Thursday, June 30, 2016

Sinus Headaches Symptoms and Treatment

The third topic of my headache series are sinus headaches. Living here in Jacksonville, Florida, we experience allergy season what seems like all year around, but realistically twice a year. Whether it be from the pollen from pine trees or ragweed, I always have patients coming into the office with a sinus infection asking if I can help. This is pretty much what I explain to them.
Your sinuses are air-filled spaces inside your forehead, cheekbones, and behind the bridge of your nose. When they get inflamed -- usually because of an allergic reaction or an infection -- they swell, make more mucus, and the channels that drain them can get blocked.
The build-up of pressure in your sinuses causes pain that feels like a headache.


You’ll feel a deep and constant pain in your cheekbones, forehead, or the bridge of your nose. The pain usually gets stronger when you move your head suddenly or strain. At the same time, you might have other sinus symptoms, such as:
  • A runny nose
  • Feeling of fullness in your ears
  • Fever
  • Swelling in your face

Other kinds of recurring headaches, like migraines or tension headaches, are often mistaken for sinus headaches. Because the treatment you need depends on what kind of headache you have, it’s important to figure out if your symptoms are caused by your sinuses. If a sinus blockage, such as an infection, really is the cause, you'll likely have a fever.
Usually your doctor can tell if your sinuses are blocked based on the symptoms you describe and a physical exam, but in some cases, you may need CT or MRI scans.
The goal is usually to relieve your symptoms and treat an infection if you have one. You might take antibiotics, as well as antihistamines or decongestants for a short time. You can also use inhaled nasal decongestants, but only for up to 3 days. Longer use can make your symptoms worse.
You can also take pain relievers, or if they don't help, your doctor can prescribe corticosteroids to ease the inflammation in your sinuses. If an allergic reaction causes your sinus flare-ups, you might need a preventive allergy treatment.
You can also feel better with simple at-home tricks, such as drinking more fluids, using a humidifier, or saltwater nasal spray.
If you take decongestant and pain-relieving medicines too often, you might get medication overuse headaches. It's important to touch base with your doctor if you’re using any medication for a long time to relieve your headaches. Decongestants also can raise your blood pressure, so if you have high blood pressure, talk to your doctor before you take one.
In rare cases, he may recommend sinus surgery to remove polyps or open up small or constantly swollen sinuses.
Ever heard that allergies cause sinus headaches? It’s not quite that simple.
Allergies can cause sinus congestion, which can make your head hurt. Treatment for your allergies can ease that congestion, but it won’t relieve your headache pain. You usually have to treat the two conditions separately. See your doctor to make sure you get the right help.
Webmd doesn’t mention anything about chiropractic care for sinus infection and I understand why. Not to many people know that chiropractic care can help relieve the pressure of a sinus infection if only for a short period of time within the sinus cavity. I say short period, because keep in mind your sinuses are infected and creating more mucus and probably blocking the pathways in which they need to drain, therefore causing more pressure in the head in face. If you are interested in learning more about how chiropractic can help call my office.

WebMD Medical Reference
View Article Sources 
SOURCES: American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Mayo Clinic.
Reviewed by Neil Lava, MD on May 13, 2016
© 2016 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Causes of Cervicogenic Headaches and How to Treat Them

This is part 2 of my headache series and today’s discussion is all about Cervicogenic headaches. A headache that is caused by a dysfunction within the cervical region; this is what we call as chiropractors, a cervicogenic headache. As you may already know, most headaches come from a number of sources, Jaw pain, Hypertension, Dehydration and so on.  What I will be discussing with you today, are some the causes, diagnoses, and treatments of a cervicogenic headache.

Cervicogenic headache usually starts in what we call the suboccipital area, which is that muscular area that is just under the occiput of the head. That pain starts there - it can be on one or both sides - and it tends to radiate up into the head and around the head. The easiest way to visualize it is to actually take the palm of your hand and place it on the back of the head and that really is where the pain spreads. More rarely, the pain can travel to the front of the head and behind the eye. Once again, that's not common and it is even less common for it to just appear in the front of the head or behind the eye, but it does happen.

