Back Pain
Categories Back Pain

How Upper Cervical Spine Care Transforms Back Problems

Lasting Relief from Back Problems:

In the realm of musculoskeletal health, back problems are pervasive and often debilitating, affecting millions of individuals worldwide. Traditional approaches to back pain management primarily focus on addressing symptoms rather than identifying and rectifying the root cause. However, a revolutionary perspective has emerged in the form of Upper Cervical Spine Care, offering a unique and effective solution for those seeking lasting relief from back issues.

Understanding the Upper Cervical Spine:

The upper cervical spine comprises the first two vertebrae of the neck, known as the atlas (C1) and axis (C2). This region is crucial as it houses the delicate brainstem, the gateway between the brain and the rest of the body. Misalignments or subluxations in the upper cervical spine can disrupt communication between the brain and the body, leading to a cascade of health issues, including back problems.

The Interconnected Nature of the Spine:

The spine functions as a unified system, and any disruption in one part can affect the entire structure. Upper cervical misalignments, though seemingly unrelated to lower back issues, can have a profound impact on overall spinal health. The nervous system controls and coordinates every bodily function, and misalignments in the upper cervical spine can result in altered signals that contribute to back pain. Now, let us look at the righting reflex, which helps keep the body balanced and how an imbalanced body could lead to back pain.

The Righting Reflex, The Brain Wants to be Level:

The righting reflex is an automatic response that helps individuals maintain an upright and balanced posture. It involves a complex interplay of sensory information, motor control, and coordination to ensure that the head, torso, and limbs are aligned in a way that supports stability in the brain and the body However, if there are issues with the righting reflex or if it is not adequately supported, it can lead to poor posture habits, which may contribute to back pain in the following ways:

  1. Poor Alignment: The righting reflex is essential for maintaining proper alignment of the spine. If this reflex is compromised, individuals may adopt poor postures that place increased stress on the spine. Over time, this can contribute to misalignments and potential discomfort or pain in the back.
  2. Muscle Imbalances: The righting reflex involves the activation of various muscle groups to achieve and maintain an upright position. If there are imbalances in these muscles, it can result in uneven forces acting on the spine. Certain muscles may become overactive and tight, while others may become weak. This imbalance can contribute to strain and discomfort in the back.
  3. Compensatory Movements: In the absence of a well-functioning righting reflex, individuals may develop compensatory movements to maintain balance. These compensations can lead to overwhelming weight on specific areas of the spine, potentially causing pain and discomfort over time.
  4. Reduced Core Stability: The righting reflex relies on the engagement of core muscles to support the spine and maintain an upright posture. If there is a lack of core stability, the spine may be more susceptible to stress and strain, increasing the risk of back pain.
  5. Adaptive Changes: Chronic disruptions in the righting reflex can lead to adaptive changes in movement patterns and posture. These adaptations may contribute to abnormal habits, putting additional stress on the spine and contributing to the development or exacerbation of back pain.

To address back pain related to the righting reflex, interventions may include exercises and activities that enhance your service of movement, balance, and core stability. Upper Cervical Spine Care can be valuable maintaining a healthier musculoskeletal system and reducing the risk of back pain associated with issues in the righting reflex.

How Upper Cervical Spine Care Works:

Upper Cervical Spine Care involves precise and gentle adjustments to correct misalignments in the atlas and axis vertebrae. Unlike traditional chiropractic adjustments, these corrections are highly specific and tailored to everyone’s unique anatomy. By realigning the upper cervical spine, communication between the brain and the body is restored, allowing the nervous system to function optimally.

Benefits of Upper Cervical Spine Care for Back Problems:

  1. Addressing the Root Cause: Rather than merely alleviating symptoms, Upper Cervical Spine Care seeks to identify and correct the underlying cause of back problems. This approach promotes long-term relief and addresses the issue at its source.
  2. Holistic Healing: Upper Cervical Spine Care recognizes the interconnectedness of the body and focuses on overall spinal health. By restoring proper alignment in the upper cervical spine, the entire spinal column benefits, promoting a holistic approach to healing.
  3. Reduced Pain and Discomfort: Patients often report a significant reduction in back pain and discomfort after receiving Upper Cervical Spine Care. The restored communication between the brain and the body contributes to improved function and reduced pain.
  4. Improved Posture and Mobility: Correcting misalignments in the upper cervical spine can positively impact posture and mobility. As the spine regains its proper alignment, individuals often experience improved range of motion and better posture, further reducing the risk of future back problems.
  5. Personalized Treatment Plans: Each patient’s anatomy and health history are unique, and Upper Cervical Spine Care recognizes this diversity. Practitioners tailor treatment plans to address individual needs, ensuring a personalized and effective approach to care.

