According to the Center for Neuroscience and Behavioral Medicine, a department of the Children’s National Health System, an estimated three million children sustain a traumatic brain injury, more commonly known as a concussion, every year. So childhood concussions are more common than most people know. In fact, concussions, in general, are more common than was previously recognized in the health care community.
Concussions have been called the “silent epidemic” because doctors don’t always recognize or identify them. Nine out of ten children will not lose consciousness even though they’ve sustained a concussion. One of the main problems is if you bring your child to the hospital after they’ve sustained an injury to their head from a fall, sports injury, bicycle accident, motor vehicle accident or any of the other ways children sustain concussions, a normal CT scan or MRI will not typically detect the concussion. But physical or cognitive symptoms can last days, weeks, months or even longer in some cases.
For those 15% to 20% of children who have symptoms for three weeks or more, it may be that they have Cervicogenic Post-Concussion Syndrome, in which an upper neck injury, such as whiplash, happened along with the concussion. The ligament damage and upper cervical injury are often the underlying reasons that symptoms persist, but this is not usually recognized by doctors.
The neck trauma can trigger two different issues:
Upper cervical chiropractors are trained to evaluate this area, determine the issue, and restore it back to normal position and function. Correcting the top bone in the spine is often an important component in finding relief from the brain fog, vertigo/dizziness, headaches, and difficulty processing related to Cervicogenic PCS. The adjustments are precise, painless, and do not involve any twisting, turning or popping of the neck.
We have seen tremendous results in these cases by addressing the main issue causing the symptoms, and often see significant improvements in the first few days/weeks after patients have suffered for months or even years. If you’ve suffered a concussion or head and neck injury please give us a call or book an appointment and let us help you find relief from the pain.
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is generally tied in with Autism and other Neurodevelopmental issues. It is not currently classified as a stand-alone diagnosis. I, along with many others, believe it should be. SPD causes a person to be overstimulated by the things most of us just interpret as everyday life. Sights, sounds, touch, and all the things that make up our environment become overwhelming to a person with SPD.
SPD is most often identified in children, although adults may also have it. With SPD one or more of the senses may be greatly magnified, and could cause a child to throw a fit, be unable to focus, have difficulty learning, and struggle in social interactions. Light is too bright. Sounds seem too loud and overwhelming.
Our bodies are filled with sensors that detect temperature, touch, sound, vibration, and anything else we might encounter. The information gathered from these sensors is then transmitted by the nervous system to the brainstem. Once there, a filter sorts through the information and decides what is important, what is not important, and then sends the important information to the cortex of the brain. The brain then makes the necessary decision and responds accordingly.
This filter is called the Reticular Activating System (RAS). The RAS is a bundle of nerves at the base of the brainstem that filters all sensory information at lightspeed. When the RAS is functioning properly it provides an environment for a child to focus, learn, and follow instructions. When the RAS malfunctions a “normal” environment can become overwhelming as far too much information passes through. This leads to overstimulation, and the inability to focus and this often causes outbursts, as a child cannot handle it all at once. This is what we find in Sensory Processing Disorder.
While there are several reasons the RAS may malfunction, the one I deal with in my office is an upper neck vertebrae misalignment. The brain stem extends down out of the skull and into the top two bones in the neck. If one of these bones misalign, it can cause pressure on the brain stem and cause it to malfunction. Depending on the direction and amount of misalignment, this can cause the RAS to malfunction and lead to a sensory processing issue.
I have seen and helped a great number of these children over my career, but my favorite story is about a young man I helped in my first year in practice. Let’s call him Sam. Sam was 4-years-old and still in diapers. He was unable to eat solid food and was still on baby food. It was next to impossible to touch him, even for his parents. Loud noises sent him into a screaming fit, and bright lights made him run. I watched his loving parents try to hug him, and he resisted. He loved them, but he just couldn’t handle the touch. It was heartbreaking. Our initial consultation consisted of me speaking with his parents, while he literally ran in circles and screamed for 20 minutes. A new situation and a new person were more than he could handle. It took several follow up visits before he would let me do a proper exam. When I did, I found a large misalignment of the top bone in his neck. I corrected the misalignment, and took the pressure off the brainstem. What happened over the next three months brings tears to my eyes as I write this now.