What causes a Cervicogenic Headache?
In order to discuss the causes of cervicogenic headache, I need to take a step back for a second and talk about the anatomy cervical spine “neck”.  What we're looking at here is the back of the head, the neck or cervical spine, and specifically what we're looking at is these little joints. Now these are facet joints - or zygapophysial joints – the hinge-like joints in the spine. Now, these joints are true joints - in other words, they have the synovial fluid, synovial capsule, cartilage - and they can react like any other joint; in other words, they can get irritated, inflamed, and can become painful. Now, what's important in this context is that the innervations for these joints comes from a very small branch - called medial branch - that comes around here and goes into the joint. At times, that branch continues on and becomes another nerve. The nerve we're concerned about specifically is called the third occipital nerve. This nerve crosses the C2-3 facet joints and the facet joints are named for the different vertebral bodies that are interfacing and forming that joint, so this is a C2 and C3. So a C2-3 is crossed by the third occipital nerve, then continues onto the occiput and around the scalp. If there is irritation at this joint, this nerve tends to transmit pain and cause the pain that we're discussing - the pain that actually encompasses the occiput and the back of the head.

Now, the causes of this, there are many to discuss. If we are to group them together, the most common cause is really similar to a whiplash injury. If you think about the joint itself as a hinge-like joint that provides the sliding motion. Whiplash is essentially an acceleration-deceleration injury grinding that joint. That usually is the first step to precipitating this cervicogenic headache because it irritates the joint, then the irritation drives the whole process.

Now, whiplash or acceleration-deceleration injury through that joint can mean motor vehicle accidents, can mean just falls - commonly falls on ice - that cause this motion of the head and that's usually more common in the younger population. When we talk about the older population and when arthritis becomes more of a problem, that arthritis in that same joint can also cause irritation, inflammation, and irritation to that nerve, causing that cervicogenic headaches. Of course, anything that would cause irritation to that nerve would cause the headaches and muscle spasms, grinding that joints, irritation to the joint from other causes, from the laxity of the joint, in different conditions that really predispose the hypermobility or increased mobility of that joint can also predispose to inflammation and irritation of that nerve, once again predisposing one to cervicogenic headaches.

How is a Cervicogenic Headache Diagnosed?
Diagnosing cervicogenic headache can be somewhat tricky because the headaches resemble a number of different headaches and to complicate the matter, they can trigger other headaches. So, for instance, patients can have cervicogenic headaches as another trigger for a migraine. Cervicogenic headache in itself can cause tension types of headache. But if there is suspicion for cervicogenic headache, the studies have shown that a very precise diagnostic procedure can be very accurate in diagnosing it.

The way this procedure is done is under controlled conditions and the guidance of an x-ray or fluoroscopy. A needle is actually placed at the joint at three separate spots - at the most likely places of this nerve - and anesthetic is placed very precisely at the location of the nerve. If this eliminates the pain, then that's a very positive indication that that's the source of the pain.

How is a Cervicogenic Headache Treated?
In discussing treatments for cervicogenic headaches, it's important to remember that we have to look at it as constellation of symptoms, even though we know that there is a third occipital nerve that gets irritated and that's what we have to treat, that resolves a part of the problem - a very important part of the problem - but from literature we know that we see the best outcomes by approaching it from several different directions. What I mean by that is: one of the main treatments for cervicogenic headaches is addressing the pain generator. So, reducing the inflammation at the joint and reducing the inflammation at that third occipital nerve is one of the first things to do. That can be done by placing medication right at the source of the inflammation and irritation. Another way to do this - and this is a very well-studied approach - is to use radiofrequency rhizotomy. Radiofrequency rhizotomy essentially eliminates those feeding nerve fibers and the way this is approached is a probe is placed along the path of this nerve and then radiofrequency energy is used in order to treat this area to eliminate those nerve fibers.

