. That means it's also important for you to partner with your NUCCA chiropractor to help you regain full mobility.

We listed some exercises you can do at home, which may help. Though, please note, that it is important that you consult with your NUCCA specialist before you do any of these exercises: 

Sciatica Stretches

  • Lay flat on your back, pull the knee of your injured leg toward your chest with the corresponding hand, and gently pull your ankle toward the opposite thigh with your opposite hand. Hold it for 30 seconds, and then slowly bring it back to a resting position.
  • Lay flat on your back, cross the injured leg over your other leg, so the sole of the foot of the injured leg is flat on the ground. Pull the knee of the injured leg, which should be bent over the other leg, straight toward you with your hands.
  • Lay flat on the floor, pull both knees toward your chest, so the injured leg is crossed over your other leg. Place both of your hands behind the knee of the uninjured leg, and pull both legs toward you until the stretch is felt. 

All three of these stretches should be held for 30 seconds and then you should return your legs to a resting position, Make sure to do three sets, once a day. This will warm up your muscles and minimize the pain caused by your Sciatica. Stretching also increases your range of motion, lubricates your joints, and delivers nutrients and oxygen to your muscles.

There are other exercises you can do to reduce Sciatica pain. Though, it is important to consult an upper cervical specialist, so they can place you on a plan for your Sciatica.

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.

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Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care for Babies with Acid Reflux

Childbirth is frequently a difficult process that can result in damage to the newborn. One example is: a child born with an injured upper cervical, the uppermost vertebra between the back of the head and the remainder of the spinal column. This injury is often the result of vacuum extraction during childbirth, or it could be due to the baby's umbilical cord wrapping around its neck. A byproduct of this type of injury is acid reflux, a painful condition caused by liquid from the stomach draining back into and irritating the esophagus.

Most associate acid reflux as a condition reserved for adults who eat heavily, however, more and more infants are receiving this diagnosis in their young lives. Symptoms of a baby with acid reflux include arching of the back, spitting up, crying after feeding, gas and refusing to feed from the breast or a bottle. Oftentimes, mothers seek the assistance of a pediatric GI doctor, who, as it appears, simply prescribes the infant a dose of ranitidine or lansoprazole, to attempt to address the symptoms, but not correct the core of the condition.

The Upper Neck Connection

In recent studies, though, researchers have noticed a trend that links birth injuries of the upper cervical together with acid reflux. A number of mothers of babies with acid reflux experienced a troubling child delivery, meaning that labor may have been prolonged or the fetus was in an abnormal position, both complications that often result in cesarean sections. With these observations, researchers have investigated the matter further. In Hillary Marek's (2010) book, Understand Colic, the author cites a study reported by Dr. Erin Elster, D.C., regarding sixteen infants who had upper cervical chiropractic treatment to eliminate acid reflux disease. It was concluded that: "A casual link between birth trauma-induced upper cervical injury and the onset of acid reflux...appears to exist.

Correcting the injury to the upper cervical spine through the use of IUCCA (International Upper Cervical Chiropractic Assoc.) protocol appears to reverse...acid reflux" (n.p.). Though the study had been administered with only sixteen infants, all of them were relieved of acid reflux. The study noted that further research is needed, but with a 100% recovery outcome, it is hard to deny the work of the upper cervical chiropractic. If you are a mother who had a difficult or prolonged labor, and your infant is suffering the symptoms of acid reflux, realize that a pediatric GI specialist will only turn to drugs. It might be wise to first consult with an upper cervical chiropractor.

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.

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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.

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Can scoliosis all start with a fall down the stairs?

When a 2-year-old little girl falls down the stairs what is the typical response? The parents would pick her up and check on her see if there are any notable injuries. If they were concerned about her in any way the parents would take that little girl to the emergency room and get her checked out medically. They may perform X-Rays, a Cat Scan, and other testing. If all those tests come back negative then they would release her back to her parents and tell them that she is going to be okay.

But what if she wasn't okay? What if when she fell and hit her head the ligaments and muscles that connect the head and neck were damaged.

