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Upper Cervical Healthcare
 
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Case Studies - Pain in Neck, Back, Arms, Legs & Joints



Female, Age 5 years, Asthma, Neck Pain, Headaches, Sinus Congestion
This 5-year-old female frequently complained of neck pain and headaches. She also suffered with severe asthma attacks for 3 years and frequently required emergency room visits. In addition, she explained that her nose was constantly plugged and that she had difficulty smelling. This child's neck injury most likely stemmed from the birth process, as her mother reported that her daughter's birth was difficult and premature.

One week after this child's first upper cervical adjustment, her mother stated that she began to sleep through the night without wheezing or coughing. The 5-year-old said she had not noticed any trouble with her neck or headaches and she demonstrated that she could now breathe through her nose. She was also able to discontinue asthma medications.



Male, Age 58 years, Asthma, Shingles, Arm Tingling
This 58-year-old male suffered with asthma for 3 years. He used daily inhalers (4 puffs per day each of 2 inhalers for a total of 8 puffs per day) and still had difficulty breathing while running or frequent talking. He also had an outbreak of shingles on his torso and had been taking an anti-viral medication with no results. In addition, he had been experiencing occasional tingling in his right arm for many years. During his initial exam, an upper cervical injury was discovered that was compromising his immune function.

After the first upper cervical adjustment, the sores on his torso began healing. Within two weeks, the lesions were gone. Also his arm tingling never occurred again after the start of upper cervical care. His use of asthma inhalers was reduced to 1 puff per day instead of 8 after several months of upper cervical care. Eventually, all asthma medications were discontinued.



Male, Age 45 years, Chronic Neck and Low Back Pain, Allergies
This 45-year-old male suffered with chronic neck pain since a neck injury in which he dove into a shallow pool. The neck injury also created numbness in his fingers. He also suffered from daily low back pain for the past seven years. In addition, he was plagued with chronic nasal and chest congestion and coughed frequently.

After upper cervical care, his neck and back pain healed, the numbness disappeared, and his allergies were reduced 90 percent.



Male, Age 51 years, Arm Numbness, Asthma

This 51-year-old male fell while skiing. Afterwards, he experienced numbness in his left arm. The arm stayed constantly numb for three months before he sought help from upper cervical care. In addition, he experienced asthma and allergies since childhood and frequently used an inhaler for chest congestion. During his initial chiropractic examination, an upper neck injury was discovered that most likely stemmed from his ski accident.

After the first adjustment, the numbness in his arm decreased to an intermittent occurrence. One month later, the numbness was gone. He also noticed correction of an injury in his left shoulder-- he no longer had pain there. Finally, the chest congestion reduced substantially. He claimed his allergy symptoms improved 80-85% since the beginning of care one month ago.

TESTIMONIAL

"I am writing to thank Dr. Elster for all the good work she's done on my neck. The tingling sensation in my arm that I got from my ski accident is almost completely gone and that is a big relief. Even more important for me, however, is that my allergies and exercise-induced asthma are much better. I had looked at Dr. Elster's literature before I went to see her, and understood the connection she made between spinal cord irritation and allergies. In my case, the connection seems to be very much there. My hay fever started to diminish within the first three weeks of neck adjustments, and continued to improve all summer. I've had less trouble with hay fever this summer than any summer since I moved to Colorado. The hay fever improvement is easy to notice, but I wouldn't be surprised to find that my other organs have been helped by this treatment as well. So, thank you for changing my life. " Brian, age 51, October '99



Female, Age 33 years, Hypothyroid, Asthma, Allergies, Low Back Pain
This 33-year-old female suffered from hypothyroidism, asthma, allergies, and low back pain. The back pain resulted from a skiing accident 13 years ago and a fall down stairs 1 year ago. Her medication use included synthetic thyroid hormone, 3 types of asthma inhalers used 4 times/day, plus nasal sprays for allergies. During her examination, an upper cervical injury was found that possibly resulted from either her accident or her fall.

After 1 month of upper cervical care, her asthma, allergies, and low back pain were completely gone, and her thyroid regained function. She discontinued all medications including inhalers and synthroid.



Female, Age 8 years, Attention Deficit Disorder, Bedwetting, Headaches, Neck Pain
This 8-year-old female sustained a head injury by falling off of her bike. After the fall, she began suffering from neck pain, headaches, and bedwetting. Her behavior also became irritable and hyper (she had difficulty concentrating in school and sitting still) and was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder.

After upper cervical care, her headaches and neck pain went absent; her behavior returned to an agreeable and relaxed state; and the bedwetting decreased in frequency.



Male, Age 8 years, Sensory Integration Disorder, Neck Pain
This 8-year-old male suffered from sensory integration issues; low muscle tone; visual processing problems; hypersensitivity to touch, smell, taste; and headaches. His visual problems included lack of eye tracking; no depth perception; and stabismus. He also noticed pain in his neck, especially when he looked down for extended periods (during reading).

During his initial chiropractic examination, an upper neck injury was discovered. When questioned as to past traumatic events, the child's mother reported that he had a difficult birth requiring forceps and suction.

During the first months of upper cervical care, progress was noted in the child's coordination, depth perception, and ability to perform athletic movements like catching and kicking balls and jumping rope. He reported absence of neck pain. His therapists and teachers all commented on positive changes. When his vision was reevaluated, it was reported that his vision had improved so his prescription was lessened. In addition, his headaches lessened and occurred infrequently. Overall, his mother reported noticing less hypersensitivity in him and that he responded normally to touch, smell, and taste stimuli.



Female, Age 36 years, Neck Pain, Headaches, Knee Pain, Panic Attacks
This 36-year-old female suffered from neck pain and headaches since an auto accident 15 years prior. Her neck frequently "pinched" and caused headaches. After the accident, she was given muscles relaxants and physical therapy for four months with no results. Finally, she was prescribed cortisone shots in her neck and back, which also provided little relief. She eventually discovered activities that aggravated her neck, including carrying her sons, holding the phone at her ear, lifting overhead, or certain exercises, and tried to avoid those activities as often as possible. Unfortunately, the pain continued year after year. In addition, she suffered from chronic unexplained knee pain in her left knee. She enjoyed running on a daily basis and was forced to stop running due to excruciating pain.

At the time she sought help from upper cervical care, she hadn't be able to run for two years. Also, she suffered from anxiety / panic attacks for 6 months that were triggered during stress, being in crowded rooms, and flying on airplanes. During the attacks, her pulse would quicken and she would feel claustrophobic, requiring her to leave the crowded or stressful location. During her initial evaluation, an upper cervical injury was discovered that most likely stemmed from her auto accident 15 years prior.

After only two upper cervical adjustments, all neck pain, headaches, knee pain, and anxiety attacks were gone.



Male, Age 29 years, Mid Back Pain, Anxiety
This 29-year-old male experienced mid back pain for many years. He saw different chiropractors that adjusted his mid back area, which gave some relief but the problem kept recurring. In addition, he suffered anxiety attacks in public places and during stress. After upper cervical care (adjusting only the upper neck), the mid back pain and anxiety attacks were absent.

TESTIMONIAL

"Since I was 15, I've had mid back pain that bothered me when I woke up or sat too long. In addition, after a fall in the middle of a crowded movie theater many years ago in which I landed on my face, I developed a strange fuzzy, faint, anxious feeling that I would get every once in a while in public places. The feeling was extremely troubling and I was powerless to try and stop it. With Dr. Elster's treatment, some of my symptoms disappeared almost immediately, like the fuzzy, faint feelings. And sooner than I expected, the morning sore back disappeared. I really like the fact that Dr. Elster uses a reliable, technical device to check me to see if I need adjusting. I also really appreciate the way she addresses ALL of my health concerns. I really feel that Dr. Elster's approach and manner of treatment is a true step forward for chiropractic, a not-so-perfect science which I had never been able to fully reap the promised benefits of, until now." Andy, age 29, January 1998



Male, Age 23 years, Bipolar Disorder, Epilepsy, Sleep Disorder, Headaches, Back Pain
This 23-year-old male suffered a closed head injury at age 17 in which he landed on his head due to a pole-vaulting accident at a high school track meet. Since the fall, he suffered from bipolar disorder (rapid-cycling mood swings), seizures (2-3 per day), daily headaches, daily neck and back pain, and sleep disorder (he would often be awake for 24-36 straight hours before finally going to sleep and then often would sleep for 24 or more hours). He was taking tegretol for bipolar disorder and pain medication for headaches.