Upper Cervical Care has been proven to transform back problems, from nagging pain to severe issues. Here are a just a few case studies and success stories for you to read over.

Case Studies and Success Stories:

To underscore the efficacy of Upper Cervical Spine Care, numerous case studies and success stories highlight the transformative impact of this approach on individuals suffering from chronic back problems. These real-world examples serve as compelling evidence of the potential for long-lasting relief and improved quality of life.

Jay’s Story

“After one adjustment 40 years of back pain was gone! After injuring my lower back wrestling for Ohio State, I went to several doctors, physical therapists, acupunctures, and general chiropractic. This route provided only temporary relief, but the pain would always come back. After my first Upper Cervical adjustment with Dr. Drury, my back pain was gone and 4 years later I am still pain free. I go for monthly Upper Cervical checkups to make sure my alignment is holding. Upper Cervical worked when nothing else did.”

Teri’s Story

“Before I became an Upper Cervical patient in 2006, it was not unusual for me to miss work a week at a time, because of my back pain. I had been to all kinds of medical doctors, general chiropractors, neurologist orthopedic surgeons, osteopaths, and acupuncturists. I just kept getting worse. My first Upper Cervical adjustment brought immediate relief from the pain I walked in with that day. After about six months under Upper Cervical Care, I missed only an occasional day of work because of back pain. I believe if I had not received Upper Cervical Care, I would be totally disabled today. Now, I’m functional. I’m working full-time, and enjoying my life. I consider upper Cervical Care to be the central part of my physical care, and I will be forever grateful.


Back Pain Free
Finding the balance to live a life Free from Back Pain.


As the medical landscape continues to evolve, innovative approaches like Upper Cervical Spine Care are reshaping how we understand and address back problems. By recognizing the integral role of the upper cervical spine in overall spinal health, individuals can embark on a journey toward lasting relief and enhanced well-being. Through precise adjustments and a holistic approach to healing, Upper Cervical Spine Care stands as a beacon of hope for those seeking a solution to their back problems.

If you could avoid pain, surgery, and harmful medications, would you do it? Upper Cervical Spine Care can provide that relief. Your journey to a pain free life is just a phone call or e-mail away. We have offices in Charlotte, and Wilmington N.C., and Nashville, TN.

Categories Back Pain

How Can a Chiropractor Help with Tingling and Numbness?

Many people complain of tingling and numbness in their hands and feet, but not all of them realize that this is not just an inconvenience. The sensation of pins and needles or that your hand or leg has “gone to sleep” represent warnings that something is not right within your body. In this article, we will discuss the main causes of this condition, how to diagnose it properly and treat it.

What Causes Tingling and Numbness in Hands and Feet?

The core issue that leads to these symptoms is nerve interference. Nerves can get pinched or compressed by one of the following conditions:

  • Bulging discs in the spine
  • Spinal stenosis (the reduction of the spinal cord canal)
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist
  • Tennis elbow
  • Scar tissue after an untreated injury
  • Spondylosis.

Why does a pinched nerve cause the sensation of tingling and numbness? You must imagine your brain as the central command center and the nerves as the highways used by messengers to dispatch orders. Every movement you make, from each breath you take to the act of lifting a weight, is controlled by your brain.

When a nerve is pinched or compressed, it is similar to a highway getting partially blocked by a landslide. The messengers cannot get through; or they do so with great difficulty. This translates in loss of sensation, strength and full control over your fingers and toes,

Are Tingling and Numbness Dangerous?

Any professional chiropractor will tell you that tingling, and numbness should not be ignored. At the same time, you needn’t panic unnecessarily. The feeling of pins and needles is not the symptom of a life threatening of debilitating condition.

However, it leaves you unable to enjoy life to the full, do your job properly or even perform daily chores. You may feel unsure of your own ability to perform various physical tasks, such as running, carrying heavy weights, or operating machinery and precision instruments.

How to Diagnose Tingling and Numbness Properly

As we explained above, the sensation of pain and needles can be caused by a pinched nerve in your spine or various joints (elbow, wrist, knee, etc.). For this reason, you will need to see a doctor first, to determine where the nerve compression occurred.

You may be subject to various tests, such as:

  • X-ray
  • Muscle tests
  • Neurological tests
  • Orthopedic tests.

The doctor will also test your range of movement in all your joints. Once the diagnosis is clear, the doctor may refer you to a chiropractor for treatment.

Can Chiropractic Help?