Creating a slight misalignment at the atlas (the top bone in the spine). Once that bone is misaligned and locked out of it's normal position it creates a weakness. This weakness allows the spine to break down and lock into a stressed position. In this stressed position frequently one of the legs will appear shorter than the other when laying flat on your back. And one hip will be lower than the other when in the standing position.

Now in this new stressed position the body begins to grow. With the head slightly tilted to one side and the hips uneven that little girl hits her growth spurt at the age of 8 and a curvature begins to develop. By the time that little girl is 13 she has a 12 degree Scoliosis like the one you see in the picture.

Now lets look at a different scenario. This time the Mom of that 2-year-old little girl is a patient of a NUCCA chiropractor. So after the fall the little girl isn't sleeping well and just isn't acting like herself, she is brought into a NUCCA office to have her alignment evaluated. During the exam the little girl is found to have a one inch leg length difference!

After the exam the little girl is adjusted in her upper cervical spine. Her legs immediately level...the Mom is amazed! That night she sleeps great again and is just like herself again the next day.

So what were we able to save her from? Scoliosis? Ear infections? ADHD? Headaches? Digestive problems? There is no way to know for sure. But without a doubt she will now grow up a healthier girl because her spine has been restored to it's normal alignment.

The most common times for a child to develop a misalignment are after birth, when they begin to lift their head, when they begin to crawl and when they begin to walk. After those milestones a child should only be evaluated if they have had a head or neck trauma such as a fall or car crash. About 50% of the kids that are evaluated are misaligned. There will be no other time better than in childhood to correct those problems and allow that child to grow up as healthy as possible. It is much easier to grow healthy kids than it is to repair damaged adults!

Bad posture, scoliosis, nursing homes and NUCCA

New research is indicating that the shape of your spine could be a clue that you'll need help with daily activities when your older and that you may end up in a nursing home. Scoliosis or curvature of the spine is the leading indicator older people will need help with daily activities.

Turns out spinal shape and angle is a risk factor for nursing home admission in later life, according to a new study published in the Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences.

In the study, researchers at Toho University in Japan measured the spinal posture of more than 800 participants (58 percent female) 65 years of age and older using a computer-assisted noninvasive device for calculating the architecture of the spine.

Spinal posture changes with age, but accumulated evidence shows that good spinal posture is important in allowing the aged to maintain independent lives," study authors stated in a press release.

They pinpointed a spinal angle called the trunk angle of inclination, which is between true vertical and a straight line from the first thoracic vertebra in the neck to the first sacral vertebra in the lower spine, as the one most likely to predict the need for help with daily activities like bathing, eating, and dressing in old age.

When seniors with the trunk angle of inclination in their spines begin to depend on others, home assistance or nursing home admission may follow, the researchers said. A followup with study participants four and a half years after they were first measured found that:

  • More than 15 percent were dependent on help with daily living activities.
  • More than 7 percent had died.
  • Participants with the most severe angle of spinal inclination were more than three times more likely to become dependent on others.

So what is the best way to maintain a normal and balanced posture? NUCCA Has been shown to balance the heavy head over the center of the spine and the center of the pelvis leading to equal weight distribution into the feet and normal and balanced posture.

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.

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Medical Experts say Drug Over-Treatment is Common


 

On June 27th Austin Frackt, assistant professor at Boston University's School of Public Health reporting for the Kansas Health Institute said “that there is a lot of over-treatment in U.S. medicine: the use of medications and procedures that deliver little or no benefit, increase the cost of care, and expose patients to unnecessary harm from side effects.”    

He goes on to say “A case in point is the use of proton pump inhibitor medications (PPIs, familiar brand names include Prilosec and Prevacid) for the treatment of supposed gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in infants. GERD is a severe problem in which the esophagus is eroded by regurgitated stomach acid. PPIs have been shown to be an effective treatment for this condition.”    

