Recent Posts

Why An X-Ray May Not Show Fracture After an Auto Injury

If one of your family members or friends suffered from an auto injury in the past and was taken to the emergency room, the staff most likely ran x-rays and other diagnostic tests. In a small percentage of these cases, the patient with the auto injury is sent home with palliative measures – use cold packs, take an aspirin, and instructions to call in a week if the pain worsens.

But then the inevitable happens. The pain does worsen and now requires one more visit to the doctor. This time the x-ray shows there was a fracture of a vertebrae, and it most likely occurred as an auto injury.

What’s going on here? Did the original doctor in the Emergency Room miss the fracture? After all, there wasn’t another trauma in the week after the auto injury/auto accident.

The problem is that many fractures don’t show up on x-rays immediately after an auto injury is sustained. Here’s a list of reasons:

• The fracture is a hairline fracture, so thin that the x-ray doesn’t show it until the body starts healing it, bringing in cells and creating inflammation to start the repair. (The added cells and inflammation may increase the density of the tissues and alert the physician that there has been a break, although the actual cells will not be seen on x-ray.)

• The fracture is through the growth plate of the bone.

• A small part of the bone ‘buckles’ but there’s no official break.

There are other ways to determine if a bone has been broken. One old-time method is where a tuning fork is placed on the suspected bone. When the receptors for vibration that are activated when there’s a broken bone, the patient will have sudden pain. The pain subsides quickly.

Your Portland chiropractor is an excellent resource for you after an auto injury. If you are experiencing pain after an auto accident come in to our Portland office to see Dr. John Helton today!


Headache Causes

A headache can result from a lot of different causes. You can hit your head against a wall, fall down or get hit in the head with a flying object. Any of these are enough to give anyone a headache! But what about the not-so-obvious causes of headache? Are you familiar with them? Here’s a list of some additional causes of headache that Dr. Helton frequently sees in his Portland, OR practice:

  1. Your cervical vertebrae are out of alignment. Nerve roots from the cervical spine emerge at the level of the cervical vertebrae. These nerve roots may be compressed if the vertebrae of the spine are out of alignment, and it’s relatively easy for this to occur. For example, newborns delivered via forceps delivery may suffer some compression of the spinal nerves during the birthing process. These types of injuries don’t always self-correct, causing a recurring headache for years, and need the gentle hands of a trained chiropractor to re-align the vertebrae.
  2. Your blood sugar levels are low. Monitor your blood sugar levels during the day with a glucose meter, which are widely available. If your blood sugar levels fall to below 80 mg/dl, you’re in the low blood sugar zone, where developing a headache is likely to occur.
  3. You have a food allergy. Allergies can cause more than sniffles. Having a headache after eating a certain food is a common allergy or sensitivity reaction.
  4. You have high heavy metal levels. High levels of lead, uranium, and mercury are notorious for causing a headache. The body can accumulate high levels of heavy metals from the environment, especially where sandblasting is occurring and the metals are inhaled.

Talk to your Portland chiropractor, Dr. Helton about the bottom line cause of your headache. It’s the first step to living headache-free.