Low Back Pain

Vertigo, TMJ, and neck pain helped with Upper Cervical Care

Jeremy came in 6 months ago with severe bouts of vertigo. He had a concussion during a hockey game 3 years prior and had been struggling with vertigo for the last two years. The symptoms had progressed to the point where he wouldn’t be able to get off the floor or leave the house for days because he was too dizzy and nausea and couldn’t trust his balance. Jeremy experienced constant whooshing in his ears with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain and dysfunction (TMD). He also had neck and low back pain and stiffness.

Jeremy has been under upper cervical chiropractic care now for six months. He has not had any bouts of vertigo since starting care and his neck pain, jaw pain, whooshing in his ears and his low back pain are all much improved. Jeremy is back outdoors hiking and doing the things he loves again!

Low Back Pain and Headaches Improved with Upper Cervical Care

We all know that pain and fear of injury can stop us from doing the things in life that we really want to do and make us feel...well...just not like ourselves. Ryan came to us experiencing low back pain, which was keeping him from exercising. Ryan was becoming frustrated because when he would exercise, his low back would flair up. He was also getting headaches two to three times a week and neck pain. Ryan’s upper cervical spine was corrected and immediately he felt the pressure off his low back. He has now had four upper cervical corrections and his low back pain, neck pain and headaches are all dramatically improved just by getting his head on straight! Is your head on straight?

Whiplash Relief with Upper Cervical Care

Craig was in a bad head-on motor vehicle accident about five years ago, which had suffered from bad whiplash.  When he first came in about eight months ago, he felt unstable in his spine, he had left arm pain, numbness and tingling, as well as low back and neck pain.  Also after the accident, he found that he couldn't work out with being in pain or injuring himself. After the first four weeks of corrections, Craig was reporting dramatic improvements and was able to get back in the gym. Now he has been holding his alignment for about six months - meaning he hasn’t needed to be adjusted! He has his confidence back and is feeling strong!

Is your Back Pain shrinking your Brain?

Chronic Back Pain is Associated with Decreased Prefrontal and Thalamic Grey Matter Density

Apkarian V.A., et al.  Journal of Neuroscience, Nov 2004, 24(46):10410-10415

This research was out of Northwestern University in Chicago Illinois in 2004.  It was the first study to correlate chronic back pain (CBP) with decreased grey matter in the brain.  As we work with patients every day, people who have chronic unremitting back pain for 1 year or more have an accelerated neurodegenerative process underway in their brain.  If we are able to help them we are playing an active role in slowing that process!

The researchers studied 26 people with chronic back pain (unrelenting pain localized around lumbosacral area for greater than 1 year) and 26 control patients.  They performed 2 different types of analysis for estimating global grey matter in the brain and adjusted statistics for age, gender, and type of pain (musculoskeletal and neurogenic/radicular). 

Clinical Pearls:

Normal whole brain grey matter atrophy is 0.5% per year.

Atrophy caused by CBP was measured at 5-11% per year, the equivalent of 10-20 years of aging.

The reduction in grey matter was localized to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the thalamus.  The DLPFC is responsible for inhibition of the orbitofrontal activity of the brain.  The orbitofrontal area is responsible for perception of pain.  The researchers then extrapolated that with loss of inhibition of the orbitofrontal areas of the brain, chronic pain suffers perceive increased pain.

Patients with neuropathic pain showed a greater loss of cortical grey matter.