Chiropractic is particularly effective in treating these conditions. The beneficial effects were even documented in a clinical study published in the US National Library of Medicine in 2008. In the test, 162 patients suffering from radiculopathy (a pinched nerve condition that causes tingling, numbness, and pain) received chiropractic treatment. More than 85% of the participants reported a significant improvement in their condition after completing the chiropractic sessions.

How can a chiropractor help improve tingling and numbness? Depending on the cause of these symptoms, the chiropractor may apply:

  • Adjustment of misaligned joints
  • Spinal manipulation to resolve bulging discs
  • Deep-tissue massage to relieve tension and inflammation.

At the same time, the chiropractor will recommend you several home remedies, such as the application of ice and gentle exercises to regain your full range of movements.

If you suffer from tingling and numbness in your hands or feet, a chiropractor at our clinic can treat the root cause of these symptoms. After you complete the treatment plan, you will be able to return to your regular life and activities. Call us now to schedule an appointment!

Categories Back Pain

Sprain vs. Strain – a Chiropractor Explains the Difference

No matter how careful you are, accidents will happen. You stumble, you slip and fall, or you land awkwardly on one foot while playing sports. The pain is sharp, and you wonder: did I get a sprain or a strain? In this article, we will discuss the differences between sprain vs. strain and why you should see one of the chiropractors at our practice if you suffer one of these injuries. 

Do Not Ignore a Sprain or Strain

The first thing we want you to remember is that, beyond the sprain vs. strain differences, they both have something in common: they are serious injuries which need treatment. You should not let these injuries heal by themselves, as some people would advise you.

Injuries represent a trauma, where a muscle is pulled beyond its limit or joint becomes misaligned. The only way the body knows how to fix a sprain or strain is by building hard scar tissue to repair the damage. Thus, the respective part of the body becomes stiffer, less mobile and loses its strength and flexibility.

The right way of dealing with a sprain or strain is going to a chiropractor to heal them. Chiropractic is a safe, non-invasive branch of medicine, which focuses on healing the underlying cause, not just its end result – the pain.

Main Causes of a Sprain or Strain

You can get a muscle strain or sprain in various ways, from falling down in an awkward position to being involved in a car accident. However, most of our patients report that they were playing sports or suffered a slip and fall.

Realistically, it is practically impossible to avoid getting a sprain or strain. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, strains and sprains are among the most frequent sport injuries, both for professional and amateur athletes.

What Is a Muscle Strain?

A muscle strain can be either acute or chronic. Acute strains are caused when the muscle is suddenly pulled or twister in an accident, resulting in small ruptures of the fibers that make up the muscle.

Chronic strain is the result of intense physical exertion and repetitive movements which cause wear and tear to the muscle. The condition may appear within months or years, depending on a person’s level of fitness.

In both cases, strain is recognized by symptoms of:

  • Intense pain at the injury site
  • Tenderness and redness of the skin
  • Swollen muscle tissue.

What Is a Sprain?

In the discussion of sprain vs. strain, we have a concrete difference between the two. A sprain is always the result of a single traumatic event – thus, acute. Sprains affect joints, especially the ankles, knees, wrists, and elbows. 

A sprain means that the joint is twisted out of its natural position. In some cases, nerves and ligaments may be pinched between the misaligned joint elements, causing pain, numbness or the feeling of pins and needles.

How Chiropractic Helps

Now that you know the difference between sprain vs. strain, let us focus on the best way of healing these injuries. We believe that chiropractic is the right choice for anyone because it does not involve invasive medical procedures or taking pills.

Depending on the type and severity of the injury, the chiropractor will recommend:

  • Adjustments
  • Massages
  • Stretching and exercises
  • Electronic muscle stimulation
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation.

If you suffered a sprain or strain, we encourage you to book an appointment with one of our chiropractors as soon as possible, before the injured area develops scar tissue.

Categories Back Pain

Can Upper Cervical Care Help Avoid Low Back Surgery?

Low back pain, if severe enough, can devastate a person’s life. It robs them of doing activities that most take for granted. Medically their solution is usually painkillers, muscle relaxers, or cortisone shots. If the problem is severe enough the last resort is surgery. 

Upper Cervical care has helped thousands of low back pain sufferers regain their health. Thousands of others have avoided low back disc surgeries, cortisone shots, and long-term pain-killing medications. 

Want to avoid back surgery?

You might need to find out more about spinal stability and the spine as an engineering marvel. Your spine is dependent heavily on two chief systems to maintain what amounts to a tower of blocks (vertebrae) aligned with millimeter precision. The spinal vertebrae are held together by muscles, ligaments, tendons, and soft tissue. The muscular tone is crucial to spinal alignment, healthy discs, and normal posture. 

