Bay Area Fibromyalgia Specialist

Dr. Potts is one of the leading experts in the area of Fibromyalgia. He uses functional neurology to not just improve the symptoms, but to eliminate your Fibromyalgia all together. Call for a complimentary consultation, to see if you might be helped with this breakthrough treatment.

Headache & Migraine Relief

The migraine headache is perhaps the best known special type of headache. It is really called the migraine syndrome. By syndrome we mean that a lot of things accompany the headache – all of them bad. Symptoms include dizziness, visual problems, “spots” before the eyes, redness, swelling, tearing of the eyes, muscle contraction, irritability, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea. These symptoms often arise before the headache hits.  The headache itself may last for a few minutes to a few days, and the severity may range from minor discomfort to immobilizing agony.

The migraine pain is most common in the temple, but it may be experienced anywhere in the head, face and neck.

A variety of headache, closely related to the migraine, is the cluster headache. Attacks come on abruptly with intense, throbbing pain arising high in the nostril and spreading to behind the eye on the same side. Sometimes, the forehead is also affected. The attacks tend to occur from once to several times daily in clusters lasting weeks, or even months.  Without apparent reason, the cluster subsides as quickly as it began.

So what puts the ache in headache? The pain-sensitive structures of the head are the culprits.  These are the arteries of the brain and skull, the tissues surrounding the head veins, the dura mata covering over the brain, and certain nerves called cranial nerves.  When these parts are inflamed, stretched, pulled, or under pressure, any type of headache may be caused.

Migraine headaches can be classified into two types: classical and common. The classical migraine is a headache that follows an aura or some type of spontaneous event such as numbness or tingling. The aura may be flashes of light, squiggly lines, or a halo effect. The common migraine does not have an aura associated with it. Most people who suffer from migraines suffer from common migraines – usually at a 3:1 ratio.

Approximately 28 million Americans suffer from migraines, and millions go without treatment. Scientists once thought migraines were caused by abnormally dilated or enlarged blood vessels. Now, new imaging devices have allowed them to watch brains during migraine attacks, and scientists are discovering that sufferers have abnormally excitable neurons or brain nerve cells.

The latest migraine research has yielded a mechanism called cortical spreading depression, or CSD. Prior to the onset of pain in a migraine, researchers have observed a sudden burst of cortical activity that occurs most commonly in the occipital lobes (back part of the brain). The occipital lobe will increase in frequency of firing, or have a burst of activity, and then there will be an episode of silence or depressed activity. The actual activity of the brain becomes depressed when compared to normal. The resulting pain comes from either the brain stem activation or from blood vessels inflamed by rapidly exchanging blood flow – or both.

As a Chiropractor specializing in neurology, I take a different approach to the treatment and prevention of headaches and migraines. After a thorough neurological examination I determine which part of the nervous system is not functioning properly.  In many headache and migraine patients I may find a high mesencephalic output.

There are three parts to the brain stem: top, middle, and lower. The mesencephalon is the top part of the brain stem. A high output of the mesencephalon will cause an increased pulse and heart rate, inability to sleep or waking up from fitful sleep, urinary tract infection, increase warmth or sweating, and sensitivity to light.

Along with a high mesenphalic output, the patient may have a decreased output of the cerebellum. The cerebellum is in the back part of the brain, and it controls all of the involuntary spinal musculature.

No matter what the condition, it is imperative that the chiropractic neurologist performs a thorough and comprehensive exam to determine the exact nature of the patient’s condition.

Pregnancy Care and Pediatrics

Chiropractic care provides so many benefits a pregnant body needs including a healthy, flexible spine, hips and pelvis; internal organs without postural stress and freedom from nerve stress. These are all essential for a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Accompanied by proper diet and exercise, chiropractic care should be an essential part of your pregnancy health care regimen.

Dr. Potts provides chiropractic care for pregnant women including examination of the spinal column for spinal distortions or imbalances, known as vertebral subluxations, which can affect the function of the entire body. If Dr. Potts finds subluxations in your body, he will correct them by using chiropractic spinal adjustments.

Another benefit for seeking chiropractic care during pregnancy is that it is a drugless treatment. Drugs, whether prescription or over-the-counter, can harm the growing fetus. Almost all types of drugs and medications have been linked to fetal damage or malformations.

Chiropractic prenatal care can help with Sciatica, numbness and tingling in thighs, pelvic pain due to Symphisis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD or PSD) and even reduce the risk of breech presentations, so your baby will be positioned properly for birth. The Webster Technique, developed by the late Larry Webster, DC, relieves inter-uterine constraints, permitting the baby to turn naturally. This technique has been very successful in reducing the risk breech presentation, reducing labor times, as well as relieving pelvic pain and discomfort during pregnancy due to PSD.

Vertigo, Dizziness, Balance Disorders

Vertigo, or dizziness, affects millions of people around the world each year. In a majority of the cases, vertigo is nothing than a temporary inconvenience. In some cases, vertigo is a debilitating condition. Day-to-day activities is kept to a minimum due to the severe dizziness.

In many cases, the area of dysfunction in the nervous system is the cerebellum. The cerebellum is in the posterior aspect (back part) of the brain and controls our coordinated movements.

There are specific tests that the chiropractic neurologist utilizes to determine cerebellar function. Standing with your feet together and eyes closed, the test is positive if the patient sways back and forth. Other tests include, touching the index finger to the nose with the eyes closed, walking heel to toe, moving the fingers rapidly as if playing the piano, or touching all of your fingers to your thumb as fast as possible. These tests and others are used to determine the function of the cerebellum.

Treatment of the cerebellar dysfunction may include:

Unilateral (one-sided) Adjustments: Extremities (arms and legs), lumbar (low back) and cervical (neck) spine will be manipulated on one side only to fire muscle spindle cells (muscle receptors) and joint mechanoreceptors (joint receptors) into the same cerebellum and opposite cerebra cortex (brain). The thoracic (mid-back) spine will be globally manipulated to fire the dorsal columns (back part of the spinal cord) and reduce rib fixations.

Caloric: A warm water caloric of 180 milliliters may be administered in the ear to stimulate the ipsilateral (same side) cerebellum.

Eye Exercises: Eye exercises may be used to increase the frequency of firing to the cerebellum and frontal lobe of the brain.

Heat Therapy: Heat therapy is used to promote an increased metabolic and healing rate to the involved tissue. Increased heat helps increase activation to the brain. Heat has immediate soothing and palliative effects as decreased joint stiffness, decreased muscle spasms and releases histamine and bradykinin causing vasodilation of the tissues.

One or all of the procedures may be employed to restore the cerebellum to its normal function.