Monday, May 4, 2020

An All Too Common Traumatic Tale

Amelia was born in typical fashion.  Her mother labored for over 24 hours, pushed until Amelia’s head became visible, and then was assisted by the doctor, who pulled Amelia the remainder of the way into the world by her head.  Amelia’s father was amazed as he watched the birthing process because when the doctor pulled, he noticed that his newborn daughter’s neck was stretched and twisted like a rubber band.  Basic tests all being normal, she was given a clean bill of health and went home soon after.  Her dad could not help but wonder, though, “Were the standard post-birth exams thorough enough?”

He was right to wonder.  According to Abraham Towbin, M.D. (Harvard Medical School), “Life for the newborn depends upon the preservation and healthy functioning of the brainstem and spinal cord at the level of the upper neck,” an area adversely affected by the sort of pulling that Amelia and nearly all other infants experience during the birthing process, either by the doctor’s hands (normal or C-section), forceps, or suction.  German medical physician and researcher, Gottfried Gutmann, found that up to 80% of newborns suffered subtle upper cervical spinal (neck) injuries during delivery and that, despite the prevalence, typical exams almost never identify them. 

Amelia’s conventional pediatrician assured her dad that his concerns were unfounded, even when he brought up a condition that he had read about in medical texts that some call “traumatic birth syndrome,” which is caused by the aforementioned upper neck injury and its impact on the hub of the nerve system (the brainstem) positioned where the head and neck meet.  Traumatic Birth Syndrome has been connected with a variety of both common infant symptoms such as ear infections, colic, and sleeping trouble, as well as generally thought to be more serious diagnoses. 

Her dad thought little of it thereafter, only occasionally recalling what he had read when Amelia was learning to walk and would repeatedly hit her head so hard on the floor and furniture, and then later when she started testing her limits as a toddler and could rarely escape a month without a tear-inducing head trauma.  After all, she was not bleeding, she clearly had no broken bones, and she was conscious; Amelia’s mom insisted on a hospital visit after a few head to floor hits that could be heard everywhere in the house when they happened, but routine medical checks cleared her of anything obviously wrong. 

It was her mom that began to become more curious about the relationship between these head traumas and her daughter’s health when Amelia started having headaches during her early school years.  Her nephew had suffered numerous concussions and, as a result, she learned that many concussions, particularly mild ones, happen earlier on in life and go undiagnosed. 

By a 500:1 ratio compared to the rest of our lives combined, physical traumas in general occur most often from birth to roughly age 10.  Parents are taught only to be concerned with the pronounced and immediate effects, but the subtler, longer-term aftermath associated for instance with the loss of head/neck alignment – which basically wraps a bony band around part of the brainstem, restricts blood flow to the brain, and causes the entire physical frame to adapt in compensation – is just as significant, albeit often delayed a few years to even decades (it should never be forgotten how resilient the body is by nature and how long it can maintain for you a largely even keel).  It does not require a concussion-inducing head trauma to cause an upper cervical spinal misalignment; 95 Gs of force is an impact consistent with concussions, but it takes just 4 Gs of force to lose head/neck alignment. 

Equilibrium depending as it does on the eyes being level, a function of the head being perfectly balanced on top of the neck, the muscles throughout the body constantly compensate (returning the head to being relatively level) following a trauma that causes head/neck misalignment – what those in the Upper Cervical Chiropractic field frequently refer to as a brainstem “subluxation.” 

Amelia was in middle school when she started suffering from Migraines.  Traditionalists in healthcare quickly talked her mom out of exploring anything “outside the box” in the standard headache years and had insisted that the best route for Amelia was drug treatments, later upgrading the strength of the pharmaceuticals to counteract the worsening Migraine symptoms.  She would go onto be diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and live in chronic pain through her twenties before her world was rocked with talk of her having Multiple Sclerosis at age 35.  When she was in college, Amelia’s car had been t-boned and totaled, her arm broken, and fortunately her head CT scan was negative, but again no one looked for the subtle yet incredibly influential foundational head/neck misalignment.

Just as three degrees separate flying to Washington, D.C. instead of New York from Los Angeles, a shift of the upper cervical spinal anatomy of a few degrees or millimeters fundamentally alters functional capacity from the effect on the brainstem, the first organ created during in-uterine development and the cell tower of the human body network, directing the traffic on the information super highway that is your brainstem, brain, spinal cord, and nerves (your central nervous system) – in addition to the foundation-shifting effect it has on the body structurally. 

Physiology (how things function) is dependent on the correct position of the anatomy.  It is basic applied science to recognize that the incorrect position of the anatomy negatively changes the physiology – a foundational shift in the upper neck caused by trauma years earlier and consequently gradual declines in resiliency are linked to nearly every pain condition, to autoimmune disorders, to premature physical breakdown, etc. – and then to develop a system of identification and correction like that used by Upper Cervical Chiropractors.  Structural imbalance can be identified in a few minutes via the trained eye, the brainstem being compromised is easily identifiable through a technology called thermography, and the details necessary to determine how to correct these findings can be discovered via specific x-rays or 3D CT scans.

Rewinding back to the beginning of Amelia’s story, what if someone was on hand to assess the status of her head and neck alignment within hours of the birthing process, and what if she was later assessed periodically for head and neck alignment like kids have their teeth checked by a dentist?  The first step to implementing such a logical part of basic health assessments is awareness of trauma’s significant long-term influence on the ability to be healthy.  Amelia’s story and the millions like hers are mostly preventable if the subtler effects of trauma are corrected shortly after the trauma happens. 

Thinking good things for you, as always,

-Dr. Chad

No comments:

Post a Comment