Therefore, knowing what controls spinal muscle tone is key to understanding not only how to avoid disc injury but also how to correct it. Treatment Vertigo The brainstem, located in the upper cervical spine is paramount in whether spinal muscle tone is balanced or not. This part of the nervous system controls spinal muscle balance. 

People who have balanced healthy posture have a good neurological tone emanating from proper brain stem function. This indicates that the alignment of the upper cervical spine is healthy. However, when someone sustains a neck injury the opposite can be true. Whiplash-type injuries can cause a spinal misalignment in the neck that can result in irritation of the brainstem and subsequently causing a spinal imbalance.

When the spine is imbalanced it leads to an asymmetrical distribution of weight throughout the spine. With time discs can become more stressed on one side compared to the other resulting in weakness. In time repetitive dresses and strains in an imbalanced manner can result in disc bulge and injury. Most people who suffer from the first symptoms of disc Injury think that the first symptom is when the injury began.

However, understanding that most disc bulges are the result of long-term spinal imbalances sheds a different light on the problem.

 Whether you are looking to avoid low back disc problems in the future or find yourself in an acute disc bulge crisis now, correcting upper cervical spine misalignments can allow your brain- stem to regain control over your spinal muscles and lead to recovery and prevention. 

What’s the upshot? In case you have chronic low back pain, or you want to avoid back surgery, your physician should at least be thinking about the role the brainstem plays as one potential reason for your problem! What does an upper cervical doctor do? There are only about 150 trained Blair upper cervical chiropractors in the world. This niche technique limits its focus to the upper neck, brain stem, skull region.

The concept of upper cervical chiropractic has to do with the brain stem, which comes out of the head through the top two bones of the neck, known as the atlas (C1) and axis (C2). The brain stem works like a switchboard operator, controlling all of the messages between the brain and the body.

The goal of an upper cervical chiropractor is to correct spinal misalignments that resulted from a prior injury. By taking precise CBCT or digital x-ray images, the doctor can make precise, gentle corrections to restore normal Joint motion and allow for normal neurological function.

 If you or someone you love is suffering from low back pain or disc bulge it would be prudent to investigate this unique procedure that has helped thousands at their wit’s end. You might just find it changes your life. We hope this blog has been informative and leads to health recovery for those in need!

Categories Back Pain

Chiropractor’s Advice: How to Solve Poor Work from Home Posture Problems

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives completely. We are no longer able to socialize with everyone we know and care about. Restaurants, gyms, and spas are closed. And many people had to adapt to working from home. While this may seem a good and convenient idea for many, it also brings a unique set of problems connected with poor posture.

As any chiropractor can tell you, correct posture when you work on a computer or write at the desk is essential for a healthy body. The skeleton, muscles, and joints are tuned to support our weight in a balanced way. When an imbalance occurs, some parts of the body have to bear more stress and pressure than they are designed for. These issues result in stiff neck, lower back pain, numb fingers, and toes.

Cause of Bad Posture: Your Home Is Not Designed for Work

For chiropractors, the first step in solving a problem, be it chronic pain, vertigo, or migraine headaches, is to identify its root cause. In the case of poor posture issues stemming from working from home, the problem is in the location itself.

Homes are rarely designed for work. Some people have a home office where they do their taxes and other household accounting tasks. But most of us design and furnish our homes for comfort and relaxation. Soft beds and comfortable sofas, thick carpets, and colorful pouf armchairs – are all designed to help people feel comfortable while reclining or lying down. They are inadequate for working on a laptop or looking over files and taking notes.

These being said, here are some of the most frequent poor work-from-home posture problems (and a few solutions to them):

1. Sitting/Reclining on the Sofa to Work on the Laptop

The sofa is not designed for working on the computer. Its role is to help you relax while you recline on it and are not engaged in physical activities. When you take your laptop to the sofa, you are straining various muscle groups in order to balance the laptop, use the scroll pad, and type.

The solution is to create a workspace that consists of a desk and an ergonomic chair. Office chairs are specially designed to offer adequate support to your neck, shoulders, and back and help you maintain a neutral posture. A neutral posture is when no muscle or joint is unduly strained to support your body.

2. Hunching Over the Laptop

Prolonged hunching over the laptop causes a stiff neck and sore shoulders. In many cases, this happens when people wrongly believe that they will be more comfortable sitting up in bed and working on the laptop.

The best solution is to find a table where your laptop is sitting at a sufficient height to allow you to sit up straight on a chair and look straight ahead of you into the screen, not down.

