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.

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.

Contact us today!
San Diego Integrative Spine Center
9320 Carmel Mt. Rd, Suite B - San Diego, CA 92129 Driving Directions
P: 858.484.0444 / F: 858.484.0552
We are located in the Carmel Valley area near Carmel Mountain Ranch.

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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

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