Three months into care, and he would walk in the door, look me in the eye, and tell me what he had done that day. He would then come straight to me, and give me a hug. He had usually come from Chick Fil A where he ate chicken nuggets. The diapers were long gone, and he was as calm as could be. It was a near miraculous improvement.
If your child is suffering from SPD, I urge you to have their upper neck checked to find out if they can be helped through upper cervical chiropractic. The adjustment is gentle with no twisting or turning, and we have a long track-record of helping these precious children better adapt to life. If you live in the area we offer a free consultation to see if they can be helped. If you live elsewhere or have a friend or family member in another state I would be more than happy to find a qualified Upper Cervical provider for them. Call 239-243-8810 today for your free consultation at Upper Cervical Health Centers of Fort Myers!
I recently had a patient come in that was suffering with severe tooth and jaw pain. They, of course, went to the dentist initially, assuming a cavity or some sort of tooth issue. X-rays and a full exam later, the dentist informed them that their teeth and gums were perfectly healthy.
The pain persisted, and the next step was a CT scan to try to identify the source of the pain. Again when the report came back, there were no findings. At this point, they consulted another dentist and oral surgeon, and again no answers.
After one specific upper cervical adjustment the pain was reduced by 50% and within a week it was essentially gone. How can that be? Why would adjusting the neck resolve tooth and jaw pain?
There is a very direct link between the upper neck and the jaw because that is were there are several muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. There are several nerves that can be the cause, one of them even has a named condition when it elicits severe pain. It is called Trigeminal Neuralgia. It is also known as the “suicide disease.” The pain is so intense and sufferers feel so hopeless, they take their own lives to end the pain. The trigeminal nerve can be impinged by a misalignment of the top bone in the neck and in fact there are thousands of success stories of healing this condition through upper cervical chiropractic.
We also have the occipital nerves that pass through the upper cervical spine and into the back of the head and forward near the back of the jaw. These nerves can sometimes be the source of severe head pain, and a very painful condition known as occipital neuralgia.
The Greater Auricular nerve is often the culprit, as it passes through the top 3 bones in the neck and then passes along the jaw and in some people to the molars. This can cause radiating pain in the upper or lower jaw, and teeth along most of the side of the face.
Any of these nerves can be impinged and cause pain with an upper cervical misalignment. The bone moves and compresses the tissues and nerves. Until the bone is corrected and the pressure removed no other types of treatment will suffice.
Pain medication may be necessary to make life livable until a solution is found, but getting to the root cause is essential to ending the pain. If you are suffering from unexplained tooth and/or jaw pain, have your neck checked to see if you can be helped. We offer a free evaluation to determine if your upper cervical spine is in the proper shape and working correctly. We specialize in making sure your head is on straight, ensuring proper spinal health. Call us at Upper Cervical Health Centers of Fort Myers for your free consultation today, 239-243-8810.
How many times have you caught yourself lost in your phone as your chin drops ever closer down to your chest? Before you know it your neck is stiff, you don’t feel all that great, and you may even get a bit of a headache.
The constant bending down of the head while on a phone is where the popular term “text neck” developed. Text neck is a term used describe the forward head posture and resulting strain of the neck that is formed after prolonged use of mobile devices. The number of U.S. smartphone users was estimated to be more than 230 million in 2018, which roughly corresponds to ten percent of the estimated number of all smartphone users worldwide for that year. The United States is one of the biggest markets for the smartphone industry worldwide. Given the amount of time we all spend on our phones these days, it’s no wonder that it’s become common to have a stiff neck and shoulders and a headache every day.
A recent study looked at 180 children and teenagers with six months or more of neck and shoulder pain. All of them spent an average of five to seven hours a day on their smartphones and handheld devices. They were all observed to have their neck bent forward at an angle greater than 45 degrees. No wonder there are many more cases of degeneration and misalignment in the lower parts of the neck these days than there were 10 years ago.
In the short term, tight muscles in both the neck and shoulders is a given. The spinal cord is also stretched a bit and creates a bit of distress on the nervous system. This can lead to fatigue and even a bit of nausea in some people. But I want you to be aware that there may be serious underlying health problems developing in your brain and body as well.
