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Dental Research Helps Resolve Head, Neck, Facial and Low Back Pain

The song, "The head bone is connected to the neck bone; the neck bone is connected the shoulder bone" and so on reveals functional anatomic relationships that led researcher Dr. James Carlson, of Seattle Washington, to invent an instrument that literally helps realign the body and reduce or eliminate chronic head, neck, facial and low back pain of structural origin.

Doctor Carlson observed that parallel relationships exist in the structurally stable human body which permit it to maintain balance. These parallel planes include the ear plane, eye plane, shoulder plane, elbow and knee planes and pelvic plane. Doctor Carlson's observation revealed that the upper jaw or maxillae was another anatomic part that was also parallel to these other planes.

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The architectural design of the human body has structural balance as its basic theme. When parallelism is lost, imbalances result with potential debilitating symptoms that can occur in various parts of the body. Doctor Carlson observed clinically that patients who did not respond to traditional therapy for chronic complaints of headaches, cervical pain, low back pain and leg pain frequently had parallel alignment distortions of their upper jaw. This misalignment became obvious once the patient's upper dental model was mounted on Dr. Carlson's Accu-Liner instrument.

Patients with premature loss of molar teeth with tilting of adjacent teeth, narrowed jaws, deep bite, worn down partials or full dentures offer prime examples of jaw misalignments. The jaw misalignment generates a mechanical problem every time the patient chews or when his teeth, partial or full dentures contact. The upper and lower jaws must work together with the muscles of the mouth, head and neck. If the upper jaw plane is not parallel, the muscles will not work as efficiently. Often the first signs of this imbalance are sore teeth or sore spots under partial or full dentures that will not go away and tightness of the upper neck, shoulders and facial muscles. As the imbalance persists, micro-traumas occur to the soft tissues, nerves and tiny blood vessels surrounding the teeth or in the gums and can result in muscle spasms. It is these muscle spasms that trigger off the chain reaction causing the spine, shoulders, pelvis and legs to be out of alignment. The domino effect of these chronic imbalances cause additional tension on other muscles, nerves and blood vessels. The pains that develop often do not respond to steroid injections, pain and anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, chiropractic or osteopathic manipulations. Researchers have found that only when the structural imbalance has been corrected can the symptoms be resolved.

A local researcher and author of "Headaches Aren't Forever", Dr. Gerald H. Smith, has collaborated with Dr. Carlson for the past two and a half years to refine the clinical techniques maximizing the instrument's effectiveness. Doctor Smith, a recognized authority in the field of head, neck and facial pain, offers several case histories to emphasize the significance of Dr. Carlson's discovery.

Case 1. Twenty Year Migraines and Low back Pain — J.G. is a 68 year-old female who has suffered severe migraine headaches and lower back pain for 20 years. This patient received a multitude of therapies over the twenty year period that included various medications, manipulation and physical therapy. Unfortunately these approaches only provided temporary relief at best. The patient's underlying problem was an old set of dentures that were severely worn down in a distorted horizontal plane. The structural imbalances set up by the misaligned denture was the direct cause for the upper cervical muscle spasms that entrapped the nerves and blood vessels to her head. Within several weeks after new full dentures were inserted that corrected the misaligned horizontal and vertical planes, the patients migraines and lower back pain disappeared.

Case 2. Ten Year Facial, Neck, Shoulder, Lower Back Pain and Leg Weakness. — A.C. is a 46 year-old female patient who was referred from Ottawa Canada by her orthodontist. This patient had suffered left side pain from the top of her head to her toes. Ten years of traditional therapy by medical and dental practitioners did not produce any lasting relief.

The patient was presently undergoing orthodontic treatment for a poor bite and was wearing an upper and lower removable appliances. The upper dental appliance and model of the patient's mouth were mounted on the AccuLiner instrument to analyze the parallel planes. The upper appliance was corrected by grinding down the acrylic material to establish a horizontal plane. Within five minutes after inserting the corrected appliance, 90% of the patient's left sided pain pattern disappeared. Additional nutritional and manipulative treatment was provided during the next several days and increased the relief to a 98% level which the patient has maintained for over 18 months.

Case 3. Four Years of Incapacitating Facial Pain — Mrs. B.G., a 44 year-old female, suffered severe incapacitating facial pain for a four year period. Mrs. G. was a registered nurse in Pittsburgh, PA. She had become gradually affected by facial pain to a point where she had to stop working. The pain affected not only the left side of her face but caused her left eye to completely close. The patient was treated by numerous medical doctors including a complete evaluation at the Cleveland Pain Clinic. As a last resort the patient was put on the new miracle drug Immitrex, for migraine headaches. At $40 per injection, this treatment brought only partial relief.

An evaluation of the patient's problem revealed that her pain was caused by nerve entrapment from a spastic muscle. The patient's 15 year-old ill fitting upper denture wore down to a point which reduced vertical support for the main chewing muscles. The resulting spasm put pressure on a branch of the trigeminal or 5th cranial nerve causing facial pain and closure of her left eye. Resolving the muscle spasm and correcting the denture brought permanent relief.

Non-Specific Medical Complaints As Related to Jaw Position.

A twelve year study conducted by a fifteen member research group of Ph D's, physicians and dentists at the Children's Medical Center, Osaka Japan showed a high correlation between jaw imbalances and varied medical problems. Over 20,000 patients were studied for various medical complaints that had no definite diagnosis for the underlying cause. These maladies included headaches, asthma, allergies, postural problems (scoliosis- curvature of the spine), Parkinson's disease, respiratory problems, epilepsy, gynecological problems, eye problems, facial and neck pains, etc. Each patient was treated with a dental orthopedic appliance which reestablished a corrected jaw position. In 66.6% of the patients treated there was either a reduction in symptoms or total resolution of their problem.