Listen or Read Dr. Larry Arbeitman’s Podcast Interview!
Topic – Headaches and Migraines
Below you will find an easy to read transcript of Dr. Larry Arbeitman’s monthly podcast interview. You can click the video to listen to the podcast or simply read the easy to follow transcript below. Enjoy!
RC: Hello everyone. This is Liz Harvey coming to you from our studios in New York City where we are dedicated to bringing you top-quality advice from many of the leading expert professionals across the U.S. In today’s episode, we are speaking with chiropractor Dr. Larry Arbeitman. Dr. Arbeitman earned a bachelor of science degree in kinesiological science from the University of Maryland at College Park and graduated magna cum laude from Logan College of Chiropractic in St. Louis, Missouri.
Dr. Arbeitman is the founder of Upper Cervical Chiropractic of Monmouth located in Marlboro, New Jersey and has overseen more than 150,000 patient visits in nearly 12 years. He has become well respected within the profession and most specifically, the Upper Cervical Specialty. He routinely trains, teaches and lectures nationwide to colleagues, students, and to the general public. He is currently an active board member for the QSM3 Upper Cervical Method.
Today, he will highlight several of his key points from his book, The Gift of Hope: The Path To Healing Through Upper Cervical Care.
Dr. Arbeitman is widely considered to be one of the top chiropractors in the country. He is also a contributing member of our national network of industry professionals.
Today we’re going to talk about a very important topic:
Headaches and Migraines
RC: Hello Dr. Arbeitman. How are you today?
Dr. Larry Arbeitman: I’m very excited to be here today to talk about this subject which affects literally millions and millions of people in our country.
RC: Well thank you so much for joining me. Let’s get started.
What are the different types of headaches and how do you describe the pain from each type?
Dr. Larry Arbeitman: The ache in the headache doesn’t come from the brain. The brain doesn’t feel any sensation. What puts the ache in the headache are the veins and arteries inside the brain and skull, the membranes that wrap around the brain, and the certain nerves in the head and neck. A lot of these nerves are called cranial nerves and when they are pulled, stressed, compressed, irritated, inflamed, infected, headaches can often result. You’re right, there are different types of headaches. They can be categorized into primary headaches and secondary headaches.
The primary headaches, one of the more common types are called migraines. Migraines are a disabling type of headache that are recurring and frequently occur on one side of the head or face. They usually result in other symptoms like vomiting, sometimes visual disturbances. Migraines can knock people out for days at a time. They lose days of their life. They’re relegated back to their room. Their world can get really small.
Other primary headaches include cluster headaches and tension headaches. Tension headaches are very common especially with stress and iPads. I don’t mean to laugh about it, because it’s not a laughing matter, but tension headaches are typically categorized by tension in the back of the head, the base of the skull, a tightness, a pressure near the temples or over the eyebrows. It could feel like a vice coming in around the head. They’re associated with stress, fatigue. Their precipitated by poor posture, eye strain, abnormalities of muscles or bones in the neck or misaligned vertebrae or teeth or jaw bones. Very neuromusculoskeletal.
The third type of primary headache that I wanted to just touch upon are cluster headaches. They’re named cluster headaches because they tend to occur daily for periods or a week or more, with long periods of time between. They’ll come in a cluster, and then they’ll go away. They can go away for months or years. They usually occur at the same time every day. The cause is uncertain, but there’s a theory that it has something to do with histamine release, or serotonin in the brain. Lots of times they can be triggered by allergies or even a response to certain medication. The reason why it’s important to know which type of headache that a patient is having is because it’s going to affect the recommendations and the prognosis.
The secondary type of headaches, and this is really important, can be caused by an underlying medical condition. As a chiropractor, we’re primary care physicians. Just because somebody comes into our office with a headache doesn’t mean we can help you. What if there’s an underlying medical condition? That’s what we have to help the patient determine. What I’ve always told patients is that the first step is just to determine whether or not we can help. If we can help you, we tell you. If not, we get you to a professional other than ourselves that we feel can. Some of those secondary headaches can be things that are extremely rare, but they can be caused by things like a blood vessel, an aneurism, a tumor, an infection.
