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Can Chronic Fatigue Syndrome be treated by a neck adjustment?

When it comes to something like chronic fatigue syndrome, there is nothing easy about it.

 

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    •    It’s not easy to do even “simple” things. It’s like you’re always running on a flat battery.

    •    It’s not easy for other people to understand because you “look normal.”

    •    It’s not easy to know what you need to do, because “rest and relaxation” are never enough.

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Upper Cervical Treatment

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Upper Cervical Treatment

May 23, 2019

    •    It’s not easy to get a proper diagnosis of what is causing chronic fatigue syndrome.

 

On the last one especially, it is because there is no single test that identifies chronic fatigue syndrome. Chronic fatigue syndrome is what is knee as a “diagnosis by exclusion.” In other words, you have all the routine tests, but no one can identify specifically what is going on.

It is because chronic fatigue syndrome, like so many other health conditions, is both multifactorial and it is a process … It is not a “thing” that you can see or measure. And yet, it can have terrible effects on a person’s life.

So keeping these thoughts in mind, I would like to share a message of hope for you in this article about chronic fatigue syndrome and how a relatively unknown but well-established style of natural healthcare may be able to help you.

This form of healthcare is known as Upper Cervical Healthcare (often known as an “Atlas Adjustment”) which focuses on the unique relationship between the top bones in your neck and your brainstem, which is the master command centre for all the neurological processes in your body.

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Because it may well be that a problem in your neck is the missing piece to the puzzle in your search for an effective chronic fatigue syndrome treatment.

Why Chronic Fatigue Syndrome affects my health?

For a moment, I need you to stop thinking of chronic fatigue syndrome as a “thing.” Think of it more like a computer virus. There is something happening with the function of your body that is affecting your ability to produce energy and/or recover.

The end result is that you experience the symptoms of chronic fatigue. But it is NOT that you “have” chronic fatigue syndrome, and that is the reason you are so flat all the time.

Now, the question remains: why would you be feeling the feelings of chronic fatigue syndrome in the first place? It the chronic fatigue syndrome specialists can’t find a cause, why is that? And what does it mean?

There is a principle in healthcare that EVERY EFFECT HAS A CAUSE, AND EVERY CAUSE HAS EFFECTS. In other words, things don’t just happen. There is always a reason! The question is, “Can we FIND that reason?”

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Sep 23, 2019

When it comes to chronic fatigue syndrome, it is my experience and opinion that the reason the condition is so difficult to diagnose is that it is both non-linear and multifactorial.

Non-linear means that it isn’t a simple matter that if you have “A” and you will always get “Z.” That is the way that medical science LIKES to work, but the reality is that living biological systems - such as human beings - are not so simple. One person can have “A” and experience chronic fatigue syndrome, and another person can have “A” but feel 100% normal. So we need to be able to see beyond a single “thing” as causing chronic fatigue syndrome.

This leads me to the next word, multifactorial, which means that you can arrive at chronic fatigue syndrome (“Z”) in a number of different ways. You can get it with a combination of A+B+C … or a combination of A+B+G+H  … to a combination of D+J+K. You get the idea. It is one reason why there are so many different answers when it comes to chronic fatigue syndrome treatment and what there are so many opinions, but nothing definitive. 

It is because it is almost NEVER as simple as “Just fix ‘A’ and the problem goes away!”

Now, for some people, yes, it does appear that their chronic fatigue syndrome can be mixed like magic if they do certain kinds of treatments. However, what they seldom realise that it is likely the combination of therapies that actually solved the problem … and that it was simply the last one that was the missing piece of the puzzle, and that is the actual reason it looks like magic.

That is the difference with what I want to describe for you in this article. Not magic or promises that we can fix chronic fatigue syndrome for you, but an appreciation for what is actually involved and what our role would be in helping you if you experience chronic fatigue syndrome be as well as possible.

What is the most common Chronic Fatigue Syndrome symptom?

“Chronic fatigue” might seem like the obvious answer. However, chronic fatigue syndrome goes well beyond feeling tired all the time. It is a condition of constant energy management.

Metaphorically, let’s say that your normal energy reservoir would contain 100L to last you for the whole day. You would normally use up 50L in a day, and you would replenish 50L of energy when you steep at night. With something like chronic fatigue syndrome, however, it is like there’s a hole in the bucket.

You still use 50L per day, but you only replenish 40L per night.

In just a short period of time, you will quickly find yourself running on empty … if not in a deficit. So you try to scale back in your stress and physical activities, but no matter what you do it is never enough. 

It’s like you plug your phone into the wall - and you KNOW that the power connection is on! - but the phone isn’t charging.

So not only is it the fatigue that you experience, but it is also the inability to do even routine things:

    •    To go out to the shopping centre, a doctor’s appointment or even a school pickup is like a full day’s work.

    •    To do any amount of exercise is completely out of the question!

    •    And again, no matter how much you do or do not sleep, it never seems to solve the chronic fatigue syndrome problem the way that you would expect.

