SLEEP DISORDERS

What are Sleep Disorders?

According to the NIH (National Institutes of Health) there are over 80 different classified sleep disorders, and they are typically described as either an inability to fall asleep or an inability to stay asleep.

What Causes Sleep Disorders?

With such a variety of classifications, sleep disorders can be traced to many different causes. The main causes can be can be categorized in three areas: mental, neurological, or circadian rhythm sleep disorders.

Many sleep disorders have been linked to mental disorders such as mood, anxiety, and panic disorders, as well as neurologically with Parkinson’s, Dementia, Epilepsy, and fatal familial insomnia. They have also been linked to medical disorders such as nocturnal cardiac ischemia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, Fibromyalgia (link), gastroesophageal reflux, and peptic ulcer disease. In short, any issue within the body that is causing dis-ease can create troubles in a person’s sleeping habit.

A very serious and significant cause to consider is the emotional stressors that a person may be subject to on a daily basis. These emotional stressors cause chemical reactions in the brain which create a physical reaction that can interfere with healthy sleep. Sleep disorders can often lead or contribute to grief, depression, PTSD, and Postpartum depression.

How does it present itself?

Persons suffering from sleep disorders have the following symptoms as noted above:

Difficulty falling asleep
Difficulty staying asleep
Exhaustion and sleepiness throughout the day
Mental Fog and difficulty concentrating
Slow reactions and slow cognitive responses
Irritability

How is it typically treated?

The traditional treatment for sleep disorders includes hypnotic narcotic drugs, antidepressants, cognitive behavioral therapy, and focusing on creating a healthy sleep routine. More recently, relaxation, meditation, and exercise have also been included as potential treatments. The NCCIH (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health) also lists yoga, mindfulness, acupuncture, massage therapy, herbs and aromatherapy as treatment options.

How do we help someone diagnosed with Sleep Disorders?

At The Specific Chiropractic, we believe that everyone’s body responds differently to different forms of care, and we believe the least invasive treatment options should be explored first. We also know that the nervous system plays an essential role in regulating your body’s reaction to stress and your body’s ability to have deep, peaceful sleep. Our goal is to bring your nervous system to optimal functionality so that your body is able to respond to the inevitable stresses of life and ultimately sleep peacefully, as we have seen with hundreds of patients.

We use specific Upper Cervical Chiropractic care (linked) to help the nervous system fully heal, and in turn heal the whole body. A sub-optimal nervous system could very well be the cause of an individual’s sleep disorder. Before we recommend treatment, we check to see if their nervous system is irritated using x-rays, heat scans and other objective assessments. If it is, we work diligently to clear out the interference that is causing that interference- once this has been addressed their body can heal fully. We use specific and objective assessments before and after each adjustment to measure the body’s reaction to the care, and as the care progresses we are able to see the positive effects made directly to the nervous system by using these same objective measures. As the nervous system becomes less irritated and begins to return to its natural state, the body is able to adapt to the stress placed upon it and it is able to heal, as it was intended to. We constantly hear from our patients (with our without a sleeping disorders) is how much their sleep has improved when under upper cervical care- oftentimes an added benefit they were not expecting. Typically within the beginning stages of their care, patients experience positive changes in their sleep in terms of the duration, depth, and consistency.

Through objective and specific upper cervical chiropractic adjustments our patients begin to have a restored level of health, and with that, a restored life. Don’t let your sleeping issues control your life; you were created to fulfill your passion. You were created to THRIVE.

FIBROMYALGIA

What is it?

Fibromyalgia is a new diagnosis (termed in the late ‘80s) described as a disorder with widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood issues. Most professionals believe that Fibromyalgia occurs when the brain amplifies pain signals, also know as nociception. It is more commonly seen in woman.

What causes it and what does it look like?

The specific cause of Fibromyalgia is classified as “idiopathic” which means we don’t know the cause, but we do know that the nervous system plays a direct role in sensing and transmitting pain signals, which lies at the heart of this diagnosis. Therefore, we can deduce the best way to address this condition would be to address the nervous system. It is important to note symptoms typically begin after a physical trauma, infection, surgery, or a significant psychological stress; in other words, when the body has more stress placed on it than it can adapt to, fibromyalgia can occur.