3. Getting Finger Cramps from Typing

Constant typing and using the mouse are not recommended in any situations. The most affected part of the forearm and hand – the carpal tunnel – can get inflamed and lead to a painful condition called carpal tunnel syndrome. In the worst-case scenario, you have to take a break from work for several weeks until the condition improves.

To avoid this issue, use a detachable and wireless keyboard and mouse. Thus, you can arrange them in an ergonomic position that does not apply too much pressure on the carpal tunnel.

Good Practices for a Healthy Work from Home Routine

Finally, here are some helpful tips to prevent the onset of pain and stiffness associated with long hours working at the desk:

  • Practice stretching in the morning and several times during the day
  • Take breaks from working on the computer and do simple exercises to activate blood circulation
  • Be mindful and listen to your body – when you feel in pain and uncomfortable, change your sitting position
  • Stand up and walk around the house when you are taking phone calls.

Every little thing counts when it comes to learning how to keep a correct posture. Remember that a healthy mind resides in a healthy body, so do not ignore any kind of pain and stiffness you experience.

Categories Back Pain

Everything You Need To Know About Neck and Back Spasm

Today, we are going to talk about muscle spasms. Muscle spasms occur throughout the spine. They can occur in the neck, the upper back, or the lower back. What is a muscle spasm? Basically, a spasm is an abnormal, chronic contraction, or a constant contraction of a muscle. When you’re in the gym working those muscles, the contraction of the muscle is what allows the weight to go up. An abnormal contraction is when this happens when we do not want it to. Why is the spasm occurring?

Every muscle in your body has what is called a stretch reflex. When a muscle gets stretched to the point where it is about to tear, the stretch reflex kicks in and contracts that muscle and keeps it contracted. This is a healthy mechanism. We want this to happen so the muscle does not tear, but problems still occur. We see lots of pain. We see antalgia, meaning the person is leaning away from that pain and walking abnormally. Maybe the person cannot even walk, and they are bedridden because their spine literally won’t let them get out of bed.

Now that we know what a muscle spasm is, we can now ask why that muscle stretches to the point where the stretch reflex needs to kick in? It is all due to asymmetry in the spine, or a lack of symmetry. This lack of symmetry is all due to structural changes. What happens is the spine starts to twist and turn in abnormal ways, causing the muscles on one side of the spine to be shorter, or contracted, and the other side to be stretched. Eventually, the stretched side gets stretched to the point where the stretch reflex kicks in, forcing the muscle to contract and spasm.

Now we know what a muscle spasm is and why it occurs, but where does the lack of symmetry come from? Why do the structural changes in the spine happen? It all happens at the top of the neck. Your brain has its own reflex, called the righting reflex, which forces the brain to always be level. However, when a misalignment occurs at the top of the neck, throwing the head off center, this takes your brain off-center. Now the righting reflex kicks in and because the body can’t move this bone itself, the brain has to tell the spine to twist, contort, and contract in different ways to level the brain out.

What this looks like is a misalignment at the top of the neck may require the body to drop a shoulder to level the head, then raise a hip on that same side to keep the head and brain level. Over time, the compensations throughout the spine, due to the misalignment at the top of the neck, form weak spots. These weak spots are what turn into pain. These weak spots are what cause structural changes in the spine forcing one side to stretch too much, thus creating muscle spasms. Therefore, we have to get to the cause of those muscle spasms, which is not your lower neck or your back. Rather, the cause is at the top. If we can correct the top of the neck, allowing the brain to balance regularly, we do not need the compensations in the spine. The weaknesses in the spine heal and the muscle spasms go away. It really is that simple.

Categories Back Pain

Disc Bulge Noninvasive Treatment

We say upper cervical because we work only with the top two bones in the neck, but we get questions sometimes saying, “Hey, what can you do for my mid-back? My low back? I have pain here. I have pain there.” We will talk about that in a little bit. But first, let’s talk about something that happens, usually in the low back, called a disc bulge, which can turn into a disc herniation, or even a disc rupture, which can be very problematic. In between the bones in the spine, called vertebrae, we have pads called intervertebral discs. These discs have two parts to them. One is the annular fibers of the annulus, which surrounds, two, the nucleus. The nucleus is more of a harder substance. It is kind of like a ball bearing. It allows us to have some space in between the bones and provide mobility.

The annulus provides some cushion, and it also helps the nucleus stay in the center of the vertebrae. A disc bulge means that the nucleus starts to move into the annular fibers. It starts to move in a direction we do not want it to go. As a result, the annulus starts to push out. Usually, it pushes out in the posterior, or backward direction, and it puts pressure on the spinal cord. We start to have pain, we start to have a loss of bowel and bladder control, pain down the legs – anything that can happen by putting pressure on the spinal cord. Usually, what conventional medicine will do is take that annulus that has been pushed out of its normal space and cut it out. The person feels good for a little bit, but that nucleus is still not in the correct position. The nucleus continues to go out… out… out until finally, that disc ruptures or the nucleus pushes completely through the annulus. Now, we really have an issue.

