How Really Small Muscles Can Be A Real Pain In The Neck – A NYC Chiropractor/Applied Kinesiologist/NKT Practitioner Explains

When a patient complains of neck pain or headaches, I first muscle test both the cervical flexor and extension muscles and muscles which when they test bilaterally weak such as the psoas or gluteus maximus suggest a fixation of the cervical vertebrae.

I ask questions: are the muscles weak and therefore affecting the alignment, movement of the cervical vertebrae?

Are one set of muscles weak or inhibited because of compensating (facilitating) muscle.

Or is the opposite true? Is it the hypertonic or facilitated muscle the problem?

Sometimes it’s not the bigger cervical flexor/extensor muscles that are causing pain either directly or by pulling vertebrae out of alignment and putting pressure on the nerves supplying the cervical area.

Sometimes it’s the half inch to inch muscles just below the occipital (base of your skull) that attach it to either the atlas (C1) or the axis (C2) or attach atlas to axis.

These muscles are called the Rectus Capitis Posterior Major, Rectus Capitis Minor, Obliquus Capitis Superior and Obliquus Capitis Inferior.

suboccipitaltriangle

The Rectus Capitis Posterior Major extends, laterally flexs and rotates the head.  The Rectus Capitis Minor extends and laterally flexes the head. The Obliquus Capitis Superior extends and laterally rotates the head. The Obliquus Capitis Inferior  rotates C1 and cranium.

Problems with these muscles can pull vertebrae out of alignment and put pressure on the cervical spinal roots and cause neck stiffness, pain and headaches. See dermatome map below for areas of innervation.

head dermatome

Note there is no C1 dermatome. The C1 root innervates the meninges of the posterior fossa of the skull and has no cutaneous branch; the posterior fossa also contains the meningeal branches of vagus and hypoglossal nerve. Neck stiffness may be a test of the C1 root that innervates the meninges.

For more information, please see the following blogs:

https://drvittoriarepetto.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/the-use-of-applied-kinesiology-in-a-chiropractic-examination/.

https://drvittoriarepetto.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/spinal-pain-not-being-helped-see-an-applied-kinesiologist-it-may-be-a-fixation/

https://drvittoriarepetto.wordpress.com/2016/06/23/how-a-combination-of-applied-kinesiology-neurokinetic-therapy-and-chiropractic-works/

For discussion about meninges:  https://drvittoriarepetto.wordpress.com/2016/05/28/why-is-my-neck-problem-causing-low-back-or-leg-pain-a-nyc-chiropractor-applied-kinesiologist-nkt-practitioner-explains-the-lovett-brother-effect-on-the-spine/

https://drvittoriarepetto.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/cranial-sacral-therapy-in-applied-kinesiology/

© 2016-Dr. Vittoria Repetto

Want more information on Dr. Vittoria Repetto and her NYC Applied Kinesiology/Chiropractic/ NKT practice at 230 W 13th St., NYC 10011; please go to www.drvittoriarepetto.com

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Thoughts on Whiplash or Neck Trauma by a NYC Chiropractor/Applied Kinesiologist

“Whiplash” is commonly associated with auto accidents but also can be associated with many types of trauma like sport injuries, bad falls and even nodding off in chair and awaking with a sudden jerking of the neck.

The term “whiplash” refers to the mechanism of the injury. The proper terminology is cervical hyperextension/hyperflexion sprain. Hyperextension means that the head and neck are bent backward beyond their normal range of movement. Hyperflexion means that the head and neck are bent forward beyond the normal range of motion. Symptoms can include neck and back pain, loss of range of motion, shoulder & arm pain or numbness, jaw pain, dizziness, headaches, nausea, difficulty swallowing etc.