However, the GERD diagnosis has increasingly been applied to infants who do not have the specific physiological symptoms of GERD, but who spit up and cry frequently and are hard to soothe. These latter infants are now frequently treated with PPIs. As Eric Hassall explains in the Journal of Pediatrics, “in the 6 years from 1999 to 2004, there was a 7-fold increase in PPI prescription. One of the PPIs… saw a 16-fold increase in use during that 6-year period…”    

Writing with a sarcasm unusual in a scientific journal, Hassall notes that   

“…this data would imply that somehow the diagnosis of GERD has been missed over the past several decades or has recently become a major scourge of infants in the developed world, with acid suppressing drugs becoming a new essential food group in their own right. This change in practice has come about for several reasons, none based in medical science.”  

Hassall believes that the growth in the use of PPIs occurred because extensive direct-to-consumer advertising for PPIs and similar medications for adults popularized the term “acid reflux.” So it made sense to parents that these drugs would provide a solution for a seemingly intractable problem. And for doctors, calling the problem GERD and prescribing a PPI to the infant was a way to at least soothe the parents.  

The problem with that is that randomized controlled trialsprovide no evidence that PPIs are better than placebos for difficult infants without objective evidence of GERD. PPIs cost money, and provide no benefit when prescribed beyond a severely ill population.   So what should a parent do if their child has the symptoms of acid reflux?

The Natural NUCCA Approach

During the birth process a misalignment can occur in the upper neck that will change the communication between the brain and the body leading to a variety of different problems, including acid reflux. Several medical doctors from Europe have done extensive research into upper neck problems in newborns and how that relates to the health of children. For instance, Dr. Godfrey Gutmann, a German medical researcher was looking into the connection all the way back to the 1960's... in 1987 Dr. Gutmann published his research linking the upper neck to problems ranging from acid reflux to scoliosis, ear infections, torticollis, colic and many other common childhood conditions. Gutmann found over 80% of the over 1000 infants in his study had problems in the upper neck that needed to be addressed! Birth trauma was the most common cause. Forceps delivery, vacuum extraction and even just normal birthing methods with a woman flat on her back rather than in the standing position where gravity can work, can be an extremely traumatic experience for the head and neck of a newborn. Upper neck misalignments can be corrected in babies safely, gently and effectively with an upper cervical chiropractic approach such as NUCCA. If you have a child that’s been diagnosed with acid reflux, before considering giving medication to your baby have their upper neck evaluated for a traumatic birth injury. You can look for the cause of the problem rather than just covering up the symptoms.

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.

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Newborn and Baby Acid Reflux

One of the most difficult things a new mother can go through is to see her new baby in pain.  Acid reflux in babies is a common problem that causes pain and other symptoms.  The most common symptoms include excessive vomiting, cough, gagging, choking or refusing to eat, crying when eating and heartburn, gas or abdominal pain.  Babies may also have colic, restricted growth, breathing difficulties, and they may have pneumonia that keeps coming back.  It is a challenge for mothers and babies that is very difficult to overcome.  

Causes for Acid Reflux in Babies

There are many suspected causes for acid reflux in newborns and babies, and most common treatments include acid reduction medicine.  However, there is increasing evidence that birth injuries and trauma may be a possible cause.  The reasons for birth injuries or trauma can include long births or extremely fast births, C-sections and posterior positioning during pregnancy and birth.  Birth is a difficult process for the mother, so we often forget about the immense amount of force being put on the baby as it moves down the birth canal, leading with its head.  This can put a large amount of pressure on the spine and result in misalignment which can cause acid reflux in babies.   

Upper Cervical Chiropractic for Babies

Upper cervical chiropractic is a specialized branch of chiropractic care that focuses specifically on certain joints in the neck and upper spine.  More and more parents are finding that their babies respond positively to upper cervical chiropractic care to for their newborns acid reflux.  The correction of the misalignment can cause instant results at times.  Many parents report that after treatment, their constipated babies have bowel movements and experience relief of abdominal pain.  

Is It Safe?  

Every medical treatment carries its own list of risks and benefits.  If your baby is already on medication for acid reflux, you already know this first hand as some of your babies’ symptoms have improved while drug side effects have appeared.  Many studies and organizations support the use of chiropractic for babies and children.  As with anything, you should use your own judgment and be sure to do your research before committing to any particular treatment.  If your baby has been diagnosed with acid reflux and you are looking for an alternative to medication, speak with an upper cervical chiropractor about your baby. 