Once that disc is ruptured, we have permanent damage to the spinal cord. Usually, they replace the disc or fuse these bones together, which can be a very detrimental surgery. Unfortunately, we don’t see very good results with surgery when we look at the statistics. What can we do as upper cervical chiropractors to not only help with this condition, but prevent it from happening? With upper cervical care, what we look at is the misalignment at the top of the neck. When this misalignment happens, it forces compensations throughout the rest of the spine, which produce weak spots in the spine. These weak spots force abnormal curves in the rest of the spine. These abnormal curves are what push the nucleus of the disc into the wrong position. Over time, as this bone stays misaligned, this position gets worse and worse until that disc bulges or even ruptures.

We see amazing results with mid back pain and low back pain because we can adjust the top of the neck, which is the cause of the misalignment, or the imbalance to the rest of the spine. We put the top bone back where it needs to go, allowing the compensations to literally align themselves. The body doesn’t need the compensations anymore, allowing the spine to get back to its normal position, also allowing this nucleus to get back to its normal position. You have never had a drug deficiency; you have never had too many body parts, so it never makes sense to take drugs or cut something out. It all happens at the nervous system, and that is what we look for at the Upper Cervical Spine Center. We check if you have pressure on the nervous system, which could be creating body imbalance or this disc bulge.

Categories Back Pain

Will Upper Cervical Chiropractic Help Back Pain?

Will chiropractic help back pain? That’s a question we get asked quite frequently.

So really, to answer that question, it really depends on what type of back pain we’re talking about. Let’s say you go out and you spend a whole day, maybe three or four hours or more, raking leaves, something you’re not used to doing. You don’t do a whole lot of physical activity and all of a sudden, that night, the next day, your back aches, and it’s sore. Well, in that type of situation, it’s more muscular and so you’re probably better off just taking a hot Epsom salt bath, applying ice if necessary, and resting, and just allowing those muscles to heal, and it should go away.

Now, if it’s the type of back pain that, after a few days doesn’t go away, or it keeps coming back week after week, month after month, year after year even, then there’s probably a bigger problem somewhere else that needs to be addressed.

Or you’ve heard of people who bend down to pick up their toothbrush and “Oh”, their back went out. Well, obviously it wasn’t the weight of that toothbrush that through the back out. There was a weakness that was created because of a problem somewhere else, and it just took the right movement, the right direction, and it got you. In that situation, chiropractic works better than anything out there. Right?

Medications just mask the problem. They don’t fix it, so you don’t feel it. But then the next time you go to bend down and pick up something, like you shouldn’t, Bam! It could have even ruptured a disc or created something that might need surgical intervention.

So how does chiropractic actually work with back problems? Well, I’ll tell you. As an upper cervical chiropractor, we have found 99% of all back pain actually starts somewhere else – not in the back, but actually in the neck. The reason is because your brain is designed to be level…always. It has to be. It has its own reflex called the righting reflex, and the whole purpose is to make sure that your brain is always level.

Maybe years ago, you had some sort of a fall, a car wreck, a sports injury, even birth trauma can cause one of the top two bones in the neck to get out of line. When that happens, the head sitting on the bone goes with it and it throws the brain out of balance. In this situation, let’s say the bone went this way, taking the head that way. Well, now the brain’s not level. The brain isn’t going to put up with that.

What it will do is that it can’t move the bone that got out of alignment, but it can move other bones down below there to get the head level again. It might cause you to pull down one shoulder or pull up one hip. It will contort your body to level the brain. If this happens early enough, while you’re still growing, that’s where scoliosis comes from, almost 100% of the time.

But what will happen is, as the body compensates, it will drop one shoulder or raise one hip and make one leg short. Now you have stretched, contracted muscles in the neck, the upper back, the lower back, all the way down, even into the legs. Over time, with gravity pushing down, that creates weaknesses that can turn into neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain, and back pain. It can create pain down the leg, it can affect your knees, your hips, and your feet.

If you imagine, you’re designed to be symmetrical with everything balanced while gravity pushes down. If you lose some of that symmetry, let’s say you put a high heeled shoe on one foot and a flat shoe on the other. Don’t you think after a few hours of walking around that your back may start to hurt a little bit, when that leg is shorter than the other one? Of course, it will. It’s going to create those compensations. At the very least, it creates a weakness somewhere, so that when you make that right moment the right way, bam.