Within the neck region’s joints are some of the most complex movements within the body. The cervical bones house and protect the spinal cord. Nerves from the cord pass out of the spine between the vertebrae; nerve entrapment can happen due to the shift of the cervical joint and spasm in both the smaller vertebral muscles http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/the-prevertebral-muscles-of-the-neck.html that control fine movements and the larger and longer muscles https://www.realbodywork.com/learn/neck/neck.htm that control the gross movements of the neck which can result in the above

cervical muscles

Cranial-Sacral Mechanism: the skull and sacrum operate in ways that are often inadequately considered in whiplash cases. There is movement between the cranial bones and the sacrum called the cranial sacral respiratory mechanism that pumps cerebrospinal fluid https://drvittoriarepetto.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/cranial-sacral-therapy-in-applied-kinesiology/ up and down the spine that helps keep the nerves healthy. Whiplash can cause jamming of the cranial bones resulting in poor function. Poor function of this mechanism can interfere with cranial nerves, some of which control neck muscles, muscles that move the eyes, and muscles that move the jaw, muscles involved with swallowing and breathing.

Some of the very bizarre symptoms of whiplash trauma develop as a result of cranial dysfunction. Intricately associated with this area are the nerves responsible for balance. These include cranial nerve VIII, which supplies the balance mechanism of the middle ear, cranial nerves III, IV, and VI that supply the muscles that move the eyes and are intricately associated with the visual righting reflexes, and the nerve endings in the upper cervical vertebral ligaments that supply the head on-neck reflexes. These reflexes must work together. If there has been injury causing improper nerve supply to one or more of these areas, neurologic disorganization develops that can cause a change in muscle function throughout the body; there may be dizziness, ear ringing, nausea, blurred or double vision, headaches, and myriad other symptoms.

Many whiplash patients develop pain in the jaw joint, called the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is aggravated by chewing. https://drvittoriarepetto.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/tmj-problems-jaw-problems-and-how-a-nyc-chiropractorapplied-kinesiologist-handles-the-problem/

As a doctor of chiropractor who also does applied kinesiology, I not only deal with restoring the proper movement of the cervical vertebrae https://drvittoriarepetto.wordpress.com/2010/07/17/the-subluxationspinal-joint-dysfunction/ but almost dealing with the injury to the both the flexion and extension muscles of the cervical area mentioned above whether they need to be relaxed or whether they need to be strengthened. https://drvittoriarepetto.wordpress.com/2010/06/21/muscle-balancing-in-applied-kinesiology/

Nutrition is suggested to help repair injured muscle fibers.

Cranial bone movement is checked via muscle testing and restored by non-force movements with inspiratory assistance

The movement of the sacrum, commonly missed in a non-applied kinesiology office, is checked for dysfunction and adjusted for return of normal function and proper flow of the cerebrospinal fluid so important to the health of the brain and the spinal cord and nerves.

 

© 2015-Dr. Vittoria Repetto

Want more information on Dr. Vittoria Repetto and her NYC Applied Kinesiology/Chiropractic practice at 230 W 13th St., NYC 10011; please go to www.drvittoriarepetto.com

And please check out the Patient Testimonials page at my web site.

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A NYC Chiropractor/Applied KInesiologist Posts Site About Sitting Correctly

Are you sitting wrong or sitting for too long? Since a lot of us have office jobs, we spent almost half our day sitting usually in a bad posture. Sitting can have an important impact on your health.

Posture is about keeping your spine aligned with its natural shape and curves and the equal pull on our spines by the spinal and back muscles. Bad posture can throw off your spine’s balance, allowing your body to be more prone to injury. In an average day common incorrect posture positions can change the balance of our spine and the back muscles.

When we slouch, the natural spinal curves are either reversed or exaggerated and this puts more stress on our spine and muscles. For example, if we hang our head and neck down, we increase the strain of the muscles balancing the weight of our head and increase the strain of the muscles holding our rib cage up. Some mucles become too tight and others too loose. Such an imbalance can lead to tension headaches, mid-back pains, neck pains and shoulder pains.

Similarly, low back pain can be caused by misalignment of the spine and unbalanced muscle pull on both the front , back and sides of our torso due to bad posture and habits.