During this patient's upper cervical exam, an upper neck injury was found, most likely stemming from the pole-vaulting accident. The injury was compromising this patient's brain and spinal cord function. After five months of upper cervical care, all mood swings, headaches, seizures, pain, and sleep trouble were corrected, and all medications were discontinued. All family members remarked at the enormous change in the patient's mental outlook, personality, and health.



Female, Age 44 years, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Depression, Neck Pain
This 44-year-old was involved in an auto accident 25 years prior in which she hit her head on the windshield. Several years later, she had her first episode of neck pain in which her neck seized up and laterally flexed to the left. Over the years, she sporadically woke up in tremendous pain due to her neck seizing up. During the year prior to upper cervical treatment, the neck pain worsened with more frequent episodes. She also suffered with irritable bowel syndrome for the year prior to upper cervical care and experienced depression as a result of all of her discomfort.

During her initial upper cervical chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was found, perhaps resulting from her auto accident several decades before. After only three weeks of care, her neck pain and irritable bowel syndrome were completely gone. She returned to normal eating and normal exercise. The depression disappeared as well. Several years later, she had no return of symptoms.



Male, Age 45 years, Bipolar Disorder, Neck Pain, Tendonitis, Allergies
This 45-year-old male suffered two accidents as a child: one skull fracture from falling off a slide and one concussion from diving into the shallow end of a pool. In both cases, he remembered injuring his neck. Chronic neck pain developed in high school and continued for 30 years. He was also diagnosed with manic depression in high school and was prescribed lithium. In his 20's, he developed allergies and had trouble with itchy eyes, a chronic cough, and a frequent plugged nose. Approximately two years before seeking help from upper cervical care, he developed tendonitis ("tennis elbow") in his right elbow. The tendonitis bothered him constantly even though he iced it, took anti-inflammatories, and let it rest.

During his initial upper cervical chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was found. It could have resulted from either of the two accidents he recalled from his childhood or some other incident. After several months of upper cervical care, all neck pain, tendonitis, and allergies disappeared. In addition, his mood swings evened out so he no longer had alternating episodes of mania or depression. Instead, he described himself as having more even and steady moods. One year after the start of upper cervical care, he remained free from neck pain, tendonitis, allergies, and mood swings.



Female, Age 58 years, Neck Pain, Tingling from elbow to fingers, Headaches, Hip Pain
This 58-year-old female experienced neck pain, headaches, tingling from her left elbow down through her fingers, and right hip pain for 2 months before seeking help from upper cervical care. When discussing her medical history, she recalled two falls where she tripped while trail running several months before her symptoms started.

During her upper cervical chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was found-- most likely stemming from one or both of her falls while running. After only 1 month of upper cervical care, all symptoms healed and have never returned.



Female, Age 53 years, Chronic Neck and Back Pain

TESTIMONIAL

"Dr. Erin Elster is the finest Upper Cervical Chiropractor in Hawaii.  I am so blessed to have met her and to receive her expert care.  I had a car accident 33 years ago and she adjusted that old neck injury so I could move my neck freely again!  It was the most amazing adjustment I ever had!  Now my body stays aligned for a much longer period of time and my scoliosis is cured too!  I have learned that when my neck is straight, the rest of my body and spine goes back into alignment.   Thank you Dr. Elster for changing my life!"

~ Deborah, Kihei, HI 



Male, Age 6 years, Chronic Sinus / Ear Infections, Bedwetting, Headaches, Growing Pains
This 6-year-old male was described by his mother as "always sick." Due to chronic ear infections, he had already undergone three sets of tubes, the first at age 3. He was continuously medicated with allergy medications, sinus medications, and antibiotics for infections and had surgery to remove his adenoids. His mother described him as requiring antibiotics almost every month during the winter. She reported that his lymph nodes throughout his body were always swollen. In addition to his chronic infections, he also suffered from neck pain, headaches, and "growing pains" in his knees and ankles. He also wet his bed every night.

During his initial evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered. When questioned, his mother recalled two falls her son had suffered that preceded all of his health problems and could have caused his neck injury. At ten months, he fell down the stairs and at twelve months, he fell headfirst on hard tile. Within the first weeks of care, the boy did not report any headaches, growing pains, or neck pain and his nose, ears, and sinuses began clearing up. Several weeks later, his mother was amazed that he was not suffering from any infections and was not requiring any medications. Months later, he still had not had any infections and the bedwetting cleared up. All symptoms remained absent.



Female, Age 34 years, Chronic Neck Pain

TESTIMONIAL

"Go See Dr. Elster! She is a master at her craft, I am so happy I stumbled upon her.  

Here's my story ... 

I had old ski injury that I never fully recovered from, my symptoms weren't life threatening just life annoying. I had occasional neck/shoulder pain.  Then, I was rear ended in a classic car without a headrest! ugh!  It was very painful and I was scared I'd never be back to normal.  I saw Dr Elster that same day, she was very comforting and had me ice and return the following day for x-rays and an adjustment.  For the next few weeks I needed to see her twice a week, but I was thankful for the relief.  During this time I was in Oahu and all of a sudden, I needed relief quick, but Dr. Elster was on Maui :(  I looked up some Chiropractors that specialized in cervical/atlas adjustments and decided to give one a shot.  The good thing I got out of that visit was even more respect and admiration of Dr. Elster.  The adjustment didn't help, but the other Chiropractor couldn't stop asking me about Dr Elster, because she is known in her field as the best.  She has done the research to prove the method she practices works and other doctors study her research.  And, we have her on Maui!! Yay!  .....So back to my progress .... I quickly progressed to once a week for about 3 months.  Then all of a sudden, I didn't need an adjustment for two appointments in a row! It as been about 2 months since my last adjustment and I still feel great!  I didn't know that I could have a stressful day, do endless amounts of writing and have my shoulder and neck feel just fine.  I thought that I just held my stress in that area and that was life - NOPE, not anymore!  Oh and an extra added bonus, I used to have occasional constipation, not anymore :) my body is aligned properly now, so everything works better...

Also, I sent my husband to Dr. Elster, he stayed in alignment after only one adjustment-lucky dog.  He doesn't complain about his shoulder pain anymore.  If you are considering it at all, go see Dr. Elster, you'll be stoked! 

~ Vanessa, Wailuku, HI



Female, Age 8 years, Chronic Runny Nose, Ear Infections, Headaches, Neck Pain
This 8-year-old was chronically affected with daily headaches, daily neck pain, daily runny nose, and frequent ear infections. Her allergy / sinus symptoms had been present since birth. She also suffered with colic as a baby. During her initial exam, her neck and spine was extremely sore to the touch. Her mother described her behavior since birth as "irritable."

After the first adjustment, her headaches and neck pain were absent. After the second adjustment, the sinus and ear infections also disappeared. She did not require any adjustments since and had no return of symptoms. Her mother reported her being "the healthiest she has ever been."



Female, Age 56 years, Neck Pain, Headaches, Chronic Fatigue
This 56-year-old female suffered from chronic neck pain, headaches, and fatigue for years. She thought the problems may have started sometime after an auto accident she experienced 14 years before. During the accident, she was hit head-on and totaled her car. The pain bothered her on and off for years-- sometimes on a daily basis and other times a month would go by without pain. She tried many practitioners such as massage therapists and chiropractors and received some relief but still the problem continued year after year. Finally, after struggling over a decade, she sought help from upper cervical chiropractic care.

During her upper cervical chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was found, most likely stemming from her auto accident. Unfortunately the injury had never been addressed by any of her previous practitioners. After only 3 upper cervical adjustments, her neck injury was corrected. All neck pain, headaches, and fatigue healed and never returned.