Besides using these techniques, what's important to remember is that chiropractic care and theruapeutic modalities such as Ice and Interferntial units to decrease inflammation and reduce pain, along with PNF stretching, or proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching, is a set of stretching techniques commonly used in clinical environments to enhance both active and passive range of motion in order to improve motor performance and aid rehabilitation. So, it is important to address this from a point of controlling the pain because, as we know, pain really drives a lot of the muscle spasms and prevents one from doing the exercises and manipulations that are necessary in order to get better. Once everything comes together and all of the components of the biomechanical chain are treated, the myofascial component is treated, the irritation and inflammation is eliminated, most patients tend to recover very well. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

TMJ “Temporomandibular Joint” Headaches

TMJ Symptoms: Tension Headache and Jaw Pain

Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD, causes jaw pain that may be mistaken for recurring tension headaches according to a recent study of TMJ symptoms. Jaw pain due to TMJ symptoms will not respond to tension headache treatment. Instead, such pain must be treated in the same way traditional TMJ symptoms.

The Temporomandibular Joint:
The TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull. Actually, two temporomandibular joints are located just in front of the ears, one on each side of the jaw. The TMJ joint allows you to move your lower jaw so you can talk and chew. Disorders of this joint may be referred to simply as TMJ or as TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder).

In healthy people, the lower jaw that forms the TMJ joint are rounded and called condyles. When we open and close our mouths, the condyles glide along the TMJ joint sockets. To prevent wear and tear, a small disc acts as a shock absorber between the condyles and the socket.

TMJ Symptoms:
Damage to the temporomandibular joint, either through trauma or daily wear and tear, can result in TMJ symptoms, including jaw pain and tension headaches. Additional TMJ symptoms can include:

  • clicking sounds when moving the jaw
  • difficulty chewing or biting
  • ear ache
  • facial pain
  • fibromyalgia
  • “grating” feeling while chewing
  • less range when closing / opening the mouth
  • tender jaw

Between five to ten percent of the American population suffers from TMJ symptoms that require some form of treatment.

TMJ Symptoms and Fibromyalgia:The jaw pain associated with TMJ symptoms is similar to the joint pain associated with fibromyalgia, a condition often seen in women with sudden hormone changes (including menopause). Because TMJ and fibromyalgia often occur simultaneously in woman, doctors think a connection exists between the two.

Other conditions often seen with jaw pain and TMJ symptoms include:

  • atypical facial pain
  • cardiovascular diseases
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • equilibrium (balancing) disorder
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • migraine headache
  • multiple chemical sensitivity
  • smell and taste disorders
  • speech and hearing disorders
  • trigeminal neuralgia (a painful facial nerve condition).

Tension Headache and TMJ
A recent study conducted by the University of Buffalo’s School of Dental Medicine researched the possibility that TMJ symptoms were being mistaken for tension headache symptoms. The study was led by Richard Ohrbach, an associate professor in the Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences.

The study’s intent was to examine the difference between TMJ joint pain versus tension headaches in clinical examinations. However, the focus of the study wasn’t limited to tension headaches. It also examined migraines, mixed migraines and sub-clinical headaches.

All 583 participants in the study displayed TMJ symptoms. Because women are nearly twice as likely as men to display TMJ symptoms, women comprised 82.3 percent of the participants.
Ohrbach and his research team discovered that, in 82 percent of cases, they could reproduce tension headache symptoms by performing standard clinical examinations of the temporomandibular joint. Consequently, the process of diagnosing TMJ symptoms, as set forth by the Research Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders, was compared to tension headache diagnosis process.

The study found that both patients and examining physicians may mistake tension headache caused by TMJ symptoms and jaw pain for classic tension headaches. Ohrbach notes that this is unfortunate, as “TMJ is very treatable, but if a jaw disorder is ignored, then treatment for the headache may not address all of the factors contributing to the headache.” Although TMJ symptoms were present in all participants, 152 were diagnosed with tension headaches, based on standard International Headache Society guidelines for tension headache diagnosis.

As a Doctor of Chiropractic I would like to note that Chiropractors do have some training in diagnosing and adjusting the Temporomandibular Joint, but I would always caution any patient to thoroughly interview and ask how much experience your Chiropractor may have with this disease. 