What does it present?

Symptoms seen in correlation with this condition include:

Diffuse pain throughout the entire body
Tension Headaches
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Anxiety
Depression

How is it typically treated?

Unfortunately, most professionals would say that a cure for the condition does not exist- people are told, ‘they’ll just have to live with it.’ The forms of treatments listed by the Mayo Clinic include pain relievers, antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs, and therapy (both physical and emotional counseling). They also place an emphasis on limiting the amount of stress at home by eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep and ‘completing something that makes you feel fulfilled’ daily. We love this last piece of advice, as we take this very seriously at our clinic as well – we believe you should live everyday with intention following your passion.

How do we help someone diagnosed with Fibromyalgia?

Here at The Specific Chiropractic Centers we have seen success with many patients who have Fibromyalgia, reducing or eliminating pain entirely. We use specific Upper Cervical Chiropractic care to help the entire body fully heal and allow our patients to overcome this diagnosis.

When the nervous system is irritated, as in the case of Fibromyalgia, communication between the pain receptors in the body and the brain can become distorted, either amplifying pain or even sending pain signals without reason. We use specific and objective assessments before and after each adjustment to measure the body’s reaction to the care, and as the care progresses we are able to see the positive effects made directly to the nervous system. As the nervous system becomes less irritated and begins to return to its natural structure, the body is able to adapt to the stress placed upon it and it is able to heal properly. Through objective and specific upper cervical chiropractic adjustments our patients begin to have a restored level of health, and with that, a restored life.

What is it?

Torticollis, also known as wry neck, is a condition that causes the SCM (sternocleidomastoid muscle) to contract on one side. This typically causes the head to turn one direction and the chin to tilt in the other direction because the muscle attaches to the mastoid of the skull and the collarbone (clavicle) of the same side. It is usually seen in newborns or young children, and it can be painful and bothersome.

What Causes it, and what does it look like?

Although literature regarding the condition claims the cause is idiopathic (meaning unknown), the result is a prolonged muscle spasm that some medical professionals believe to be caused by malposition in the womb or a damage to the blood supply of the neck. The condition can present as such:

  • The child tilts the head in one direction
  • The child prefers to look over only one shoulder instead of turning the head to follow
  • If breastfeeding, the child may have trouble breastfeeding on one side; therefore, they prefer only one side.
  • The child has to work hard to turn their head one direction and will become frustrated if they try to.
How is it typically treated?

Torticollis is typically treated over a longer period of time as the main recommendation is to complete exercises at home. Other recommendations include traction, massage, heat, muscle relaxants, and unfortunately, in some cases, surgery.

How do we help someone diagnosed with Torticollis?

Upper Cervical Chiropractic is ideal for this condition. As we noted, Upper Cervical Chiropractic isn’t used to treat a specific symptom, but because it affects the nervous system, it allows the full body the chance to heal. When the top two bones in the neck are misaligned it is especially easy to see the direct correlation an adjustment has on the tight neck muscles. Not only will the care be effective at correcting the nervous system, the biomechanical effects are evident as well.

We can provide a more holistic and less invasive alternative solution; let us help your child get back on track to becoming the best versions of themselves; they deserve to THRIVE.

EAR INFECTIONS

What is it?

The Mayo Clinic defines an ear infection, aka an acute otitis, as inflammation due to a bacterial or viral infection of the middle, outer, or inner ear canal. This more frequently occurs in children as their eustachian tube (the portion that connects the ear to the nasopharynx) is smaller in length and straighter; therefore, making it easier for viruses to move from the nose to the ear for infants and children.

What Causes it and what does it look like?

An ear infection is a bacterial or viral infection of the inner ear canal due to the spread of an upper respiratory infection. The infection causes inflammation and can cause drainage to occur in the ear. The condition can present as such in children:

  • A sharp and stabbing pain in the ear
  • Muffled hearing
  • A feeling of ‘fullness’ in the ear
  • Poor sleep and pain when lying down
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Tugging at the ear
How is it typically treated?