Difference between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Depression.

I emphasise again that there is a major difference between being chronically tired versus chronic fatigue syndrome. If anything, chronic fatigue syndrome is more akin to depression. However, I need to make a few key distinctions here that will help give us a better understanding of what chronic fatigue syndrome is and what can be done.

Depression is often attributed to a “chemical imbalance in the brain.” Well, not exactly. It is more a matter of certain nerve centres of the brain being overactive while others remain underactive. These functional neurological imbalances then manifest as chemical imbalances that cause a person to “feel” a certain way. 

Think of it as if the brain is stuck in a loop or a rut: it is faced with a dilemma that is cannot fix or solve on its own. Now, it can be any number of events that cause this software malfunction including traumatic events, chronic struggles and/or misinterpretation of real events. 

Now, I am not a psychologist, so I am not diagnosing or saying what depression is or isn’t. What I am simply describing is that so many symptoms attributed to depression are actually brain-based in their origin. Using that analogy again of a computer virus, it is something that infiltrates your computer - definitely affects its function - but isn’t something that you can necessarily see if you pull your computer apart.

Chronic fatigue syndrome seems to operate in much the same way.

Except it isn’t just the emotional feeling centres of the brain that are affected. It is the energy-producing centres. It can also be the sensory centres, which can then cause abnormal pain such as in the syndrome known as “fibromyalgia.”

In both cases, when it comes to a better understanding and ultimately treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome, looking to the brain for the problem as a software issue may be the key to finding a resolution.

Can North Lakes chiropractic offer Chronic Fatigue Syndrome treatment?

Here then is where we come to the connection among the alignment of your upper neck, your brainstem and chronic fatigue syndrome.

There is some fascinating research that is demonstrating that your brainstem receives information from the nerve receptors in your neck, and than when these receptors are stimulated that it enhances the function of all parts of the brain.

The reverse is also being shown that when there is a problem with alignment and motion through the neck that it can send your brain ABNORMAL information, which in turn causes abnormal function. And if these functional disturbances persist long enough, they can affect all centres of the brain and may even contribute towards those symptoms that we know as chronic fatigue syndrome or even fibromyalgia.

There are a few other very important things that may be worth mentioning. First, the pair of arteries that supply blood to your brainstem is called the vertebral arteries. These arteries pass directly through the vertebra in your neck, exiting through the C2 (axis) and C1 (atlas) vertebrae before entering the skull. Along with these arteries are a pair of vertebral veins. If blood flow is in any way constricted as it enters your brain, it has been shown to have a negative effect on brain function. Moreover , if blood flow is affected as it is meant to exit your brain, it can cause congestion that pools into the cranial vault, cerebrospinal fluid and can produce localised swelling.

In fact, this is where the diagnosis of “myalgic encephalomyelitis” fits in with chronic fatigue syndrome. Many people say they are the same thing. They aren’t. Myalgic encephalomyelitis literally means “muscle pain + brain nerve inflammation.” Unlike chronic fatigue syndrome, which illustrates no problems on an MRI, with myalgic encephalomyelitis it IS possible to see fluid accumulation and swelling on the brain. (It is not uncommon for it to also be associated with post-concussion syndrome and depression).

Are you starting to see how all these things are connected? We are not talking about a “thing” causing chronic fatigue syndrome. We are describing a process: a sequence of events that may or may not be visible using normal diagnostic tools that are looking for a “thing.”

… And it is a process stemming from a potential issue with the upper neck that we are actually describing! 

THAT is the connection between the health of your neck and chronic fatigue syndrome.

But let me ask you: when is the last time you’ve ever considered the health of your neck? You probably consider the health of your teeth. And of your diet. And exercise. And sleep and stress and a dozen other things. But when was the last time you considered the health of your neck? Or even the possibility that IT could be connected with chronic fatigue syndrome?

What is the best chiropractic technique for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Brisbane?

Here is where a different approach to chiropractic may be able to help you if you experience chronic fatigue syndrome.

First, I need to address the elephant in the room. Chiropractors are often stereotyped as pseudo-medical alternative options for cracking necks and backs. Alas, many if the profession perpetuates that stereotype. But this is NOT what we do.

Atlas Health is the premier upper cervical chiropractic centre in Brisbane. Our principal, Dr Jeffrey Hannah, is a US-trained doctor of chiropractic (Palmer) where chiropractic education is on par with medical training. He is also an advanced certified practitioner and instructor in the Blair upper cervical technique.

And the method that we use at Atlas Health is completely different from general spinal manipulation. Foremost. there is no neck twisting or cracking.

The procedure begins with a detailed examination to determine IF you actually need chiropractic care. We don’t just have you lie down and start “cracking” things. We do a detailed exam first including physical assessments for the health of your neck. We perform neurological testing in the form of something called paraspinal infrared thermography. And we also perform individualised types of 3D x-rays that allow us to see things that often go undiagnosed on standard x-ray, CT and MRI scans.