 

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.

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How could Acid Reflux, Scoliosis and Headaches be related?

Through the Brain Stem...

The Brain stem is an extension of the brain itself that extends down into the upper neck area (upper cervical spine).  The brain stem is susceptible to injury if the Atlas or Axis the top two bones in the spine are twisted or tilted as a result of traumatic accidents or injuries.  Most of these injuries are to the head or neck.  Examples would be car accidents, falls, diving accidents, surfing injuries, snowboarding falls, childhood falls from trees, off bikes, changing tables and more.

The common denominator is an injury that has torn loose the tissue that holds the spine in place in the upper neck which creates a weakness, which will allow the weight of the head (10-14 lbs) to become displaced from it's normal position.  This misalignment of the head and neck relationship can be as little as 3/4 of degree and the brain will have to adapt to this new position.  Our eyes and ears are created to be balanced.  When the head is not balanced properly compensations will develop in order to rebalance the structure of the body and the eyes and ears through the righting reflex in the brain.  Without this compensation we would just fall over when we stood up in a gravity environment.

The longer this compensation exists the more our body must adapt to this structural misalignment. This can lead to conditions like scoliosis or abnormal curvature of the spine.

Eventually we will develop symptoms as a result of nerve dysfunction.

Which symptoms?

That depends on the person and the nerves that are effected.

For instance the brain stem through the Vagus nerves controls the digestive system.  Dysfunction here can lead to conditions like Acid Reflux, constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and colic in kids.

And what about headaches?

Headaches can be caused by both the blood flow and nerve flow changes from the brain to the body and head and face when the brain stem function is altered.

So what can happen when the brain stem pressure is removed through the correction of an upper neck misalignment by a qualified upper cervical specialist?

Amazing things!

Amanda is a patient of ours who at only 21 years of age had had several head and neck traumas beginning in early childhood.  These conditions in Amanda's body where leading to a daily dependence on Tums and Advil to just get through the day.

Thank God that is all over now.

Here is Amanda's story.

“When I first came into this office I was hoping to get rid of my acid reflux, because every night when I laid down I would get it regardless of what I ate.  I also headaches, terrible allergies and generalized pain and aches throughout my body.

Now only 6 weeks into my care I sleep better at night, my sinus passages are clear, my breathing has improved.  No acid reflux!  I haven’t had an episode in weeks.  I no longer need to take the Tums or the Advil that was just normal to me before.

I am happier in general because all of my pain and discomfort is gone!  My work and service to the Lord has improved, I am more willing to take the extra step and go the extra mile.

You may think that there is no cure for the problem that you are dealing with, your normal doctor may think that you are being ridiculous, but NUCCA care is the cure…at 21 years old I have never felt so good!”

Are you ready to feel good again or maybe for the first time? 

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.

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NUCCA Chiropractic Care

What is NUCCA
The National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA) is an organization of Doctors of Chiropractic dedicated to patient care, education and research.

Spinal health care using the NUCCA procedures focuses on detecting and correcting a small misalignment in the upper neck area. Gentle, non-invasive adjustments don’t require any turning, twisting or popping.

Your upper cervical spine (neck) area influences all areas of your body. Injury or chronic misalignments can cause headaches, migraines, neck pain, low back pain, weakness and more.

The NUCCA technique is currently offered by less than 1% of all the Doctors of Chiropractic.

Before the NUCCA procedure can be performed, I will sit down with you and discuss your history and symptoms. If I determine that NUCCA can help, a thorough examination and x-rays will be done. A complete report of your findings and treatment options will be discussed. 

First adjustment
Precision x-rays are taken of the spine before any treatment begins. The adjustment is performed with the patient lying on their side and the doctor applying a very light pressure behind the earlobe. A full demonstration can be seen on the video above.

The NUCCA procedure can be summed up with 5 major distinctions as compared to traditional Chiropractic:

  • Gentle adjustment to the neck with no turning, twisting or popping.
  • Precision x-rays to measure before and after corrections.
  • Total body posture and balance improvement
  • Greater stability to the spine
  • Hold adjustments longer with fewer visits

For More Information visit:
www.NUCCA.com