Female, Age 46 years, Fibromyalgia, Neck Pain
This 46-year-old female suffered from chronic pain in her neck, arms, shoulders, and legs for seven years before seeking help from upper cervical care. Her fibromyalgia diagnosis followed closely after an accident in which a 22-pound briefcase fell from an overhead bin in an airplane and landed on her head. Because she worked at a computer all day, her work was greatly impaired by pain in her neck and arms. She was forced to work reduced hours, suffered in pain on a daily basis, and took many pain and sleep medications to combat the pain.

During her upper cervical chiropractic examination, an upper neck injury was found, which probably stemmed from her overhead bin luggage accident. After several months of upper cervical care, her pain was greatly reduced and she was able to return to full hours at work. On days where she did not work at the computer at all, she was pain-free.



Female, Age 40 years, Fibromyalgia, Neck and Back Spasms
After suffering for 16 years with chronic neck and back pain, this 40-year-old female was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Her neck and back spasmed frequently so that she was forced to stop whatever she was doing, lie down, apply ice, and take painkillers. Sometimes she was bedridden due to the pain and spasms. Also, she frequently had trouble sleeping and could lie awake for hours every night.

At this patient's initial consultation, she claimed she had always believed her problems were coming from her neck because she had sustained several injuries to her neck prior to the onset of her symptoms. She had suffered a whiplash auto accident, a fall on a waterslide, and a sledding accident. She had tried numerous practitioners over the years to fix her neck injury but nothing was successful. Finally she was referred for an upper cervical chiropractic examination.

During her upper cervical exam, an upper neck injury was discovered, which was still present despite her previous treatments and therapies. During her first two months of care, the pain levels lessened and spasm episodes decreased. In addition, she began to sleep through the night and felt increased energy and well being. Several months later, she was free of pain and muscle spasms.



Male, Age 25 years, Lumbar Herniated Disc
This 25-year-old male was involved in an auto accident in which his car rolled over at 55mph and was totaled. Two weeks later, he experienced his first episode of severe low back pain that shot down his right leg. The pain eventually subsided but reoccurred approximately six months later while playing volleyball, a sport he played his entire life. He immediately sought help from an orthopedist who ordered an MRI of his low back. He was diagnosed with a lumbar disc herniation and prescribed pain pills and physical therapy. During physical therapy, he was put through a series of exercises, stretches, and traction for over six months. While the therapy seemed to help somewhat, he was plagued with chronic low back pain and stiffness and was unable to resume playing volleyball. His orthopedist recommended disc surgery. After struggling one year with chronic low back pain and wanting to avoid surgery, he sought help from upper cervical chiropractic care.

During his initial chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was discovered, which most likely stemmed from his rollover auto accident. Within his first month of upper cervical care, he noticed increased strength in his spine and less pain. After two months, he was able to incorporate exercise back into his life and noticed his back was feeling well. Several months later, he resumed regular activity, including volleyball, without pain, and was very happy to have avoided back surgery. One year later, he remained symptom-free.



Female, Age 61 years, Cervical Herniated Disc
This 61-year-old female was diagnosed with a herniated disc by her neurologist after an MRI showed a central disc lesion at C6-7. Her symptoms included neck pain, numbness in both arms and hands, and headaches. Her neurologist recommended surgery. The neck injury possibly stemmed from an auto accident one year prior in which she was rear-ended and knocked forward three car lengths.

During this patient's chiropractic examination, an upper cervical injury was discovered-probably the result of whiplash during her accident. After several months of upper cervical chiropractic care, her neck injury healed. She no longer felt pain, numbness, or headaches, so she was able to avoid surgery.



Female, Age 46 years, Migraine Headaches, Neck Pain, Herniated Disc
This 46-year-old female suffered from migraine headaches for the past 5 years. She thought they started after she performed a headstand in yoga class because she felt compression in her neck and stiffness. The headaches began occurring every 2 weeks with nausea and vomiting. Often, she was bedridden for 2 days due to the nausea and pain. Three years after the headstand, an MRI indicated that she had herniated a disc in her lower neck (C7). She tried steroids, physical therapy, traction, and ultrasound, but the headaches and pain continued. She complained of constant neck pain, right arm weakness, and pain in her right shoulder.

During her upper cervical chiropractic examination, an upper neck injury was discovered. In addition to the headstand, this patient also recalled an auto accident at age 20 that could have caused her neck injury. During the accident, her car flipped and rolled down an embankment. After only one upper cervical adjustment, she never experienced neck pain, arm pain, or migraines again.



Male, Age 33 years, Headaches, Vertigo, Blurred Vision, Neck Pain
This 33-year-old male was rear-ended in an auto accident 5 years prior to seeking help from upper cervical care. After the accident, he felt his neck stiffen up and he suddenly required glasses to read due to blurred vision. Prior to the accident, no visual problems were reported. Three years later, he reinjured his neck when his neck suddenly spasmed to the point that he could not turn his head. He began suffering from a number of new symptoms including headaches, dizziness, worsening of his visual acuity and increased blurring, pain shooting down his right arm, loss of balance and coordination, "cracking" sounds in his neck, muscle twitches in his left leg, pressure at the base of his skull, and pain between his shoulder blades.

During his upper cervical chiropractic evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered, which most likely stemmed from his auto accident. After the first upper cervical adjustment, he reported a substantial improvement in all of his symptoms. Within one month, all of his symptoms were greatly improved. By two months, all symptoms were absent, including the blurred vision and the need for glasses. After his neck stabilized, he reported feeling the best he had felt in 2 years!



Male, Age 34 years, Severe Neck Pain, Headaches, Dizziness
This 34-year-old male was hit hard on the head by his garage door. One month later, he woke up with severe pain in his neck and base of his skull, headaches, and dizziness. He went to the emergency room and multiple tests were performed including MRI's, Xrays, and a spinal tap. He was told that his tests were normal and he was prescribed heavy doses of pain killers including vicadin, which did not alleviate his pain. After seeing a neurosurgeon, who told him there was nothing that could be done, he saw another neurologist, who prescribed more pain medications and steroid anti-inflammatories. His pain was rated as a 5 or 6 on the 1-10 scale daily and the pain medications weren't working. Finally, he took Imitrex, which lessened the pain somewhat, so he took one every morning and one every night. He eventually sought help from a naturopath who referred him for an upper cervical chiropractic evaluation.

At the time of his initial upper cervical chiropractic evaluation, he had suffered from daily neck pain, headaches, and dizziness for six straight weeks. During his evaluation, an injury in his upper neck was discovered, which had likely stemmed from the blow to the head by the garage door. Within a month of care, all of his pain, headaches, and dizziness were absent. Months later, his condition remained stable and no symptoms were reported.



Female, Age 28 years, Dizziness, Neck Pain
This 28-year-old female suffered from dizzy spells for approximately one year, and they had been increasing in frequency. Her neurologist ordered an MRI and there were no significant findings. She also suffered from neck and shoulder pain. Her medical history included an auto accident in which she was thrown forward against the windshield. Her symptoms (dizziness, neck pain, shoulder pain) began approximately one year after the auto accident.

During this patient's initial upper cervical chiropractic examination, an upper cervical injury was found. After only being adjusted twice, she was free of dizziness and pain and remained symptom-free years later.



Female, Age 27 years, Seizures, Headaches, Neck Pain
This 27-year-old female was involved in a motor vehicle accident, after which she was diagnosed with whiplash, concussion, and brain injury. Shortly after the accident, she developed headaches, seizures, and pain in her neck and was medicated for those symptoms for several years before seeking help from upper cervical care.

During her initial examination, an upper neck injury was discovered, probably stemming from the auto accident. Within three months of upper cervical care, all headaches, seizures, and pain were absent and all medications were discontinued.



Female, Age 14 years, Headaches, Weight Loss, Fevers, Backaches
This 14-year-old female was involved in two different accidents seven years prior and had suffered with numerous health problems since. At age 7, during the spring skiing season, she ran into a tree (without wearing a helmet) and sustained a concussion. During the fall of that same year, she fell off of the monkey bars and sustained another concussion. Following the second concussion, she began experiencing frequent headches. Eventually they worsened until they occurred constantly on a daily basis. Shortly thereafter, she experienced sudden unexplained weight loss where she lost 15 pounds. She also suffered from a constant fever for 40 straight days, which eventually lessened into occassional, unexplained fevers. In addition, she began having frequent back and hip pain, which prevented her from participating in sports she enjoyed. She also noticed her school work began to suffer where she previously had been an "A" student.