Typically in a chiropractic office, we don’t see those things because by the time we meet the headache patient they’ve kind of been everywhere, done everything, and tried everything. They’ve been to the neurologists and the medical doctors and they’ve had the scan of their brain and all the blood work, they’ve gone to the nutritionist, they’ve cut out gluten, they’ve even gone to the school nurse and the puppy groomer, and then they try chiropractic. Then they realize, “I wish I came here first.”
What are the most common causes of headaches?
Dr. Larry Arbeitman: There’s many causes of headaches. Most headache patients, especially chronic headache patients that I meet with, they know their triggers, they know their causes. Chemical, environmental, emotional, physical, stress, food allergies and sensitivities, certain different scents or perfumes. As I had mentioned before, if somebody’s a jaw-clencher. Different changes in hormone levels. For many women, their headaches or their migraines are tied to their cycle. Obviously if there’s a past history of a trauma to the head or to the neck and the person has a dysfunction or a misalignment in their neck, that can affect blood flow, oxygenation, nerve supply. We also know that poor posture can be a cause of headaches.
What is amazing now, and this is just absolutely incredible, the inventor of the MRI unit, Dr. Raymond Damadian, he’s the medical doctor that invented the MRI. He’s like the Thomas Edison of medicine. He developed a newer type of technology that’s video MRI. It’s called Fonar. There’s not a lot of these machines in the world. He started working with ALS patients, Parkinson’s patients, MS patients, ex-NFL players who are suffering with really bad headaches, migraines, dementia, and CTE – a lot of people know about the problems that the NFL players are having.
What he did was he started putting these patients into this video MRI, and he started noticing in every case that they had an obstruction in the cerebral spinal fluid, the fluid that bathes the brain. It was getting blocked. It wasn’t flowing to and from the brain. He came out in 2013 at a lecture in front of 150 neurologists in New York City, and he said the underlying cause of neurological diseases like MS, Parkinson’s, CTE, which is the condition of the football players, is an uncorrected cervical misalignment that’s blocking the flow of cerebral spinal fluid. Then he was working with an Upper Cervical doctor who would adjust the upper neck, they would put the patient back into this video MRI, and immediately you would see the restoration of the flow of the cerebral spinal fluid.
I was just kind of skimming the channels during the Super Bowl last year, and ESPN had a documentary on Jim McMahon, the 1985 Bears quarterback who is suffering with CTE and just terrible ice pick type of headaches and migraines. They actually showed on ESPN his MRI showing the blockage of this flow of fluid, the adjustment, and then they put him back in and you could see the shape of his brain change immediately after the Upper Cervical adjustment. I believe, based on my 14 years of experience, and now that we have a mechanism that we can actually demonstrate, that one of the most common causes of headaches and migraines can be stemming from an uncorrected cervical trauma that – get this – could be as much as 11 years prior to the first symptom.
How does chiropractic care help treat people suffering from chronic headaches?
Dr. Larry Arbeitman: Well, I think I may have answered that.
RC: I think so, too!
Dr. Larry Arbeitman: With the upper cervical alignment, just to sort of summarize, by getting the upper neck back into alignment with proper mechanics, you’re relieving pressure on the nervous system, relieving pressure on the vertebral artery that takes blood to the brain. You’re relieving pressure on the structures around the spine that affect the muscles of the head, neck, and scalp. What’s amazing about the upper cervical adjustment specifically, if you’re someone who’s suffering with neck pain, is it’s very, very comfortable. I’ve met with a lot of headache patients and migraine patients who are scared to get adjustment because one time their brother’s sister’s uncle’s girlfriend went and she got an adjustment, and it caused a migraine. One of the beautiful things that we’ve noticed in our care is that our headache and migraine sufferers can get these adjustments done, and they don’t have to worry about getting blasted with a migraine. They’re very sensitive, and they respond really well to the gentle adjustment.
Will ongoing chiropractic care and adjustment help keep headache pain away?