Here is a website with a complete workshop helping you Sit Right when working. Back and neck pain are never comfortable. These guidelines will make your life more comfortable.

http://whatsyourposture.com.au/sit-right/

© 2013-Dr. Vittoria Repetto
Want more information on Dr. Vittoria Repetto and her NYC Applied Kinesiology/Chiropractic practice; please go to http://www.drvittoriarepetto.com

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Water and Your Health

Recently one of my regular patients came in for an adjustment; she was on a new job that requires her to be on her feet for eight hours and a good deal of it outdoors.  And she was having some low back pain and numbness in her thigh.

 So after the orthopedic tests, I tested her Psoas muscle, it was weak on the side of her pain. The Psoas is attached to the front of the lumbar spine and a weakness or a spasm of the Psoas unilaterally can rotate the lumbar spine out of alignment and cause problems with the nerve roots as they exit the lumbar spine.

 And as it is almost summer and the weather has been warm I asked her about her intake of water, she had not been paying attention to her consumption of water. In the Chinese system of medicine, the Psoas muscle is associated w/ the Kidney Meridian and represents the element of water. So I asked her to go to my water cooler and have a few drinks of water; when she returned, I tested her again and this time, the Psoas tested strong.

 I’m telling this story to get to a few points.

 One is to remind people to drink lots of water especially during the warm weather: the composition of our bodies is 72% water and that includes our muscles. Dehydration can cause our muscles to lose strength.

 “All chemical reactions in the body take place in water. Every cell in the human body is bathed in water, which contains materials to keep them vibrant. Water is a transporter of nutrients and oxygen for proper function of the body’s tissues. Water helps remove waste from the body. Water acts as a natural air-conditioner through perspiration. Water is essential for digestion & absorption of vitamins and minerals. Water keeps our skin moist & supple, as well as a natural lubricator for our joints and internal organs.” http://www.filtercon.com/water_health.htm

 Therefore dehydration can make us feel fatigued and sluggish; a common complaint compounded by salt loss….I’m talking not only sodium salts but also magnesium and potassium loss. Eating a little more fruit is important as is a small amount of salt (and I do mean sea salt not regular table salt)– see https://drvittoriarepetto.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/to-salt-or-not-to-salt-that-is-the-question/.

 Try to consume the equivalent of 6-8 -8 oz glasses of water a day; soups and veggies and fruit do supply some water. Coffee, teas, beer, alcohol and (yes) herbal teas all have diuretic effect on our body so they don’t count as they make us lose more water than they add.

 And to drink water at regular intervals; if you wait until you feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. This rule of thumb becomes more important as we age because as we get older, that part of our brain does not signal as efficiently as it once did.

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/signs-of-dehydration-in-the-elderly.html

 Another point is that our spinal disc have less blood vessels perfusing them than the rest of our bodies which means that we get less water to our spinal discs So if you’re thirsty, your spinal discs are drying up and more subject to degeneration; a common cause of back and neck pain. http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/degenerative-disc-disease/degenerative-disc-disease-natural-degenerative-process

Please note that hyper hydration is a serious problem: http://www.healthline.com/health/overhydration#Symptoms4 

Symptoms of overhydration may not be recognized in the early st ages but can include:

  • nausea and vomiting
  • headache
  • changes in mental state (confusion or disorientation)

If left untreated, overhydration can lead to dangerously low levels of sodium in the blood (hyponatremia). This can cause more-severe symptoms, such as:

  • muscle weakness, spasms or cramps
  • seizures
  • unconsciousness
  • coma

To prevent overhydration, individuals should avoid drinking more than one liter per hour of fluid.(1 liter= 4.2 cups; 1 cup = 8 ozs)

 Raising my glass to you all as I finish w/ another web site for your reading pleasure: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/water/NU00283

   © 2010-Dr. Vittoria Repetto/ revised 2016

Want more information on Dr. Vittoria Repetto and her NYC Applied Kinesiology/Chiropractic/ NKT practice at 230 W 13th St., NYC 10011; please go to www.drvittoriarepetto.com

And please check out the Patient Testimonials page on my web site.