During her initial evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered, which was likely caused by one or both of the accidents that had also caused concussions. After the first upper cervical adjustment, she reported noticing her head and neck pain and her fever easing. After several weeks of care, she reported that her back and hip pain and her cognitive abilities were also improving. Within a few months, all symptoms were absent and she was able to participate fully in sports and school.



Female, Age 52 years, Migraine Headaches, Neck Pain, Whiplash, Head Injury
This 52-year-old female was involved in two auto accidents three years apart. The first accident (she was rearended) caused migraines, neck pain, and head injury symptoms, including insomnia, depression, memory loss, and inability to multi-task. These symptoms were worsened after her second auto accident in which she was also rearended. She tried multiple therapies including physical therapy, chiropractic care, cranial sacral therapy, as well as medications from her neurologist but she could hardly function due to severity of her cognitive symptoms and pain.

During her initial upper cervical chiropractic evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered that had not been addressed by her previous practitioners. After the first upper cervical correction, she noticed that her migraines lessened. After two weeks of care, she reported noticing she was "in a better mood, had more patience, and was less grumpy". By the second month of care, migraines were greatly reduced and many of her cognitive symptoms were noticeably better. She reported sleeping better, having better energy, having a clear head to go about her daily tasks, experiencing an improved mood, and noticing excellent concentration. By the end of four months of care, she routinely reported feeling "excellently" and had few migraines and few cognitive symptoms.



Female, Age 30 years, Head and Neck Pain
This 30-year-old female suffered a body surfing accident in which she landed hard in the sand on the right side of her face. The impact caused a black eye and immediately triggered headaches and pain at the base of her skull / upper neck region. The pain at the base of her skull awakened her at night. She also felt a decrease in her energy and claimed she just didn't feel very well.

During her initial upper cervical chiropractic evaluation, an injury was discovered at her upper neck that likely stemmed from the body surfing impact. Once her head and neck alignment was properly corrected, all headaches, base of skull pain, and neck pain were absent.



Female, Age 40 years, Headaches, Neck Pain, Clavicle Pain, Numbness in Fingers
This 40-year-old female suffered with neck and clavicle pain and numbness in her 3rd and 4th fingers of her right hand for the past 6 months. Her right grip strength was weak and she complained of pain in her right elbow. She also suffered from headaches approximately once per week. The neck injury possibly stemmed from two different auto accidents she experienced eight years prior.

This patient was adjusted only three times and had complete correction of her neck pain, clavicle pain, headaches, finger numbness, and grip weakness within two weeks of upper cervical care.



Female, Age 24 years, Chronic Headaches, Neck Pain, Difficulty Sleeping
This 24-year-old suffered from daily headaches, neck pain, and difficulty sleeping for the past year. The headaches started at the base of her skull and shot up behind her eyes and down her upper back. The pain was severe enough that she often was kept awake at night, and as a result, she experienced fatigue. After upper cervical care, she was head and neck pain free. Also she slept through the night and reported a large increase in energy level.

Male, Age 25 years, Post Auto-accident Neck Pain, Headaches, Numbness in Hands, Fatigue
After an auto-accident last spring, this 25-year-old male experienced spinal pain, fatigue, restlessness, headaches, and numbness in his hands for the last 6 months. After the first adjustment, his symptoms improved substantially. One month later, he did not need to be adjusted again and all of his symptoms were completely gone. Eighteen months later, he had no return of symptoms.

TESTIMONIAL

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Elster for her outstanding chiropractic care. I had been suffering for 6 months from chronic fatigue, restlessness, numbness of fingers and hands, neck pain, and headaches after a car accident. Upon referral from my girlfriend, I decided to set all skepticism aside and visit Dr. Elster's office. Even though Dr. Elster noted my skepticism right away, she continued to explain the possibilities available for me. I do have to admit that I did not believe that her care would help to relieve my numerous symptoms. After she explained the reasons for my discomfort through x-rays, experience, and acquired knowledge, I agreed to treatment. The treatment itself was comfortable and I could see positive results within a short period of time. The only thing I still don't believe about Dr. Elster's treatment is that all of my symptoms had nearly disappeared within one week -- after only ONE adjustment! My only regret is that I did not seek Dr. Elster's help sooner. I would highly recommend her services to anyone. Thank you very much, Dr. Elster!" Dennis, age 25, December '97



Female, Age 16 years, Post Auto-Accident Spinal Pain, Headaches
This 16-year-old female was a high school track star until an auto accident last spring. Following the accident, she experienced neck pain, low back pain, and headaches. The pain hindered her performance in track. In addition, her performance in school was affected-- her grades dropped and she had trouble concentrating in school.

Within a week of care, her pain disappeared and she began running track better, winning races, and eventually won her team's most improved award. Her ability to concentrate in school also came back up and so did her grades.



Female, Age 14 years, Headaches, Weight Loss, Fevers, Backaches
This 14-year-old female was involved in two different accidents seven years prior and had suffered with numerous health problems since. At age 7, during the spring skiing season, she ran into a tree (without wearing a helmet) and sustained a concussion. During the fall of that same year, she fell off of the monkey bars and sustained another concussion. Following the second concussion, she began experiencing frequent headches. Eventually they worsened until they occurred constantly on a daily basis. Shortly thereafter, she experienced sudden unexplained weight loss where she lost 15 pounds. She also suffered from a constant fever for 40 straight days, which eventually lessened into occassional, unexplained fevers. In addition, she began having frequent back and hip pain, which prevented her from participating in sports she enjoyed. She also noticed her school work began to suffer where she previously had been an "A" student.

During her initial evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered, which was likely caused by one or both of the accidents that had also caused concussions. After the first upper cervical adjustment, she reported noticing her head and neck pain and her fever easing. After several weeks of care, she reported that her back and hip pain and her cognitive abilities were also improving. Within a few months, all symptoms were absent and she was able to participate fully in sports and school.



Female, Age 27 years, Seizures, Headaches, Neck Pain
This 27-year-old female was involved in a motor vehicle accident, after which she was diagnosed with whiplash, concussion, and brain injury. Shortly after the accident, she developed headaches, seizures, and pain in her neck and was medicated for those symptoms for several years before seeking help from upper cervical care.

During her initial examination, an upper neck injury was discovered, probably stemming from the auto accident. Within three months of upper cervical care, all headaches, seizures, and pain were absent and all medications were discontinued.



Female, Age 48 years, Head / Neck Injury
This 48-year-old female was involved in a ski accident three years prior in which another skier ran into her at approximately 15 miles per hour. She sustained head and neck injuries and was unable to work a full week for three years. Before upper cervical care, her complaints included headaches, neck pain, low back and left leg pain, fatigue, mental confusion, and frequent episodes of what she termed "brain shutdown" where she could not function. During her chiropractic examination, an upper cervical injury was found.

After several months of care, she improved substantially. She no longer had periods of brain shutdown and resumed a full workweek. She rarely reported headaches or neck pain. The pain in her low back and leg was completely corrected. Her mental clarity and energy level were much improved.



Female, Age 30 years, Spinal Pain, Concussion, Whiplash
This 30-year-old female suffered two different traumas and was afflicted with spinal pain ever since. The first was a fall on ice in which she hit her head on the pavement and suffered a mild concussion. The second was an auto accident in which she was rear-ended and thrown against the windshield. The spinal pain had been severely hindering her training and performance as a marathon runner. During her initial evaluation, an upper cervical injury was discovered.

After approximately 2 months of upper cervical care, the spinal pain healed and she was able to train and run pain-free. Over a year later, she still trained without pain.