What we do as Upper Cervical Chiropractors is we find the problem, the effect, then we go to the cause. We make sure we address the cause, get this corrected, and then what’ll happen is everything will start unwinding all the way down your spine. That’s how chiropractic can help back pain.

Categories Back Pain

Will Chiropractic Help Herniated Discs?

Let’s dive into herniated discs. Where do they come from, what causes them, and what’s the best thing you can do to get relief from the symptoms and the pain that come along with herniated discs? First of all, where did a herniated disc come from? Your body is supposed to have these three major curves in our spine, your neck, upper back, and lower back. Those curves are there to give your body some spring, some flex, some give, as gravity pushes down. It’s important because we have this big bowling ball that sits on top of this little neck. And then as we go down, we add more and more weight. Throughout our spine, we need to have good flex and good give.

Well, what we have found is most of the time the reason discs get herniated is because we lose some of the curve. Instead of having a nice smooth curve with a lot of bounce and a lot of give, we start to lose it. What happens is we get more of this when we lose the curve. Now in this situation, there’s no give in the curve. What has to give is the softest tissue in the area. And that case that would be the disc, the little cartilage pads that are lined up between each artery. As they get pushed and squished, there’s a little gel nucleus right here in the middle and that little gel is like a jelly donut. And what’ll happen is it’ll start to get compressed to the point that it’ll start to push out towards one side. It’s kind of like if you were to squish on the jelly donut, eventually part of the jelly is going to squish out towards one side.

    And what that does is it creates the bulge or the herniation. It’s the same thing. To the point that it can actually even affect the nerves that come out there. Now if you have a misalignment in the spine and you lose the symmetry, then you get this going on. The disc will start to bulge, it’ll affect the nerves, oftentimes going down the arm. If it’s in the lower back, it can affect the nerves going down the leg, creating symptoms like sciatica, neuropathy, and stuff like that. Where that comes from, it always starts in the neck and the position of the head. One of the bones moves, it takes the head with it, and makes you lose the curve in your spine. So now, for example, a lot of times the head will be out in front of you. So now that pushes the disc back towards the back part of the spine, which is where the nerves come out, and that can create the radicular stuff: the pain in the arms and the hands, the carpal tunnel, elbow epicondylitis, tendinitis, and stuff like that.

    If you have a herniated disc or if you have disc problems in your spine, the best thing to do is find an upper cervical chiropractor who specializes in the spine and correcting the cause of that herniated disc. Now taking medications. Yeah, it’ll mask the problem. Taking shots, stuff like that: it covers it up, but it doesn’t fix it. Matter of fact, it makes you not feel it, so you’d go and do things you shouldn’t to eventually create a bigger problem. Sometimes, if it ruptures, if it blows out into the spinal canal, the only thing you can do is cut that out surgically, and that should be the last resort.

Categories Back Pain

Herniated Disc Treatments – Are Herniated Disc Chiropractic Treatments a Good Alternative?

Your spinal cord is made up of vertebrae that are cushioned by small discs. These small discs are located between each of the vertebrae and act as a shock absorber, provide mobility to the spine, and act as tough ligaments to hold the vertebrae of the spine together. In each spinal column, there is a total of twenty-three discs. If there is a problem with any of the discs, they can cause unique symptoms to occur.

What Causes a Herniated Disc?

You may hear a herniated disc chiropractic office refer to a herniated disc as a bulging disc, slipped disc, or a ruptured disc. No matter how a herniated disc is referred to, it means a fragment of your disc nucleus is pushed out of the annulus into the spinal canal through a rupture or a tear in the annulus. Usually, herniated discs are in an early stage of degeneration.

A herniated disc can appear anywhere along the spine, including the upper cervical spine (the neck area), but are most common in the lower region (lumbar spine). The pain that comes along with a herniated disc all depends on which area of the spine is affected.

As for what may cause a herniated disc, this could be from excessive strain or an injury. In addition, it is natural for discs to degenerate due to the aging process and the ligaments will begin to weaken. In the natural aging process of degenerating discs, a disc can rupture more easily with a twisting movement or a more minor strain.

What are Common Treatments for a Herniated Disc?

Herniated disc chiropractic treatments are a great alternative to those who do not want to undergo surgery or rely on medication to help their symptoms; however, herniated disc chiropractic treatments are not always a first choice but are the safest treatment for your body and will target the cause of your herniated disc while giving it a chance to repair itself.

Other treatments focus on symptoms of the herniated disc and do not focus on solving the underlying issue. There is also a chance medication and surgery can add more complications to your body’s overall health rather than helping it.