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Cranial Sacral Therapy in Applied Kinesiology

Cranial Sacral Therapy is a technique taught in Applied Kinesiology based on Cranial Osteopathy which was discovered by osteopath Dr. William Sutherland after he had a remarkable insight while examining the specialized articulations of cranial bones. Contrary to popular belief Dr Sutherland realized that cranial sutures were, in fact, designed to express small degrees of motion.

cranial sutures

DeJarnette and Goodheart introduced diagnostic methods for the evaluation and treatment of cranial dysfunctions. The key technical factor that has advanced cranial diagnosis and treatment, and brought the entire field of cranial therapy into accessible, reproducible, practice and scientific form, was provided by Goodheart’s discovery that the musculoskeletal system and manual muscle testing (MMT) reflects what is going on within the cranial mechanism.

MMT has allowed applied kinesiologists to discover the dramatic functional relationships that exist between the cranium and every other articulation and tissue in the body. Furthermore, patients are not treated in a “touchy feely” fashion in which the patient’s skull is cradled for an indeterminate time, until the cradler perceives warmth or a yielding or softening sensation.

 There are many other physical signs and tests (besides MMT) that also reveal cranial dysfunction; these have been written about extensively in the applied kinesiology (AK), sacro-occipital technique (SOT) and osteopathic literature. Returning the dura to a physiological range of tension by using specifically applied cranial corrections is a major goal of AK evaluation and treatment, which seeks to achieve zero defects inside and outside the cranium.

Like Cranial Osteopathy, Cranial Sacral Therapy seeks to restore the natural rhythmic movement found between the bones of the skull and the sacrum which is correlated to our inspiration and expiration; in other words, the cranial bones and sacrum move in different directions when we breathe in and in opposite directions when we breathe out.

The purpose of this is to aid the circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid throughout the central nervous system.

And some suggested that CSF flow along the cranial nerves and spinal nerve roots allow it into the lymphatic channels. Restoring normal cranial-sacral rhythm enables the body to function optimally and may alleviate a wide variety of painful and dysfunctional conditions within the body.

Using a soft gentle touch practitioners release restrictions in the cranial-sacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system.

There are many results why the motion of the cranial and the sacrum may be disturbed.  

For some, it can be caused by the trauma of a difficult birth. Normally since the bones are very flexible, normal movement and the act of crying restores the natural movement.

For others, it could have been caused an accidental bang to the head, a fall, whiplash following an auto accident. Jaw problems can also affect the cranials as when we chew or clench our teeth, there are muscles forces directed to the skull such as the pull of  the   Temporalis muscle on the squamosal suture of the skull. Even the act of holding our breath during physical exertion (we should be breathing out at that moment), can cause a failure of proper cranial and sacral motion.

 Dysfunction of the cranial sacral motion can be seen in different problems, even some caused by the entrapment of cranial nerves as they exit the cranium such as trigeminal neuralgia, headaches, migraines, low back  and disc problems, general weakness on one side of the body, problems w/ visual acuity, low or high blood pressure, a spastic ileo-cecal value, neck flexor weakness, allergies, hypochlorhydria, earaches, loss of balance, tinnitus, dizziness and vertigo, recurring upper cervical (neck) problems and scoliosis  

 In applied kinesiology, there are techniques to find the dysfunctions (or cranial faults) and to find out how to fix it. The difference in muscle strength when the patient is breathing in or breathing out is one clue. The asymmetrical face is another clue that there may be a problem. Or the doctor can observe what happens to the strength of a muscle when she (or he) presses on certain cranials or sutures; this is called a challenge.

Cranial-sacrum corrections are easily made and if incorporated with the correction of accompanying spinal dysfunction, muscle balancing and proper nutrition, it will have a lasting effect.

 For more information on cranial- sacral therapy, cerebrospinal fluid, cranial nerves, and the bones of the skull, please see:

Applied Kinesiology: How To Add Cranial Therapy To Your Daily Practice at http://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=9200

 http://www.answers.com/topic/craniosacral-therapy

http://www.med.yale.edu/caim/cnerves/

http://face-and-emotion.com/dataface/anatomy/cranium.jsp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craniosacral_therapy

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerebrospinal_fluid

© 2010-Dr. Vittoria Repetto

Want more information on Dr. Vittoria Repetto and her NYC Applied Kinesiology/Chiropractic/ NKT practice at 230 W 13th St., NYC 10011; please go to www.drvittoriarepetto.com

And please check out the Patient Testimonials page on my web site.