TESTIMONIAL

"After a head/neck injury from falling on ice and a rear end collision (where I was thrown into a windshield) two years ago, I suffered from spinal pain and tried chiropractor after chiropractor with minimal results. I was able to continue with my training (marathon running), but with a lot of pain and frustration. After only two weeks in Dr. Elster's care, I felt progress. Being a marathon runner takes its toll on my joints- especially my back. With the adjustments that Dr. Elster has made, my running has improved and I can run without pain! Also, she is training my spine to hold its position so I can continue injury-free!" Tara, age 30, March 1998



Female, Age 37 years, Neck Pain, Arm Pain, Headaches, Thumb Pain, Low Back Pain
This 37-year-old female suffered from pain since a fall backwards on a slip & slide 15 years prior, in which she fell flat on her back and suffered a whiplash/concussion. She had constant pain in her neck, back, right arm, right thumb, right sacro-iliac joint, and daily dull headaches ever since. She had been told her pain was due to arthritis so she was prescribed arthritis medication that provided no relief.

During her initial upper cervical chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was found which most likely stemmed from her fall on the slip & slide. After 3 months of upper cervical care, all pains and headaches were absent.



Male, Age 65 years, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Chronic Neck Pain
This 65-year-old male suffered from irritable bowel syndrome for twenty years. His complaints included constipation and painful spasms in his intestines. He felt daily abdominal cramping and fatigue. He also complained of chronic neck pain since a fall off of a trampoline in college. During this patient's chiropractic examination, an upper neck injury was discovered.

After upper cervical chiropractic care, his neck healed and his bowels resumed normal function. He no longer complained of constipation or painful cramping and his energy level returned.



Female, Age 28 years, Neck and Back Pain
This 28-year-old female was involved in an auto accident on the freeway travelling at 75 mph. She swerved to miss an animal in the road and lost control of her car. She was examined after the accident by her doctor and was told everything was fine; however she struggled with chronic neck and back pain that was not present before the accident. She worked as a photographer and often had difficulty working and carrying her cameras due to pain. After having constant pain for 6 months, she underwent an upper cervical chiropractic examination.

During her evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered, which was mostly likely caused by her auto accident. After two months of treatment, all of her pain was gone and her spine was stabilized.



Female, Age 21 years, Low Back Pain
This 21-year-old collegiate tennis player had been unable to train or participate on her school's tennis team for the past three years due to severe, chronic low back pain. She had sought assistance from all of the health care practitioners available to her from her university's athletic program (including medical treatment, physical therapy, massage, chiropractic, etc.) but still was unable to play tennis at all.

During her initial evaluation, a spinal injury was discovered with the primary site being located at her upper neck. The injury was causing her entire spine to remain in a stressed, weakened posture that put tremendous stress upon her lower back vertebrae. Once she began upper cervical care, she began noticing a lessening in her lower back pain. As she continued to improve, she began a rehabilitative training program with her university's athletic trainer and began to get herself back into shape. Eventually, all of her symptoms were absent, and her strength was back through her training, so she was able to participate in her final tennis season as a senior.



Male, Age 7 years, Severe Leg Pains
This 7-year-old male suffered from severe, unexplained leg pains since he could verbalize around age 2. He had undergone many evaluations but a specific diagnosis was never rendered. The pains typically occurred at night, were severe, and caused the boy to experience extreme fits of screaming and crying. After undergoing allergy testing to elimate certain foods that caused reactions as well as taking homeopathic remedies, the legs pains decreased in frequency to approximately two episodes per month.

During the boy's initial evaluation, an injury in his upper cervical spine was discovered. When questioned as to possible causes of the injury, his mother recalled a fall at age 2 in which he hit his head hard against the floor as well as a difficult birth in which the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck.

After upper cervical care was administered, no further leg pains occurred.



Male, Age 29 years, Achilles Tendonitis, Uneven Running Gait
This 29-year-old runner had run during high school and college, but had to stop in recent years due to chronic achilles tendonitis. He had tried many forms of treatment but was unable to alleviate the pain unless he stopped running altogether. He also described himself an having an "uneven gait" when he ran. He claimed that he felt like he struck harder on one leg compared to the other side.

During his initial examination, a spinal injury was discovered, with the primary site located at his upper neck. The neck injury was causing his spine and pelvis to shift into a stressed, weakened posture, that was putting greater pressure on one leg compared to the other. After having his neck injury corrected, all Achilles pain healed and remained absent so that he was able to once again resume running 60 miles per week.



Male, Age 58 years, Neck Pain, Arm Weakness / Tingling
This 58-year-old male was concerned about his career as a pilot because of pain stemming from his neck, that traveled down his right arm, causing weakness and tingling in his arm. The weakness was most problematic in his right tricep muscle and right shoulder. He was extremely concerned that if the problem didn't resolve, he would have to retire from flying.

At his initial chiropractic evaluation, a spinal injury stemming from his upper neck was discovered. After his first upper cervical adjustment, his symptoms decreased dramatically. Within one month, all symptoms were absent and he was able to continue his career as a pilot.



Female, Age 50 years, Chronic Neck Pain
This 50-year-old female had neck pain since the age of 10 when she dove head first into a sandbar in the ocean. The pain worsened over the last 5 years to the point that she hardly could turn to the left at all. After one month of upper cervical care, her neck pain healed and was gone.

Male, Age 44 years, Ankylosing Spondylitis / Arthritis
This 44-year-old male was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis (a chronic inflammtory arthritic condition of the spine that can result in spinal fusion) 16 years prior to seeking help from upper cervical care. Over the years, he noticed a decreased range of motion in his spine, primarily in his neck. There had been no medical treatment available to him other than large dosages of anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS), which caused stomach bleeding. He also tried various forms of massage to help keep his spine loose; however the inflammation, pain, and loss of range of motion worsened. At the time of his initial upper cervical examination, his 2nd through 5th cervical vertebrae were fused, resulting in a very limited cervical range of motion.

During this 44-year-old's upper cervical chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was found. After the first 4 weeks of upper cervical care, he noticed that the inflammation had decreased, therefore relieving the pain in his spine and allowing a slight increase in the range of motion. After 4 months of care, he survived the entire summer with no flareups of inflammation and described this period as the most stable his spine had been in a long time. He was able to participate in a triathlon and felt fluid and smooth in his motion which would have previously been stiff and painful. While no reversal of the fusion in his spine is possible, upper cervical care will keep his immune system functioning properly and prevent further inflammation, pain, and fusion.



Female, Age 23 years, TMJ, Headaches, Neck Pain, Back Pain
This 23-year-old female suffered from several health problems since an ice skating accident 6 years ago. During the accident, her friend fell on top of her head, smashing her head sideways into the ice. Since the ice skating incident, she struggled with pain throughout her neck and back; headaches as often as once per day; and constant jaw problems. The left side of her jaw was the worst and hurt even during smiling. Daily, her left jaw clicked and popped and caused pain. She complained that her jaw constantly came to her attention because it always felt unstable.

During her chiropractic examination, an upper cervical injury was discovered, most likely stemming from the ice skating accident. Once her neck injury was stabilized, all headaches, spinal pain and jaw pain were absent. Some residual clicking in the jaw remained, most likely due to scar tissue from the chronicity of the injury. However, she was able to chew, smile, etc. without pain and without thinking about her jaw.



Female, Age 50 years, TMJ, Headaches, Neck Pain
This 50-year-old female was involved in an auto accident in which she was rear-ended at 40mph. After the accident, she suffered from constant headaches and pain in her neck and jaw. The neck pain was focused at the right upper region underneath her skull. The pain radiated around to the right side of her jaw and up to her eyes and face. She sought treatment from massage therapists, chiropractors, and dentists to no avail. At the time she sought treatment from upper cervical care, she had suffered for 5 years with constant symptoms.

During her upper cervical chiropractic examination, an upper neck injury was discovered that was radiating pain throughout her neck, jaw, and face. The upper cervical injury most likely stemmed from her auto accident. After two months of upper cervical care, all neck pain, jaw pain, and headaches were absent.



Male, Age 15 years, Tourette Syndrome, Neck Pain
This 15-year-old male was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome at age 7. He had no family history of Tourette Syndrome. The tics were constantly present and worsened during times of concentration, such as during reading and writing. He was diagnosed as having a learning disorder, and as a result, the boy was home-schooled. He also described how he felt uncomfortable during social situations and experienced anxiety in anticipation of having tics in front of his friends. In addition, he suffered from chronic neck pain for years. He had difficulty getting comfortable to sleep at night and usually slept on many pillows. He also constantly tried to "crack" his own neck in an attempt to make it feel better but it continued to bother him. He described himself as having constant daily tightness in his neck and shoulders, especially at the base of his skull.