Because this is a constant habit, it can cause chronic conditions. One of the most significant effects can be the stress response created from the forward head posture that is created. Research shows that every inch forward that the head goes, it adds about 10 pounds of weight that must be handled by the muscles, ligaments and bones of the neck, which strains them and gives you headaches, neck aches and back aches. It also starts to train the muscles to stay in that position, which is very bad for you. Done chronically, this causes degeneration and arthritis of the neck and cervical spine. It also decreases brain function.
Another thing it does is by having your neck tucked into your chest and is forward and down, you are diminishing lung capacity by as much as 20% to 30%. This can really affect people with asthma, OPD, and emphysema. Also, the muscles in the front of the neck which help with breathing become tight and weak. Oxygen to the brain and body is decreased. Blood pressure has to rise to pump more oxygen to tissues. High blood pressure is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases (strike and heart attack).
I recommend a few things to help with this issue of text neck. First, create a new cell phone habit. Hold it in your hand, tuck your elbow in to your side, and hold your phone about chest height and out in front of you. Catch yourself every time your chin starts to drop and hold it back up again. Second, do regular posture exercises and stretches for your neck and upper back.
Finally, come see me to get a thorough examination with respect to your posture, muscle strength, brain and nerve function, and spinal mobility and alignment. If you are constantly looking down at your phone, you may want to get on a regular schedule to get your upper cervical neck aligned properly to reduce the strain on it. We offer a free evaluation to determine if your upper cervical spine is in the proper shape and working correctly. We specialize in making sure your head is on straight, ensuring proper spinal health. Call us at Upper Cervical Health Centers of Fort Myers for your free consultation today, 239-243-8810!
Most people associate chiropractic with neck pain, back pain, and possibly headaches. While those issues all do extremely well under chiropractic care, the potential benefits are so much greater. Did you know the first chiropractic adjustment ever made restored a man’s hearing?
It is a really interesting story. The founder of chiropractic, D.D. Palmer was working late one night when the janitor Harvey Lillard came in to clean. Mr. Lillard was deaf and had been for 17 years since he hit the back of his neck standing up under a set of stairs. D.D. reasoned that a bone in Lillards neck must have been knocked out of position and led to the hearing loss. He also reasoned that putting the bone back into place might restore Lillards hearing. D.D. took a shot at it and managed to get the bone back into normal alignment and almost immediately Mr. Lillards hearing was restored. Am I saying that chiropractic is a cure for deafness? Absolutely not, but I have seen some amazing things happen when putting the top two bones in the neck back into position.
It is important to not focus on the bones themselves. The structures they protect are what is important, because this is where the lower brainstem and spinal cord are, the heart of the central nervous system. If I told you there was pressure on your spinal cord that would seem like a big deal right? Well, a spinal misalignment can do just that and interfere with your body’s ability to communicate. Just like a computer network that relies on clear signals to function properly, the nervous system needs clear pathways for the brain to speak to the rest of the body through its network of nerves. When a vertebrae and or disc is misaligned, it’s like putting a kink in a hose, except in this case it is a kink in a neural pathway so that the nerves can’t speak to each other. In Mr. Lillard’s case that misalignment led to deafness, in some it might be neuropathy, in others it is liver dysfunction, and I could go on and on.
In the end chiropractic is about keeping your nervous system clear of interference so your body can function, adapt, and heal as it was designed to do. It just so happens that anatomically the most critical point in the spine, both structurally and neurologically, is the place where your head and neck meet, and that area is extremely vulnerable to getting misaligned.
Before you dismiss chiropractic for your health issues or health care strategy, why not take advantage of a free consultation to find out if it can be dismissed as not causing the problem? Call us at Upper Cervical Health Centers of Fort Myers for your free consultation today at 239-243-8810
Dr. Lee Angle
Dr. Lee Angle is originally from southern West Virginia. After having his life changed through Upper Cervical Care he chose to pursue it as a career. He has been practicing Upper Cervical Chiropractic for over nine years. Dr. Angle previously worked as a certified personal trainer. This background allows him to educate his patients on proper movement and exercises to speed their recovery and enhance their Upper Cervical Care.