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It’s not a Food Allergy; maybe it’s a Food Intolerance

So you have severe bloating, and belching, problems w/ elimination and general abdominal discomfort and growing fatigue and other vague medical symptoms. Or you may have been diagnosed w/ either Crohn’s disease or Irritable Bowel Syndrome and the standard procedures are not working for you. You suspect your regular MD thinks you are a hypochondriac but he has agreed to test you for IGE allergies.

 But they come back all negative. So now what??

 You may need to be tested for IgG food intolerances; a problem that functional medicine and nutritionally minded doctors have been helping with for years but  conventional medical doctors are just beginning to look at this phenomenon.

 Unlike IgE food allergies that will cause an immediate and maybe deadly reaction such as difficulty breathing or a skin rash or a swollen tongue (think E for emergency); a IgG food intolerance is a delayed reaction, maybe causing problems 3-21 days after the ingestion of the food that is problematic for you and your digestive system (think G for general or non-specific problems).

 So one of the problems in testing is the wide number of food suspects due to the long period of time that is required for your body to react to a IgG food intolerance. This can be expensive.

 And the FDA is still saying that the IgG food testing is experimental and therefore insurance companies can deny coverage.

 So one of the procedures I do in my Applied Kinesiology practice, is to do a “presumptive” muscle test challenge using muscles associated to digestion via the Chinese meridian/acupoint system such as the Pectoralis Clav Major. If the muscle is strong, the patient then contacts the neuro-lymphatic point for that muscle as I place a food into their mouth and have them chew the food in order to stimulate taste receptors on the tongue and activate gustatory receptors in the brain.

 If a particular food causes the muscle to then test “weak” after stimulating these receptors, then the patient is asked to stop eating that particular food for one month’s time.

 If the patient has good insurance, then we may order IgG food Intolerance test as we has narrowed the field of possible suspects.  Sometimes this is not financially possible for the patient.

 However when IgG testing is possible, the results show a 80-100% correlation w/ the results of the muscle test in my practice. Elimination of the positive tested foods results in the patient’s complaints of general abdominal discomfort and growing fatigue and other vague medical symptom to start disappearing.

 While the patient is avoiding the suspected foods, I will advise the patient on healing their leaky gut syndrome (also called increased intestinal permeability)

 A leaky gut is the result of damage to the intestinal lining from years of abuse via the food intolerance. Leaky gut is also caused by other factors such antibiotic overuse, prescription and over-the counter drugs and excessive alcohol consumption.

 A leaky gut is less able to protect the internal environment as well as to filter needed nutrients and other biological substances. As a consequence, some bacteria and their toxins, incompletely digested proteins and fats, and waste not normally absorbed may “leak” out of the intestines into the blood stream.

 And as our intestines have a layer of lymphatics, a leaky gut can  trigger an autoimmune reaction, which can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as abdominal bloating, excessive gas and cramps, fatigue, food sensitivities, joint pain, skin rashes, and autoimmunity.

It’s a vicious cycle that is helped by removal of the offending food and repair w/ L- glutamine, an amino acid that helps maintain intestinal metabolism and function, fructooligosaccharides (FOS), selectively stimulate the growth and activity of “friendly” bacteria in the intestinal tract such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis, FOS also have been shown to help restore and maintain mucosal integrity and aid in the adequate absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc.

Adjustment of the spinal segments which help innervate the gut, stimulation of Chinese acupoints on meridrians involved w/ digestion and the neuro-lymphatic and neuro-vascular points are also part of the patient’s treatment; this offers a whole body approach to the patient’s problem.