During this boy's upper cervical exam, a neck injury was found. His mother could not recall any accidents he had suffered as a child that could have caused his neck injury other than typical falls and sports injuries of childhood, although the boy was an avid snowboarder and had taken some falls on his head. After his first upper cervical adjustment, he reported having a tremendous reduction in tics and neck pain. He couldn't believe how much better his neck felt after so many years of discomfort. Within a month, he was free of tics and neck pain and was able to resume concentrating on school subjects that had previously been too difficult. He continued with home-schooling so his mother could monitor his progress. She reported tremendous improvement in his ability to concentrate, complete school work, etc. He reported a definite change in his ability to perform school work. He recalled that previously, no matter how hard he concentrated, he could not finish a set of math problems. After being adjusted, he said he completed his math homework easily. In addition, he also reported how much of a relief it was to no longer worry about experiencing tics, especially in front of other people.



Female, Age 25 years, Neck and Upper Back Pain
This 25-year-old female described a history of constant neck and upper back pain since an auto accident two years prior. During the accident, her car was hit at approximately 45 mph. She was hospitalized for two days following the accident and released. For the previous two years, she had struggled with chronic pain and was referred for an upper cervical chiropractic evaluation by her massage therapist.

During her evaluation, an upper neck injury was found, which probably stemmed from her auto accident. Once her head and neck alignment was properly corrected, all of her pain in her neck and upper back was absent.



Female, Age 49 years, Headaches, Neck Pain, Loss of Sense of Taste
This 49-year-old female was involved in 6 different auto accidents during a 5-year period. After each accident, she suffered increased pain in her neck and head. Her third accident was most severe in that she suffered a head injury. After that accident, in addition to experiencing an increase in pain, she lost her sense of taste. Her neurologist told her the damage to the nerves controlling taste was most likely permanent and due to the head injury. She tried many forms of treatment over the years including pain pills, chiropractic care, and physical therapy. Sometime she received benefit, sometimes not, but the results were never consistent or long lasting. After struggling for 8 years with headaches and neck pain and 6 years with loss of her sense of taste, she sought help from upper cervical chiropractic care.

During her initial examination, an upper neck injury was discovered, which unfortunately had not been addressed by any of her previous practitioners. Within the first month of upper cervical care, she experienced tremendous improvement in the amount of neck pain and headaches. By the second and third months of care, she noticed brief sensations of taste when eating certain foods and continued to show lessening in neck pain and headaches. By the fourth month of care, she experienced taste consistently, the first time in 6 years. After five months, all headaches and neck pain were absent.



Female, Age 36 years, Neck, Upper Back, Trapezius/Shoulder Pain, "Hunchback"
This 36-year-old female suffered from pain since a whiplash auto accident 12 years before seeking help from upper cervical care. The pain worsened after a second accident, five years after the first, in which she suffered a concussion. She suffered many days at work on a computer in which her neck spasmed and forced her to stop working. In addition, she was forced to stop exercising due to pain, which caused her to gain weight.

During her initial upper cervical chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was found which most likely stemmed from her two accidents. She also had a severe curve in her upper back (kyphosis), which she called her "hunchback". After six months of upper cervical care, all pain was gone. She resumed exercising including weight training without pain and was able to work at her computer without pain. In addition, correcting the neck injury had improved her spinal strength and function so the hunchback disappeared.



Female, Age 48 years, Numbness, Pain, and Tingling down Extremities
After an auto accident 10 years ago, this 48-year-old female experienced neck pain, numbness and tingling down her arms and legs, and headaches ever since. An upper cervical chiropractic examination revealed an upper neck injury, most likely the result of her accident ten years prior.

After the first upper cervical adjustment, all of the numbness and tingling was gone. A few adjustments later, she was pain and symptom free and has remained symptom-free ever since.



Female, Age 40 years, Sciatica
This 40-year-old female experienced sciatica down her left leg since childhood. It came and went and was most severe after exercise such as hiking or racquetball. Often she avoided sports for several months at a time due to pain. She had various chiropractic adjustments to her low back over the years that provided some temporary relief but didn't fix the problem permanently.

During her initial exam, her left low back, buttocks, and hamstring were sore to the touch. She had limited range of motion while bending side to side. After only 2 upper cervical adjustments, her sciatica was gone. One year later, she was still pain-free and enjoying her favorite sporting activities.



Male, Age 53 years, Neck, Arm, Leg Pain, Arm Tingling
This 53-year-old male suffered for many years from neck and upper back pain, tingling down his left arm into his left hand, and a painful and swollen left leg. His job required for him to work at a computer for many hours over the past 25 years.

While this patient assumed that his computer work was to blame for his symptoms, he underwent an upper cervical exam. A neck injury was found so he began upper cervical care. After only a few short weeks, his leg pain healed so he was able to resume long walks after work. Also, his arm tingling stopped and his neck pain healed. He was symptom-free in just a few short weeks after suffering with pain for many years.



Female, Age 50 years, Back Pain
This 50-year-old female fell down the stairs and landed on her upper back. She visited her medical physician who recommended she get the area massaged and told her the pain would go away. Unfortunately, two months later, she still experienced severe pain in her neck and upper back. Upon advice from her massage therapist, she sought help from upper cervical care.

During her initial chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was discovered, which most likely stemmed from her fall. After her first upper cervical adjustment, her pain was reduced by 50%. A few weeks later, she was completely free from pain and the problem never returned.



Female, Age 50 years, Neck, Arm, and Back Pain
This 50-year-old female was involved in two auto accidents; one in which she was hit from the side and another where she was hit as a pedestrian. As a result, she suffered pain in her neck, back, and left arm. After suffering for two years and trying different therapies, she sought help from upper cervical care.

During her initial chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was discovered, which most likely stemmed from one or both of her accidents and unfortunately had not been addressed by any of her previous practitioners. After her first upper cervical adjustment, she began to improve. Within two weeks, her pain was substantially reduced, and within a month, it was completely gone.



Female, Age 46 years, Neck Pain
This 46-year-old female suffered from chronic neck stiffness and pain. The symptoms occurred on a daily basis and she couldn't get help despite trying many therapies. She wasn't sure exactly when the problem started although she frequently rode horses and thought perhaps she hurt herself while riding.

During her initial chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was discovered, which possibly stemmed from a fall or jolt to her neck while riding. After only a single upper cervical adjustment, her problem was corrected and never returned.



Female, Age 65 years, Neck Pain and Stiffness
This 65-year-old male experienced neck pain and stiffness for 6 months before seeking help from upper cervical care. He described difficulty in turning his head to the left and right. During his upper cervical chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was found.

After only 1 upper cervical adjustment, his neck injury was corrected. All neck pain and stiffness healed and cervical range of motion returned to normal.



Female, Age 16 years, Back Pain
This 16-year-old female suffered with low back pain for the past several months. The pain bothered her daily. She did not recall suffering any spinal injuries other than a history of falls during gymnastics as a child.

During her chiropractic exam, a neck injury was found which was causing her back pain. Her mother recalled several gymnastics falls in which she had landed on her head or neck.

After upper cervical care, her back pain was corrected. She has been pain-free and has not needed an adjustment in over six months.



Male, Age 33 years, Bilateral Knee Pain (Tendonitis)
This 33-year-old runner suffered from knee pain for five years prior to upper cervical care. He ran competitively since college and often trained five days per week. Unfortunately, he had to substantially decrease his training due to persistent knee pain. He sought out the help of many specialists over the past five years including running trainers, orthopedic surgeons, general chiropractors, massage therapists, etc. He was given orthotics (insoles) for his shoes, strengthening exercises, icing techniques, and a heel lift because he was told he had a "short leg." His diagnosis was bilateral patellar tendonitis. Some of these suggestions helped but none eliminated the pain. He thought about resorting to knee surgery. On suggestion from his massage therapist, he underwent an upper cervical chiropractic exam. It was discovered that he had a neck injury-- which had interfered with the proper biomechanical functioning on his spine, pelvis, and consequently, his knees.