You see, your bone structure is different from everyone else! Unless these differences are taken into account, it is common to miss what the actual problem is.

So when we perform these tests, then we put together an initial care plan.

Now, it is important to state clearly that upper cervical chiropractic care is not a treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome. “Treatment” implies that we are focusing on the symptoms. What we do instead is adjust the bones in the neck for the purpose of restoring normal alignment, motion, and ultimately brain and nervous system function in a natural, non-surgical, non-drug way. When we do this, it allows your body to function the way it is designed. And if this can happen, then your body has a much better chance of healing itself and restoring itself to normal function.

That is how upper cervical care works and how it can help people with chronic fatigue syndrome. And do we have a good track record? We do. Now, that’s where a personalised examination comes in because we don’t know if we can help you until we have a look. 

So I hope this article gives you hope! … But not a diagnosis. :-)

Mango Hill Chronic Fatigue Syndrome specialist near me?

There really is no such thing as a chronic fatigue specialist. Do you know why? It is because there is no single cause of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Remember we talked about “non-linear” and “multifactorial” (e.g., A+B+C = Z OR A+B+G+H =Z). When it comes to chronic fatigue syndrome, each of these things describes a completely different specialisation:

 

    •    A = Viral infection (e.g., Epstein Barr, Ross River, etc)

    •    B = Genetic susceptibility (e.g., MTHFR or “undermethylation”)

    •    C = Dietary problem

    •    D = Psychological trauma (remember that these kinds of things are often brain-based)

    •    E = Neurochemical toxicity (e.g., heavy metals)

    •    F = Upper neck misalignment affecting the brain and nervous system function

    •    G = … and so forth.

The potential list is endless, but these are among the most common ones that we experience. And each one is a potential speciality. That is why I say that there really isn’t such a thing as a “chronic fatigue specialist.” It is because the spectrum spans so many disciplines - like unlocking a combination lock - that it often requires multiple people on the same team, all working together to achieve the best possible outcome.

Our role at Atlas Health chiropractor North Lakes is on the upper neck part of the equation: to get the atlas and axis properly aligned to allow your body to health naturally. (We also look for these other potential issues, so even if we aren’t the person to treat them we can get you to the right people).

So if you or a loved one has been dealing with the challenges of chronic fatigue syndrome - and if you’ve found value in this article - we’d like to invite you to take the next step: a simple chat. We offer a 15-minute consultation where you can speak with Dr Jeffrey Hannah, our upper cervical chiropractor, about your individual case and if we may be able to help you further. If so, then we can schedule a time for a proper assessment and examination.

You can either send us an email at the link at the top of this page, or you can call us at 07 3188 9329.

At present, we are still the only specific Atlas Chiropractor Brisbane, and it is not uncommon for many of our clients to travel 90 minutes one way. 

Our office is located in North Lakes to provide upper cervical specific chiropractic for the local communities of Mango Hill, Narangba, Dakabin, Petrie, North Harbour, Aspley, Redcliffe and Sandgate. We also provide services for the greater Brisbane area including Everton Park, West End, Chandler, Dayboro, Samford, Albany Creek, Eaton’s Hill, South Brisbane, Victoria’s Point and Hamilton.

We are dedicated to providing the best possible care for you and your family, and in spreading the message and value of upper cervical chiropractic in communities around Queensland and Australia.

If we can help you in any way with chronic fatigue syndrome, please reach out to us. We would be our privilege to help.

Take care of your neck and enjoy life again.

References

Bested AC, Marshall LM. Review of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: an evidence-based approach to diagnosis and management by clinicians. Rev Environ Health. 2015;30(4):223-49. doi: 10.1515/reveh-2015-0026. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26613325

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Cortes Rivera M, Mastronardi C, Silva-Aldana CT, et al. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Comprehensive Review. Diagnostics (Basel). 2019 Aug 7;9(3). pii: E91. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics9030091. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31394725

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Losert-Bruggner B, Hülse M, Hülse R. Fibromyalgia in patients with chronic CCD and CMD - a retrospective study of 555 patients. Cranio. 2017 Jun 5:1-9. doi: 10.1080/08869634.2017.1334376. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28580880

Rosa S, Baird JW. The craniocervical junction: observations regarding the relationship between misalignment, obstruction of cerebrospinal fluid flow, cerebellar tonsillar ectopia, and image-guided correction. Smith FW, Dworkin JS (eds): The Craniocervical Syndrome and MRI. Basel, Karger, 2015, pp 48-66 (DOI:10.1159/000365470).

Rosa S, Baird JW, Harshfield D, Chehrenama M. Craniocervical Junction Syndrome: Anatomy of the Craniocervical and Atlantoaxial Junctions and the Effect of Misalignment on Cerebrospinal Fluid Flow, Hydrocephalus Bora Gürer, IntechOpen, DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.72890. A 

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