 For more information on IgG food Intolerance testing, please see:

http://www.lab21.com/healthcare/igg_antibodies.php

© 2010-Dr. Vittoria Repetto

 

Great paper correlating AK methods of manual muscle and taste tests for allergies and serum immunoglobulin tests: http://www.theuplink.com/Papers1/Correlation%20of%20AK%20Mucscle%20testing%20paper.pdf

Want more information on Dr. Vittoria Repetto and her NYC Applied Kinesiology/Chiropractic/ NKT practice at 230 W 13th St., NYC 10011; please go to www.drvittoriarepetto.com

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Are you utilizing your folic acid? The case for metabolically active form of folic acid – L-5-MTHF

Roughly one-third of the general population may have a genetic variation that impairs their ability to properly utilize folic acid.

L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate (L-5-MTHF) is the metabolically active form of folic acid. The folic acid found in food has to be cleaved (digested) from protein carriers in order to be absorbed. This process is inefficient in some individuals. Once absorbed, dietary (and supplemental) folic acid has to then undergo several biochemical conversions in the body to become L-5-MTHF. Roughly one in three Americans have genetically inefficient enzymes that help create L-5-MTHF. By supplementing with L-5-MTHF, one can be assured of getting the benefits of folic acid, regardless of their ability to absorb or convert it to the active form. If you are an individual with impaired ability to utilize regular folic acid, L-5-MTHF supplementation can make a truly dramatic difference in your health.

L-5-MTHF plays a role in DNA synthesis and repair. Inadequate levels of 5-MTHF is linked to childhood leukemia. Cancers of the colon and breast are also associated with suboptimal L-5-MTHF status, as is the precancerous condition called cervical dysplasia. In a study involving smokers, high doses of folic acid and vitamin B12 reversed precancerous cellular changes in the lungs.

Folic acid’s importance to human health has to do in part with its role in a biochemical process called methylation. Methylation refers to the transfer of methyl groups (one carbon bound to three hydrogen atoms). Methylation occurs billions of times in the body each day and is essential for health.

L-5-MTHF is very important to genetic expression. Methyl groups are strategically placed on certain genes to inactivate them. Every cell in the human body has the genetic information to produce every other type of cell. The thing is that most of the genes are not active. Methyl groups (supplied indirectly by L-5-MTHF) silence the genes that should not be active in a given cell at a given time. This is obviously critical for good health. Some of the genes within our cells are tumor promoters. Proper methylation, which requires L-5-MTHF, keeps these genes silenced. The importance of L-5-MTHF involves more than its role in promoting proper genetic expression, DNA synthesis and repair.

L-5-MTHF also plays a role in dopamine and serotonin metabolism.

L-5-MTHF also plays an important role L-5-MTHF also plays an important role in detoxication of a variety of compounds, including environmental toxins (such as mercury, lead, arsenic and tin), medications, and some of the body’s own hormones. Estrogens are detoxified through methylation. Inadequate levels of L-5-MTHF cause potentially toxic build-up of estrogens in the body, which increases risk to breast, prostate and other cancers. Other conditions of estrogen excess, such as uterine fibroids and endometriosis, are also more likely to occur and be more severe. Histamine, epinephrine (adrenaline), and norepinephrine are also detoxified by methylation. Inadequate L-5-MTHF could therefore potentially worsen allergy and stress-related symptoms.

L-5-MTHF is critical for the detoxication of homocysteine. Conditions associated with elevated homocysteine levels include coronary artery disease, heart attack, stroke, deep vein thrombosis, peripheral vascular disease, miscarriage, birth defects, depression, sensorineural hearing loss, osteoporosis, cancer, arthritis, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and complications of diabetes. Do you know what your homocysteine level is?

© 2009-Dr. Vittoria Repetto

Please check out Metagenics for products w/L-5-MTHF at http://www.metagenics.com

Click on Create an Account and use Practitioner Code – DrVittoriaRepetto

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Want more information on Dr. Vittoria Repetto and her NYC Applied Kinesiology/Chiropractic/ NKT practice at 230 W 13th St., NYC 10011; please go to www.drvittoriarepetto.com

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