Antibiotics are the primary form of treatment provided, unfortunately, if the cause of the ear infection is viral, the antibiotics will not provide any relief. If the child has recurrent infections medical professionals will often suggest the surgical implantation of tubes to treat this as well.

How do we help someone diagnosed with Ear Infections?

As we noted, Upper Cervical Chiropractic isn’t used to treat a specific symptom, but because it affects the nervous system, it allows the full body the chance to heal. If the child is experiencing chronic ear infections, there may be a structural issue that has yet to be addressed. Children under our care not only receive the structural correction that help with the chronic cases, but because upper cervical chiropractic care addresses the nervous system, the child’s immune response will also become stronger; therefore, helping prevent possible infections that are caused by a suppressed immune response.

HEADACHES AND MIGRAINES

What is it?

Headaches are simply defined as pain in the region of the head, encompassing both sides of the head or just one specific area of the head. The pain from headaches can vary in type – from throbbing and achy to sharp and shooting and everything in between. Headaches present in many different ways and they have a wide variety of causes. Migraines are considered much more severe cases of headaches and they are typically accompanied by sensitivity to light, sound, and are often associated with the feeling of nausea.

What causes it?

There are different types of headaches, and these different types arise from different causes. The Mayo clinic defines a headache as being caused by over-activity or some issue in the pain-sensitive structures in your head, which are part of your nervous system. Your nervous system facilitates communication even within the brain itself, in the case of headaches, via pain receptors are known as nociceptors. Headaches can be triggered by many things including: exercise, dehydration, caffeine, lack of sleep, alcohol, certain foods (especially deli meats containing nitrates), stress, sinus infections, and a myriad of other factors.

How do headaches present

Headaches can present in many different ways but the most common are:

Cluster headaches
Migraines (with or without aura)
Tension headaches
TAC (Trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia)

How are they typically treated?

Your body typically can resolve a headache on its own, as in the case of dehydration from lack of water, but common treatments for recurring headaches include pain relievers – aspirin, ibuprofen, excedrin, etc. The Mayo clinic also lists Opioids, beta blockers, antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs, and botox as potential options for migraine treatment.

How do we help someone diagnosed with Headaches?

Here at The Specific Chiropractic Centers we use a less invasive route to help people overcome their headaches. We use specific upper cervical chiropractic care to help the brain heal fully. When your body undergoes stress, your body protects its most important functions by limiting the flow of information through your nervous system. While that limited flow may prevent your body from a short term pain, it can frequently lead to long-term, recurring pain, such as headaches or migraines. In patients with headaches and migraines, we frequently see an inflamed or irritated nervous system, specifically in the upper-cervical portion of the spine. If the body is unable to initially heal this irritation and it is left unresolved, it can become a chronic issue which leads to more consistent headaches or migraines. Through objective and specific upper cervical chiropractic adjustments our patients begin to have a restored level of health. As the body heals from the root cause of the headache, it is better able to respond to primary stresses that it will inevitably encounter moving forward. Instead of masking the symptoms with medication, The Specific Chiropractic Centers restores the patient back to the healthiest version of themselves. In short, we provide a more holistic and less invasive solution than many of the leading headaches and migraine treatments that are commonly recommended.

What is it?

Asthma is a condition in which the airways within the lungs (the bronchioles) narrow (or constrict) and become inflamed

Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell and produce extra mucus. This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. For some people, asthma is a minor nuisance. For others, it can be a major problem that interferes with daily activities and may lead to a life-threatening asthma attack.

How do we help someone diagnosed with Asthma?

The nervous system is a very complex communication network designed to control and coordinate the body’s vital functions. One of those functions is to control the respiratory system and lungs. Consider that you can climb a flight of stairs, run, swim, or ride a bike without even thinking about your breathing. That’s because the respiratory center, housed in the brain stem, is responsible for adjusting the rate of breathing to the demands of the body so that proper oxygen and carbon dioxide levels remain unchanged even during strenuous exercise.