Medical News Today. (16 May 2006). Study suggests tension headache may actually be TMJD.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Chiropractic Care for Wellness

A number of people are benefiting from the approach of chiropractic care for overall wellness. People no longer wait to get sick to get themselves examined by the medical experts. They no longer believe in the notion that health is absence of symptoms or pain. Rather they look for ways to enhance their health and to function at the optimal level in all sense- physically, socially, spiritually, and mentally. Since Chiropractors focus on the nervous system, which controls all the other aspect of our body, its maintenance is essential.

Why Chiropractors?

Chiropractors know about the nervous system, and which part of the body is connected to which nerve. They know the negative impact of spine on the functioning of the nervous system, and vertebral subluxations.

Professionals trained in this particular field carry out the spinal subluxations the right way, and can locate it as well. They help patients achieve their wellness goals, recover from injury, and boost their health.

Traditional or Modern Medical Model?

Before chiropractic, people used to follow the standardized medical model, which was based on symptoms. People only used to go to the doctor when they were sick or had some injury. But now, a lot has changed. Individuals are focusing on improving the psychological state, so that physical state remains intact.

People are seeking therapy for the pain that is being caused because of the stress, rather than finding the way to remove just the pain. Now, the connection between mind-body is being addressed. A number of studies have proven the effective role of chiropractic care for neck pain, spinal pain syndrome, headaches, and other conditions.


According to a poll by Palmer College of Chiropractic on the perception of Americans on chiropractic in 2015, the results portrayed that chiropractic doctors are seen in the positive light by 50% of the adults and they don’t mind getting this treatment for their back and neck pain. Moreover, 22% want to consult chiropractors about their wellness and health problems, and 31% of the people already following the program want to have appointment with a chiropractor on a regular basis.

Another 4-year study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found greater wellness among patients of chiropractic than non-users. The results of chiropractic users are; 51.8% reduction in pharmaceutical costs, 58.4% lesser hospital days, 43% lower admissions in the hospital, and 43.3% decrease in outpatient procedures and surgeries.

Just as your car needs timely maintenance, same is the case with your nervous system. You cannot just get it fixed once and ignore it later on. With chiropractic investment, you make sure your back muscles, neck, spinal cord, and nervous system are properly taken care of.

By adding Chiropractic Care for Wellness in your routine, you will be including exercises, chiropractic care, and good nutrition to it as well. This will provide the highest level of health known as wellness.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Chiropractic Care for Motor Vehicle Accident

Every year, up to 1.3 million people die because of road accidents. Anyone who has ever been in an auto accident only knows how traumatic it can be. Many individuals who are in auto accidents who are lucky enough to survive, live with physical, as well as emotional pain. It is important that the aftermath of the accident is handled properly, and the person gets proper care and treatment in order to recover from their injuries.

People go for surgeries and medications to get relief from the pain after the accident. One of the treatments a person may opt for includes Chiropractic Care. From neck injuries, to back injuries, soft tissue pain, and whiplash injuries –Chiropractors can treat them all.

Injuries of Motor Vehicle Accident

For some people, the pain kicks in when an individual get over the initial shock, while others feel the pain almost instantly. No matter whether the accident occurred from the back or the front, the neck region is the most susceptible part of the body to get injured during an accident. The seat belt can hold the body still, but the neck and head of the person can still move violently due to impact.
The sudden pressure because of the movement on the neck region can cause injuries in the soft tissues present in the neck, joint capsules, hyperflexion-hyperextension, and intervertebral discs. One of the most common injuries of the neck in the car accidents is called Whiplash.

Whiplash Symptoms

The sudden and harsh movement of the head in the backward, forward, or in the side directions is called Whiplash. It has the potential to dislocate the spine, and cause severe pain. Below are a few of the symptoms of whiplash that require medical attention as soon as possible.
1.       Pain in the lower back
2.       Pain in the arm
3.       Pain in the shoulder
4.       Headaches
5.       Blurred vision
6.       Stiffness in the neck region
7.       Reduced range of motion in the neck
8.       Dizziness
9.       Pain in the neck

Treatment with Chiropractic Care

A person who has endured whiplash should seek proper medical treatment and should not let it go untreated, as it can lead to pain in the future. With chiropractic care, the person will be able to sustain the health of their spine, even if no major symptoms show up. This way the spine and the bones, nerves, connective tissues, and muscles will stay in the right alignment and the body will function to its optimal level.