Dr. Larry Arbeitman: You know, I’ve seen everything under the sun. I’ve seen lifetime headache and migraine sufferers completely get full resolution. I think about Dorothy, who is now about 40 years old. These testimonials are all on our website. These women have recorded videos because they just wanted to tell their stories to the public. I encourage our listeners to go out to our video testimonials on our website or our YouTube page and just listen to these women’s stories. Dorothy was a lifetime sufferer. I mean, 30 years. She never socialized. Her mom told her it was because she was always hungry, so she ended up putting on a lot of weight. They told her it was her blood pressure. She couldn’t go to the beach because the sun would trigger her migraines. She’s been under care in our office for a year now. She was getting multiple migraines a month. She hasn’t had one in over a year.
Little Katie, her story is phenomenal. It’s on our website. 16-year-old girl, she had a six month migraine. Out of school, out of band, on the couch, no life, lots of drugs. We met her, her neurologist encouraged her to come to our office. She hasn’t had a migraine for nine months. She’s back to school. She has her life back. I think about where would Katie be if we didn’t meet her? What would happen with her life? We saved her life. Upper cervical care saved her life. I think about Jen who is a principal out of school locally here. She’s a 20 year sufferer, on Topamax. She called it dopeamax. She was losing her executive function. No migraines since starting care. I think about Marie, to answer your question. Marie is over 70 years old. I said, “Marie, how long have you been having migraines for?” She said, “45 years.” She’s been under our care in our office now for just about six months, not one, zero, none.
Those are amazing stories, and we have so many more of them. For some people they notice that the frequency goes down, and so instead of losing half of their month ten days out of their month, now maybe the migraine is coming once every two or three months. When it comes they tend to bounce back and they don’t even need the rescue meds. We’re seeing that, too. Everybody’s response is individual. Then for some migraine patients, they’re not getting migraines anymore but they may just get a mild tension headache. For someone who suffers with blasting migraines, just a mild tension headache is like utopia. Everybody’s response is individual, but we’ve seen some really, really dramatic changes.
What are some other natural ways people can try to prevent getting headaches?
Dr. Larry Arbeitman: Again, most of the time I consult with patients who are headaches and migraine patients, they’ve been on the internet. They’ve looked up all the different natural ways. There’s nothing that I’m going to say here that they probably haven’t heard before, so I really do believe, foundationally, you can cut out gluten and you can cut out casein and you can get the herbs and you can get the essential oils and you can go for a massage, you can get the acupuncture. If you’re not checking the upper cervical spine to make sure that that area is free of nerve interference, you may be missing the most foundational thing. I would tell a patient if you’re looking to approach your headaches and migraines naturally, you’ve got to avoid the common triggers.
You’ve got to watch for rebound headaches from medications. You’ve got to try to discern which food and drink are the common culprits for you – it could be wheat, it could be dairy, it could be sugar, it could be chemicals, it could be aspartame or the pink packets or the blue packets or MSG. You have to pay attention to your sleep cycle. For some people, too little sleep, or for some people, too much sleep can cause the headache or migraine. Maybe you have to go to get your hormones tested. Maybe it’s women who are premenopausal or perimenopausal are having estrogen issues, and with a natural plant-based hormone, replacement that could be helped. You have to watch your hydration and your hunger or skipping meals. You have to have mechanisms to help you cope with stress. You have to know these things.
There’s other things you can do. You can do an elimination diet where you cut everything out, and then you start adding things back in. Peppermint tea and feverfew have helped. Butterbur has helped. The B vitamins have helped people. You want to pay attention to your posture and your repetitive work positions. Look at your work station. Lavender oil can help. Peppermint oil can help. Those are some of the natural things, but I don’t think I just knocked anybody away with that information. I think everybody knows that stuff already.
RC: Well, thank you so much Dr. Arbeitman. We know you’re busy, so I just want to thank you for all of your time and help today.
Dr. Larry Arbeitman: Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share with everyone how upper cervical care has helped so many with headaches and migraines.
RC: For our listeners across the country, if you are interested in speaking with the Dr., please visit www.getwellnj.com or call (732) 617-9355 to schedule an appointment. Consultations with Dr. Arbeitman are always complimentary. He has never charged anyone to sit down and have a consultation, in order to discuss their health needs and whether or not upper cervical care may be right for them.
On behalf of our team, we want to thank you for listening, and we look forward to bringing you more top quality content from our country’s leading experts.