Asthma involves both the lungs and the immune system and has become the most common and costly illness in the United States. An estimated 17 million Americans suffer from asthma at an annual cost of over $13 billion. Asthma accounts for more hospitalizations than any other childhood disease, and children suffering from asthma miss more than 10 million days of school every year. Nearly 5000 people die from causes related to asthma each year, and it is one of the many diseases with an increasing death rate.

Even though asthma is a common condition, if is far from simple. During an asthma attack, the airways become narrow and obstructed due to a combination of muscle spasm, inflammation, and excess mucus production. The symptoms, which vary among sufferers, include wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and chronic coughing.

Asthma attacks can be triggered by any condition that causes inflammation in the airways. These triggers include irritants like the following: dust mites, animal dander, pollen, mold, pollution, smoke, exercise, cold air, or intense emotions.

Asthma and Allergies

Many asthma sufferers also have allergies, which, although related, differ from asthma. However, allergens like pollen, mold, animal dander, and dust mites can make asthma symptoms worse by increasing inflammation in the airways.
While the cause of asthma is still unknown, many researchers believe asthma is caused by a disturbance of the respiratory center within the brain stem. In fact, one study suggests this is the “common denominator” and basic underlying mechanism in all varieties of asthma. This disturbance is believed to cause the muscles of the airway to contract thus restricting the flow of air in the lungs.

What is it?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and ADD are classified as brain balance disorders, and it is estimated that 3-5% of children (approximately 2 million children in the United States) are diagnosed with ADHD or ADD. It is considered to be much more common in boys than girls and unfortunately, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, it is estimated that as much as 60% of children diagnosed with ADHD will have symptoms as an adult as well.

What Causes it and what does it look like?

The presentation of ADHD in an individual is currently believed to be due to a combination of an overactive nervous system with a decrease in the brain’s ability to filter external inputs.

How does it present?

The CDC lists the following as Common signs of ADHD:

  • Frequent daydreams
  • Squirming or Fidgeting
  • Talking too much
  • Have a hard time resisting temptation
  • Have trouble taking turns
  • Have difficulty getting along with others
  • Forget or lose things a lot
  • Making careless mistakes or take unnecessary risks
How is it typically treated?

The most common treatment for ADHD or ADD is the use of the drug methylphenidate, also known as Ritalin, amphetamine/dextroamphetamine, or Adderall. These drugs both work by synthetically increasing the speed of the availability of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine in the body – therefore they are classified as CNS (central nervous system) stimulants. The issue with these drugs is that their effects are temporary- they do not do anything to heal the body, create lasting positive changes, or address the root cause but simply mask the symptoms. This often leaves parents asking for long-term treatment options.

How do we help someone diagnosed with ADHD or ADD?

At the Specific Chiropractic Center, we work directly with the nervous system, which controls the communication channels at the heart of this “brain balance” disorder. By removing stress from the nervous system, the person is better able to process the natural stimuli and stress they will inevitably encounter. By focusing specifically on the upper cervical region of the spine, we address the most proximal region to the brain stem, which allows information to move more effectively throughout both sides of the brain. We do this at The Specific Chiropractic Centers by completing a thorough initial exam, including x-rays, infrared thermography scans, heart rate variability, and other objective measures, to determine if our expertise would be the best fit for our prospective patients.

In the initial exam, we are able to determine limiting factors in a person’s health, and if those factors are related to the nervous system, we work to correct them using objective measurements before and after every appointment. We specialize in removing the interference (known as a subluxation) that causes stress on the nervous system. We remove this interference by providing an adjustment specifically to one of the top two bones in the body (right where the brainstem and ALL of the nerves in the body are affected). With these adjustments, the nervous system and the brain are both affected positively to allow the child the best opportunity to heal and fully overcome the symptoms and the root cause of ADHD. As their body begins to heal throughout the care, it creates lasting effects so these symptoms are no longer present.