Initially, the chiropractor will carry out a physical assessment and look for the major muscles that are causing trouble. Once that is discovered, they will proceed with the treatment accordingly. When the treatment for the injury is not delayed, the recovery and healing does not take long to start.

Chiropractors also offer physical therapy, nutritional advice, and exercises to boost the restoration of your health. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Poor Posture and How It Affects Soft Tissue and the Spine

A good posture is not only necessary for your physical health but also your mental health. We need both mental and physical power to hold our body the right way while sitting, standing, walking, and sleeping. People tend to adapt poor posture because of the back pain caused by working for long hours. Lack of proper posture leads to neck pain, spinal cord injuries, and even chronic pains.

Warning Signs of Poor Posture

Here are a few signs of poor posture that you must lookout for if you want live a healthy lifestyle.

1.       Persistent back pain with varying intensity
2.       Pain that vanishes when you switch position, whenever you are standing or sitting
3.       At a specific time of the day or week, the back pain gets worse.
4.       Back pain caused because of a new office chair, new job, or new car.
5.       Pain that begins from the neck, and travels downwards to the upper and lower back.

Impact of Poor Posture on Soft Tissue and the Spine

Whether it is our lifestyle, injury, general health or aging – poor and unnatural posture can further cause soft tissue injury, spinal cord injury, degenerative conditions, and structural injury. The tendons, nerves, muscles, and ligaments are considered as soft tissues. Pain in these tissues occurs because of bad posture, stress, and injury. This can cause pressure on the spine. The pressure keeps moving depending on position of the person.

When a person is lying down on their back, the pressure on the spine is minimal at that point. The pressure travels upwards thrice, as the person stands up straight, and 4 times when they are in a sitting position. Similarly, if that person is lifting the weight of a medium sized box, the stress on the lower back increases up to 5 times. Therefore, when the poor posture and defective body workings mix together, the pain can augment up to 5 times. These movements can lead to mini-injuries and micro-trauma, particularly when they are recurring. The development of musculoskeletal symptoms is quite common too.

Hunchback, forward head, and rounded shoulder are postures that cause pain in the neck, shoulder, and back. Most of the time, it is because of prolonged sitting or sitting in an unnatural way for a long time. Misalignment in the spine also takes place because of slouching, which further leads to herniated disc. This is the spine problem caused in the lumbar region. The disc is a supportive cushion for the vertebrae. However, the herniation can cause the inner disc to push through the outer layer. In this condition, an individual will feel numbness and pain in the legs, arms, or back.

Chiropractic medicine is one of the natural ways to treat these disorders. There are no drugs or major surgery involved in this treatment. It can adjust the misalignments and restore performance, so you can adapt to healthy lifestyle with a correct posture.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Knee Injury Due to Motor Vehicle Accident

Everyday we hear about auto accident injuries occurring in Jacksonville and Orange Park, whether in the news, from a family member, our colleagues, or we fitness them firsthand. These accidents can cause serious injuries to a person, which at times stays with them for a lifetime.

Damage to the knee is one of the outcomes of vehicle accidents, which has the potential to completely immobilize a person. This is because walking requires the movement of the knee, which becomes restricted when it is injured. Claiming medical insurance becomes necessary when the injury is serious and requires surgery. In such circumstances, an attorney in Florida will help you get the right amount in compensation, while you recover from your injury. However prior to contacting an attorney, you need the proper medical care.

Symptoms of Knee Injury

If you are suffering from a knee injury, these are the symptoms you will most likely encounter.

1.       Variations in the range of motion, which hinders the extension of your walk or knee.
2.       Feeling pain when you are performing a task or even resting.
3.       Unsteadiness and weakness.
4.       Tingling sensation, and tenderness on the knee.
5.       Swelling and redness on the knee.
6.       Sticking out bone or any other deformity is the sign of fracture or break.
7.       Color changes because of the bruise or changes in temperature (fever or cold).
8.       The feeling of something ripping or popping in the knee.
9.       Locking or grinding of the knee bones indicates that bones are not at their right places.

