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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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.


  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

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


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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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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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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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