By Dr. William R. Davis Jr., D.C., Upper Cervical Specialist
We see many athletes, artists, and celebrities getting migraine headaches including NFL giants Terrell Davis and Troy Aikman, tennis great Serena Williams, basketball superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and baseball stars Jonathon Papelbon and Johnny Damon; actors Ben Affleck and Whoopi Goldberg. Migraines are a debilitating type of headache that literally takes days, weeks, months and years away from many people in our society. For instance, I have a patient right now who gets 2-3 migraines per month. That doesn’t seem that bad maybe to you. But the truth is when the headaches come she is unable to do anything!!! She lays in a dark room until the migraines go away. The migraines last between 1-2 days at a time. So lets say conservatively that she is losing 3 days a month to these migraines. That’s 36 days a year…over a 10 year time period that is a 360 days…one year out of ten is lost to migraines!!!
In my office 90-95 % of patients with Migraine Headaches see their migraines eliminated while under care. The other 5-10% at least see a reduction in the frequency and intensity of these headaches. So why doesn’t Ben Affleck get into an upper cervical doctor’s office and get rid of those migraines? How many games did Terrel Davis miss because of headaches?
So why is upper cervical care so effective at getting to the underlying cause of headaches? The answer is trauma. Physical trauma…such as car accidents, falls, sports injuries, childhood injuries and more lead to a tearing loose of the connective tissue that holds the spine in place. Which creates a weakness. Once that happens the spine begins to breakdown. It starts in the most movable and vulnerable area, the top of the spine where the skull and the spine come together at the upper cervical area. This misaligned upper neck area creates pressure on the brain stem and veins that drain the brain. This is why pressure will begin to build up into the head often leading to headaches. The brain stem irritation explains the nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, etc that frequently goes along with Migraine headaches.
These observations are now being demonstrated in the research as well. A recent case study is showing that after upper cervical care using the NUCCA procedure, a follow-up Phase Contrast Magnetic Resonance (PC MR) study demonstrated changes in flow from the jugular veins that leave the brain. The subject of the case study obtained relief from migraine headache pain consistent to maintenance of his upper cervical correction by the end of thirty days. The exam continued to show improvement of the blood flow measured over the 16-week study period consistent to maintenance of upper cervical alignment. Additional funding is being sought to do a larger study on Migraines, upper cervical misalignments and blood flow changes.
So who do you know that is still getting migraines? Does anyone know Whoopi? Johnny? Troy? How about you? Are you losing parts of your life because of the effects of Migraine Headaches? You can be helped! But you have to take the first step…
(Editor's note: Remember the objective of upper cervical care is to correct head neck misalignment that is interfering with proper brain to body communication. When this is corrected the body functions at a higher level and can often correct other problems more efficiently on its own. Please do not confuse upper cervical care as a treatment for any condition, disease or symptom.)