After having the neck injury corrected (one month of upper cervical care), he reported that this was the best his knees had felt in five years. Because the pain was practically gone, he was able to resume his regular training schedule.



Male, Age 28 years, Chronic Neck / Shoulder Pain
This 28-year-old male had neck and shoulder pain since a crash snowboarding a year ago in which he fractured his left clavicle. After surgery to repair the fracture and a sling for several months, the pain in his neck and left shoulder remained and he felt it daily. He tried many therapies including exercises and massage that hadn't relieved the pain.

After several months of upper cervical care, his neck and shoulder pain were gone. He returned to his favorite activities, such as golf, pain-free.



Female, Age 49 years, Neck and Back Pain, Numbness in Arms and Legs, Whiplash
Testimonial

"I am a 49-year-old woman who was in a car accident almost 4 years ago, during which time my car was hit on the driver's side by another rapidly moving vehicle. At the time, I injured my neck and back, resulting in pain, stiffness, and muscle and spine instability. I was treated by a traditional chiropractor for the next couple of years, but never really resolved my neck or back issues completely.

I began seeing Dr. Erin Elster three years after the accident. At the first appointment, she took a series of cervical x-rays that showed the upper cervical vertebrae were displaced and rotated. I then began a treatment protocol with Dr. Elster. Immediately I noticed that her neck adjustments did not involve "wrenching" my neck from side to side-- a maneuver which I have always found painful and distressing. Her adjustments are subtle and precise, rarely causing much pain. Gradually over time, I began to notice many of my symptoms lessening-- I had felt numbness in my left leg and foot, as well as in my left arm at times, both which improved when my neck was in proper alignment. Most of my life I've had some trouble breathing, due to one paralyzed vocal cord, but even my breathing has improved with proper neck alignment.

The most surprising change was that I have less lower back issues as long as my neck stays stable. I have not needed to see any other chiropractor for neck or back problems since I began with Dr. Elster 15 months ago. I am amazed that keeping such a small part of my body (my upper neck) aligned and healthy, can make such a big difference for the rest of my body's health. I am very grateful to Dr. Elster for her upper cervical treatment-- it is making such a huge difference in my health!"

~ Kathy S. Thornton, CO



Male, Age 44 years, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Neck Pain

This 44-year-old male described suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) for close to 10 years.  He suffered from pain and tingling from his right hand, up his arm, to his neck.  He had been forced to leave at least one computer job due to the severity of his symptoms.  When questioned about the timing of the onset of his symptoms, he recalled a bad fall skiing, which preceded the onset of his symptoms.  During this skiing incident, he fell down a cliff and somersaulted on his head and thought this fall might have injured his neck.  His CTS symptoms began after the skiing fall and continued ever since.

An upper cervical chiropractic evaluation was performed and an injury was discovered through thermographic and radiographic testing.  After the first upper cervical correction, he felt immediately relief in his hand, arm, and neck.  After receiving treatment over the subsequent weeks to stabilize his neck, he reported absence of all symptoms and was able to resume working full time at a computer job.



Male, Age 70 years, Oromandibular (Jaw) Dystonia, Stiff Neck

This 70-year-old male had been plagued with oromandibular dystonia (dystonia of the jaw) for the previous 3 years.  His symptoms included constant clenching / grinding of his teeth because of the tightness of his jaw muscles; a very tight neck; and slurred speech because his jaw wouldn't open.  He reported that his symptoms occur only during the waking hours.  He tried massage to relax the muscles and he also tried anti-depressants for 6 months; neither helped.  Finally, he was referred for an upper cervical chiropractic evaluation.

During his evaluation, a cervical injury was discovered through thermography and radiography.  The injury in his neck was causing both the neck and jaw dystonia.  Within the first month of upper cervical treatment, he reported that his symptoms were gradually improving - there was less tightness in his neck and jaw and he no longer slurred his speech.  By the end of the second month of care, all symptoms were absent. 



Female, Age 31 years, Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Neck Pain

This 31-year-old female was involved in an auto accident at age 20 in which she was thrown headfirst into the dashboard.  She began suffering from neck pain as well as frequent popping in her neck continuously for the next decade.  Approximately a decade after the accident, she experienced the sudden onset of double vision, tingling in her face, and arm pain and tightness.  An MRI confirmed demyelinating lesions and she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  Because she had a chronic neck injury that was never resolved, she suspected her neck was related to the MS onset so she sought help from upper cervical chiropractic care immediately following the diagnosis.

During her initial upper cervical chiropractic evaluation, an injury stemming from the upper cervical spine was discovered.  The injury was most likely generated from the auto accident she had suffered a decade prior.  She underwent treatment to correct her upper cervical injury and felt her symptoms gradually resolve over the first two months of treatment.  At the end of four months of treatment - after her neck had become quite stable - she underwent a follow-up MRI.  This MRI showed that all previous MS lesions had resolved and that no new lesions had formed.  Her case was deemed stable by her neurologist and she continued to undergo check-ups for her cervical spine to maintain her neck's stability.



Female, Age 47 years, Dizziness, Vertigo, Neck Pain

"In June 2005 I began my upper cervical care with Dr Erin Elster DC in Boulder, Co. We googled the phrase cevicogenic vertigo and found her very informative website. Six months prior to this in January of 2005 I had two very traumatic falls. First I slipped on black ice in a parking lot while I was in my ski boots carrying my skis and poles. I slipped so quickly that my feet flew straight up in the air and I landed extremely hard on my left shoulder, back and neck area. I lifted my head before it hit the ground and I felt my head compress into my shoulders. I gathered my things and went skiing, shocked that nothing was broken. The next day skiing, I skied in a trough and ejected from my skis, flipped over and landed on top of a mogul on the upper left thoracic area of my back. Double whammy!! And I still skied for the rest of the day. At this time in my life I was a 46 year old athletic female, part time ski instructor and full time jail deputy in the small Aspen, Co county jail. I hiked, biked, kayaked, skied and participated in all the mountains have to offer. Two weeks after my falls with only minor stiffness in my neck and shoulder I started to experience dizzy spells. As days went by I continued to have additional symptoms and more severe debilitating issues.

My symptoms were:
- Extreme dizziness- would even wake me out of a sound sleep
- Nausea – I was unable to eat hardly anything lost 25 pds in 3-4 mos
- Headaches- severe frontal and occipital 
- Difficulty swallowing
- Numbness in left hand and left foot
- Spinal spasms
- Stiff neck and upper back with tingling and numbness
- Unable to drive or ride in a car without become extremely dizzy and nauseous
- Unable to shop at any type of store, blur of the lights, motions of people, were so overstimulating I had difficulty remembering anything; I usually ended up leaving the store without my groceries.
- The motion of bending my head to read or look at a computer screen also made me dizzy and nauseous.
- Had trouble sitting in chairs, was comfortable lying down completely flat or standing.

By the time February 2006 rolled around I was unable to work and could barely leave the house. Here is a list of medical people I saw: 2 general chiropractors, 1 General Practioner, 2 orthopedic spine doctors, 2 physical medical doctors, 3 neurologists (1 diagnosed cervigenic vertigo, 1 had no answers for me, 1 diagnosed post concussive head injury), 1 acupuncturist, 1 pain management doctor, multiple IMS treatments (type of acupuncture), Physical therapy (soft tissue work). I had also been given the following medications: 2 cervical spine steroid injections, Tizandine, Trazodone, Oxycodone, Ativan, Vicodin, and ambien. None of these treatment or doctors helped me.

By the time I visited Dr Elster in June 2006 I was still experiencing all of my symptoms. During her initial consultation, precision x-rays showed the misalignment of my C-1 (atlas) 4mm so Dr. Elster performed an adjustment it (it was a slight force but nothing painful and does not involve any twisting.) Her confidence and knowledge about my injury was reassuring and I finally felt someone understood and believed me and my symptoms. I broke down and cried and Dr. Elster assured me with time I would be better. At this point I needed to be checked a couple of times a week, so I stayed with friends in Boulder (the drive back and forth from Aspen to Boulder was detrimental to my healing. The motion of the car and turny mountain roads were counterproductive.) For the next 6 weeks, I started to slowly improve. In September I left Boulder and returned home. I was now able to check in with Dr Elster on a weekly basis and able to tolerate the ride as a passenger. My exercise level was increasing and my symptoms were subsiding. This appears to be the only medical treatment along with soft tissue work that improves my health. Dr Elster's training and professionalism is outstanding. She is to be commended on her availability and patience. Many a time I called to cry on her shoulder and she was always there to reassure me. Dr. Elster frequently answers her own phone and promptly returns calls. Her website is very helpful. If not for these adjustments I am not sure where I would be right now, possibly still lying on my yoga mat staring at the tree tops. I am currently skiing and hiking and life is getting better, again! I believe upper cervical adjustments could help more people with head and neck injuries."