Different Types of Knee Injury

You will get the insurance depending on the type of knee injury you have. It can range from subtle to acute knee injury. These include fractures, knee strain and sprain, anterior cruciate ligament, dislocation of the knee, medical collateral ligament, and posterior cruciate ligament.

There are three levels of knee sprain:

a)     Grade 1 Knee Sprain

At this level, the fibers of the knees are completely intact and stable, and only the ligament is stretched, which is causing the pain.

b)     Grade 2 Knee Sprain

In grade 2 knee sprain, there is a little bit of unsteadiness, which can be visible in some cases. There is also a partial tearing of the ligament fibers.  

c)      Grade 3 Knee Sprain

At this point, the situation of the knee is very serious and the ligament fibers are entirely torn.

Treatments of Knee Sprains and Strains

Physical therapy, joint elevation, application of heat and cold, limitation of physical activity, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and splints are the popular treatments present for knee strains and sprains. The time required for the knee injury to heal properly depends on the age and overall health of the person. In some cases, surgery is the only solution. Therefore, do not handle the matter of knee injury lightly as it can cause mobility problems in the future.

If you have injured your knee and need immediate assistance call Spinal Injury Centers today (904) 644-7034.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Shoulder Injury Due to Motor Vehicle Accident

Motor vehicle accidents are commonplace in the amount of traffic we see every day. These accidents can cause injuries to the driver and other passengers sitting in that vehicle. Shoulder injuries are one of the outcomes that victim suffers, especially the individual who is driving the car. Such injuries can cause serious impairments to the person for a lifetime, and can hinder their normal functioning.

There are some injuries that are discovered later on because of the initial adrenaline rush, shock, and denial. However, as soon as the person start feeling the pain, it is important to seek medical assistance from a licensed Chiropractor in Orange Park who has a specialization in handling shoulder injury cases caused by accidents. You also acquire legal help as some insurance companies deny help, because of  late claims. You can hire an attorney in Florida, who can help you with the case while you recover from a shoulder injury.

What are the Symptoms of Shoulder Injuries?

In the case of experiencing any of the following symptoms, you need to seek medical help as soon as possible.

1.       You are suffering from frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis, if you are feeling the loss of motion range or stiffness in your shoulder.
2.       If the ball pops out of the socket in your shoulder, it is the sign of a dislocated shoulder. This injury is cured by popping the ball back in the socket and let it heal through icing, sling or rest.
3.       Feeling a pinch in the shoulder is the sign of a cut or pressed nerve. This indicates numbness in the shoulder.
4.       Whether you are feeling dull pain, sharp pain, lasting pain or fleeting pain, inform your doctor so they can provide you with medical treatment accordingly.
5.       The shoulder injury can even require surgery, if it is serious, when ligaments holding the shoulder together tear. If you had experience falling on an outstretched hand or have taken a blow to the shoulder, it is better to get it checked.
6.       Swelling on the shoulder or the entire arm is also a sign of shoulder injury.
7.       If there is a change of color on your skin or if you experience coolness, it indicates a lack of blood supply to your arm.
8.       If you are unable to move your shoulder, because of the pain or torn muscle, it shows weakness in the shoulder.

What to Do in the Case of Serious Injuries to the Shoulder?

Before you figure out what to do in case of serious injuries, it is important to know what constitutes serious injuries. Tearing the labrum and rotator cuffs are two of the major shoulder injuries. They lead to surgeries such as Mini-Open Repair, Open Repair, and All-Arthroscopic Repair. The insurance company offer less reasonable settlement when the injury is serious. In that case, you must go see a doctor first, attorney second. They will not let the insurance company delay, deny or offer you a smaller offer, and get you the compensation you truly deserve.

If you have been injured your shoulder in an auto accident contact Spinal Injury Centers today for all of your Orange Park Chiropractic needs (904) 644-7034.