The most common treatment is medication. Those who suffer from a herniated disc often want fast relief quickly, and medication is only prescribed to make it comfortable – not to correct or heal it. Patients with a herniated disc are usually prescribed with a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication if they are experiencing mild to moderate pain.

The medication prescribed may include muscle relaxants or nerve pain medications, such as amitriptyline, pregabalin, tramadol, gabapentin, and duloxetine; this may also include an epidural steroid injection directed to the level of the herniated disc. 

The only issue with relying on medication are the side effects that come with it. There are typical side effects commonly seen in medications (nauseas, fatigue, vomiting, constipation, dizziness, etc.) that are seen in medications prescribed for those with a herniated disc as well; but besides these common side effects, they could cause more issues for your body in the future if it is depended on: 

Amitriptyline can cause long-term effects on your body as it affects your nervous system; some of these long-term effects include insomnia, anxiety, nervousness, and (in rare cases) permanent liver and heart damage. 

Pregabalin (Lyrica) can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior as early as one week after beginning use. It can also cause hypersensitivity shortly after use with reactions such as blisters, hives, rash, wheezing, skin redness, and dyspnea. 

In duloxetine (Cymbalta) and pregabalin (Lyrica) medications, they can decrease motor functions, impair judgement, and impair thinking. Both can also cause dizziness, sedation, and drowsiness in some patients. 

Patients who use tramadol may experience constipation, dizziness, upset stomach, weakness, and lightheadedness. In addition, tramadol can lead patients to have a dependence on opioids. Overtaking tramadol could cause long-term harm to the brain with an increased risk of mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. In fact, when it comes to consistent opioid consumption (especially tramadol), respiratory depression is a common side effect.

Gabapentin (Neurontin) helps manage nerve pain. Some of the short-term side effects of using gabapentin include loss of balance, problems with vision, changes in mood and temperament, fatigue, and nausea. If a patient is relying on gabapentin and has taken it for a long period of time then tries to quickly stop using it, it will put a lot of stress on the patient’s brain.

The longer a patient takes gabapentin, the more difficult the process will be for cutting back on it. Patients who try to break the habit of taking gabapentin will not only experience the symptoms all over again for the reason in which they began taking gabapentin, but the effects of stopping gabapentin may cause great distress and pain to the patient that they will be tempted to go back on it.

Diskectomy is the most common treatment for patients with a herniated disk located in their lumbar region. For this surgery, the part of the disc causing pressure to your nerve root is removed. Sometimes, depending on the patient’s case, their entire disc is removed.

Though there may be a success rate of 90% or higher, there are always chances of complications including nerve root damage, bladder incontinence, bleeding, or dural tears.

Before going under medication or a more extreme option (surgery), it is always best to try healing your body naturally. Not only will this save you money, but natural alternatives can save you from horrible side effects and complications.

What can Herniated Disc Chiropractic Treatments do for me?

First and foremost, herniated disc chiropractic treatments are a natural, medication and surgery free treatment to help improve the health of your herniated discs and to correct them. Herniated disc chiropractic treatments involve gentle adjustments that are made to improve the current state of your overall health (not just your spinal health).

When there is a misalignment, the nervous system is affected, and this will cause various parts of your body to change. Upper cervical herniated disc chiropractic treatments are actually very beneficial to patients and although the upper cervical area is around the neck, the top two bones of the spine lead how the rest of the spine is aligned.

If one of the top two bones are misaligned, the head will tilt and the rest of the spine, in order to level the head, will begin to distort itself until the head is balanced again. This causes a problem for your discs and will pinch your nervous system – making its performance less than adequate.

If your nervous system is affected, your body will not be able to correct and repair itself; this is a problem for those experiencing a herniated disc. Since a herniated disc comes from an injury or strain in that area, that area should be corrected and the best way to correct the issue is to allow the body to naturally correct it for you by moving it back to proper alignment.

The body has an ability to heal and repair itself, but the reason an upper cervical herniated disc chiropractic treatment is important is so that your body can perform its abilities without interference of pressure placed on your brain stem (where your entire nervous system is connected); this interference is why the herniated disc is not getting any better.

After experiencing a herniated disc chiropractic treatment, patients have reported feeling changes in their body shortly after the adjustments.

The reason for this is when a herniated disc chiropractic adjustment corrects the misalignment, the pressure is taken off the brain stem to where brain to body communication will open up and return back to normal (this enables to body to get back to work as fast as it is able now that it is receiving proper signals of what is wrong).

If the herniated disc is severe or has been around for some time, more adjustments are needed to ensure the body is able to regain strength and hold the adjustments longer as your body heals.