~ Michelle S., Age 47, Aspen, CO



Female, Age 27 years, Meniere's Disease, Neck Pain, Headaches

This 27-year-old female suffered from frequent vertigo attacks for over a year before seeking help from upper cervical care.  Prior to her upper cervical evaluation, she sought help from many physicians who prescribed anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications; however, the medications didn't help her and the vertigo attacks persisted.  Besides dizziness, she also suffered from neck pain, ringing in her ears, blurred vision, and headaches when the vertigo attacks occurred and was diagnosed with Meniere's Disease.  The vertigo attacks prevent her from doing her job as a writer because the strain on her neck from working on a computer would provoke an attack.

During her evaluation, an injury stemming from her upper cervical spine was discovered.  When questioned about her history of  head / neck trauma, she recalled an incident in which she fell on the stairs and hit her head prior to the onset of the first vertigo attack.  She underwent upper cervical care and within a few weeks all symptoms of vertigo, neck pain, and headaches were absent and she was able to get back to work full time.



Female, Age 39 years, TMJ Dysfunction, Headaches, Neck Pain

This 39-year-old female had been suffering from severe pain in her jaw, head, and neck for a number of years.  She reported that due to frequent grinding, a number of her teeth had been worn down to "nubs." Sadly, she had seen a number of dentists and chiropractors over the years but the problems persisted.  Finally, she sought help from a specialized field of dentistry known as neuromuscular dentisty.  Through computerized testing, this dentist diagnosed a large discrepancy in her bite and also suspected cervical involvement.  Besides fitting her with an appliance to stabilize her bite and to protect her remaining teeth, he referred her for an upper cervical chiropractic evaluation.

At her chiropractic evaluation, an upper cervical injury was discovered.  She reported several different cervical traumas including an auto accident that could have caused her neck injury.  Within the first 2 weeks of cervical treatment, she reported substantial improvement in her jaw, neck, and head pain.  Over the subsequent 2 months, her cervical spine continued to stabilize through treatment, which allowed her jaw to recover as well.  Concurrently, her dentist made small adjustment to her appliance to help with the recovery of her bite.  Ultimately, when her cervical spine was stabilized and her ideal bite was determined, she was fitted for implants to replace her worn teeth.  All of her symptoms of grinding and pain were resolved.



Female, Age 6 years, Chronic Ear and Sinus Congestion, Hearing Loss, Scoliosis

This 6-year-old girl had experienced chronic fluid in her ears and congestion in her sinuses for the previous 2 years.  The congestion was severe enough to compromise her hearing and her breathing.  She had also been diagnosed with mild scoliosis in her neck and was seeking treatment from a massage therapist.  After a year of massages and other treatments, the girl's symptoms were no better so her mother sought help from upper cervical chiropractic care.

During the girl's upper cervical chiropractic evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered.  After only three weeks of treatment, all fluid and congestion had cleared.  The girl's breathing and hearing was restored and neck pain was absent.



Male, Age 57 years, Cervical Herniated Discs, Neck Pain, Numbness in Left Arm, Muscle Spasms

This 57-year-old male was recently diagnosed with cervical herniated discs at the C5-6-7 levels.  When questioned, he reported that he was completely unaware that there were any problems in his neck until recently.  He reported a sudden onset of cervical pain including loss of range of motion, inability to turn his head left and right, "creaking" sounds in his neck, nerve pain down his left arm, and muscle spasms in his left shoulder, arm, and chest muscles.  His doctors recommended a course of anti-inflammatory injections into his neck and then surgery.  Upon recommendation from a colleague, he chose to undergo an upper cervical chiropractic evaluation instead.

During his evaluation, an injury stemming from the upper cervical spine was discovered.  When questioned, he reported several different accidents and sports injuries that had occurred in his past, which could have caused his cervical injury.  After the first upper cervical adjustment, he reported being able to turn his head left and right without any discomfort or "creaking" sounds.  No further muscle spasms occurred and the nerve pain healed over the subsequent weeks of treatment.  He was pleased that he was able to avoid the invasive and expensive surgical treatment plan recommended by his medical doctors.



Male, Age 55 years, Neck Pain, Herniated Disc, Nerve Pain Down Left Extremity

This 55-year-old male had been suffering with excruciating neck pain and nerve pain down his left arm for 2 years.  The pain was so severe that he had to modify his posture to mitigate it - his neck had to stay flexed forward and bent to the right.  If he tried to look overhead or to the left, the pain was overwhelming.  This inability to move his neck made his job as a construction worker fairly difficult. While his physicians diagnosed a herniated disc and recommended surgery, he was concerned about surgical intervention potentially affecting his ability to work construction.  He decided to undergo and upper cervical chiropractic evaluation instead.

During his evaluation, an injury stemming from the upper cervical spine was discovered.  This injury was compromising nerves as well as compressing discs in the lower neck.  After the first upper cervical adjustment, he reported immediated relief - the nerve pain lessened and he felt more mobility in his neck.    After two months, his case was stabilized, all symptoms were absent, he avoided surgery, and he resumed working full time in construction without any restrictions. 



Female, Age 51 years, Cervical Herniated Discs, Radicular Nerve Pain, Tingling Down Left Arm, Neck Pain

This 51-year-old female had been suffering from chronic neck problems due to 3 different auto accidents.  The symptoms she described were neck pain, reduced range of motion, and numbness and tingling down her left arm.  She had undergone general chiropractic care for many years and had some relief in her symptoms but she wanted to find a more permanent solution.  A recent MRI of her neck revealed herniated discs at the C5-6-7 levels.  Her neurosurgeon recommended surgery; however, she was fearful of surgery and wanted to find a less invasive treatment.  Ultimately, she was referred by her previous chiropractor to undergo an upper cervical chiropractic evaluation.

During her evaluation, an injury at the upper cervical level was discovered, which had not been addressed by her previous chiropractor.  This upper cervical injury was contributing to compression upon the lower cervical discs and joints, thereby preventing them from healing.    After undergoing the first upper cervical adjustment, she reported feeling a different level of relief compared to her previous chiropractic care.  She noted that she felt as though this was the first time that "the cause" of her problems was being addressed.  After treatment over the subsequent weeks, she reported complete resolution of her symptoms -  all neck and nerve pain was completely absent.  She was thrilled with her results, especially because she avoided surgery.



Female, Age 38 years, Chronic Vertigo, Neck Pain, Nasal Congestion, Ear Fullness

This 38-year-old female had been suffering from chronic vertigo and neck pain for close to 15 years.  She had tried numerous medications, steroid injections, anti-depressants, chiropractors, acupunturists, physical therapists, massage therapists, ENT's and neurologists.  None of the medications or practitioners helped her and the problems persisted.   In addition to stronger attacks of vertigo that rendered her unable to work or leave the house, she described general lightheadedness that was present all of the time, difficulty concentrating, stuffy nose, ear fullness, neck pain originating from the base of her skull, and pain radiating down her shoulder.  Her most recent medications included daily pain medications and decongestants.

When searching the internet for answers, she came across Dr. Elster's website describing upper cervical care and the correlation between neck injuries and vertigo.  Prior to the onset of vertigo, she recalled sustaining an injury to her neck when she fell out of a moving truck and landed on her upper back, neck, and head.  During her upper cervical chiropractic evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered, which had not been addressed by any of her previous practitioners.  After a single upper cervical adjustment, she reported a substantial improvement in her vertigo and pain symptoms.  After only a single month of treatment, all vertigo, pain, nasal and ear symptoms were absent.





The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.