It has been reported that 45 million Americans suffer from headaches, many on a daily basis. That means that about 12 percent of Colorado Springs, right now, may be suffering from a headache. When you are in pain, where should you turn?

In order to make an informed decision, you'd have to look at the side effects of each headache treatment and then consider the pros and cons.
Most people initially turn to an over-the-counter drug such as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), of which there are 3 types:

1) salicylates, such as aspirin (this is also in wart-remover medications)
2) traditional NSAIDs, such as Advil (ibuprofen), Aleve (naproxen)
3) COX-2 selective inhibitors, such as Celebrex. 


According to the medical review board of, complications of NSAID drugs include stomach irritation (gastritis, ulcer), bleeding tendencies, kidney failure, and liver dysfunction. And remember that just because you don't experience these intense side-effects that the drug is "good" for you. 

Some NSAIDs (particularly indomethacin) can interfere with other medications used to control high blood pressure and cardiac failure and long term use of NSAIDs may actually hasten joint cartilage loss, leading to premature arthritis.

Another over the counter commonly used drug is Tylenol (Acetaminophen) in which liver toxicity can be a potential side effect (particularly with long term use).
Here’s the kicker – only about 60% of patients responded to a 3 week trial of an NSAID, NSAIDs can mask signs and symptoms of infection, it cannot be predicted which NSAID will work best, and no single NSAID has been proven to be superior over others for pain relief.

Death Rates

Moreover, estimates of death associated with NSAID (mostly gastrointestinal causes) range between 3200 on the low side to higher than 16,500 deaths per year in the United States.

Another BIG concern is that low daily doses of aspirin, “…clearly have the potential to cause GI injury as 10mg of aspirin daily causes gastric ulcers.”

Prescription Meds 

One of the more frequently prescribed medications for headaches is amitriptyline (commonly known as Elavil, Endep, or Amitrol). 

This is actually an antidepressant but was found to work quite well for some headache sufferers.

The potential side effects include blurred vision, change in sexual desire or ability, constipation or diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, headache (ironically), appetite loss, nausea, tiredness, trouble sleeping, tremors and weakness. Allergic reactions such as rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue, chest pain, rapid and/or irregular heart rate, confusion, delusions, suicidal thoughts or actions AND MORE are reported.

Side-effects of Chiropractic 

The pros and cons of chiropractic include a report on children under 3 years of age, where only one reaction for every 749 adjustments (manipulations) occurred (it was crying, NO serious side effects were reported).

In adults, transient soreness may occur. Though stroke has been reported as a cause of headache, it was concluded that stroke “…is a very rare event…”, and that, “…we found no evidence of excess risk of VBA stroke associated chiropractic care compared to primary care.”

Another convincing study reported that chiropractic was 57% more effective than drug therapy in reducing headache and migraine pain!  They concluded – chiropractic first, drugs second and surgery last.
It's amazing any of us make it to age 20 without crawling into a chiropractor. The body really is incredible in its ability to endure hardship. 

Birth is trauma, not just for the mother, but also for the baby. During delivery medical doctors, nurses, etc. often use very intense measures to extract a baby from the womb - suction devices, gribs, lots of twisting. 

Sometimes this is necessary for the mother and baby and many times it is not. Many times it is because in our modern era women deliver babies on their backs. 

Women used to deliver squating which is a very natural position that allows gravity to be on your side rather than against you. 

But the real issue is what does that do to the child and what are the long term ramifications? 

Children are maluable little wonders, but often the back pain and neck pain of adulthood could have been stopped at birth. 

I find that many babies' spines are twisted at birth and the muscles form around that. I highly recommends that babies be check after delivery as well as mothers, and I am happy to perform this service, as well as adjust mothers during their pregnancy. 

Getting chiropractic care during pregnancy and even delivery can relieve much of the pain, as well as correct or maintain babies' positions in the womb. 
Moving past delivery, children endure all sorts of injuries - a fall from a tree house, play ground follies, football, cheerleading (which at one point was putting up record numbers for sport injuries), auto accidents, and sitting in our school desks for 8 hours a day. 

The results of these lifestyle injuries can have huge ramifications that go beyond a hurt back or neck. The following is a written interview of Sarah C., a patient of Dr. Kallenbach Colorado Springs: 

Why did you begin seeing Dr. Kallenbach? Was it for general health? Pain? Injury? Explain.   

- We originally began our chiropractic journey for my son Samuel who is living with Cerebral Palsy.  He was struggling with integration sensory information and constipation.   I was also experiencing neck pain and discomfort. 

Have you seen results or changes by seeing Dr. Kallenbach? 

- Yes, my son is much calmer and able to integrate sensory information much easier.  His stools are also much more consistent.  When he’s irritable and not having a bm and he has an adjustment, he usually goes to the bathroom in the office within minutes of being adjusted. 

What were your beliefs about chiropractic prior to coming? Have they changed any?  

- I believed that chiropractic practice was beneficial, but not necessary.  

What are your current beliefs about chiropractic, given your experience? 

- I now believe that the maintenance and prevention of our spines are essential to our life long health.  

What is your biggest take-away/learning lesson from your experience so far?  

- I’ve learned to listen to my body and I’m much more in tune to the complaints of my children and what they need to stabilize their little ecosystems. 

What advice do you have for new patients? 

- That we are ecosystems.  Every organ, bone and gland is working together to allow us to perform at maximum performance.  It is necessary to stretch, eat clean and see your chiropractor regularly. 

Would you recommend Dr. Kallenbach to your friends and family, and if so why? 

- I always recommend Dr. Kallenbach to all my friends!  Because, unlike previous DC’s I visited, she is interested in my entire ecosystem.  She asks me what I’m eating…how much I’ve exercised…what my pillow is like…if I’m spending too much time sitting with bad posture…and she’s always passing off cd’s and books to educate myself more about how my body works.   

- Sarah C. 

“When I woke up this morning, I couldn’t move my neck!  Every time I try to move it, I feel sharp pain on the left side of the neck shooting down into the shoulder blade.  It just came out of nowhere!” 

Chances are, you are suffering from a common condition called torticollis, which literally means, “twisted neck” after the Latin terms of “torti” (twisted) and “collis” (neck).  

It’s basically a painful muscle spasm, like a “Charlie-horse” but located in the neck muscles.  

This can happen for many reasons, and it is common among infants. 

Often a person wakes up in the morning with this and the cause is often related to sleeping with a poor quality pillow, an injury the day before or possibly sleeping with the window open or a fan or air conditioner blowing on you.  

However, it can also be a symptom that accompanies a "cold," due to lymphatic swelling. I've had patients who were hit with a pugil stick in military training. A car accident can also cause this. 

And infants who have torticollis often have it due to a traumatic birth - let's face it, birth is traumatic, even if all goes well. 

If it is due to some sort of traumatic injury, then their may be other problems, as well as the muscle spasm. 

Usually, torticollis will gradually improve over a 2 week time frame, but why wait that long? Plus, your body can begin to compensate for the spasm and create more tightness in other areas and long-term negative consequences.  

It often takes a few days to a week (at the most) if you receive treatment quickly after the onset.
Confessions are painful, awful things. But, they can set the record straight, and I want to give credit where credit is due. 

Before I talk about my confession though, let me say a few other things first. Years ago something happened to me that changed my life forever.

My Shocking Story

I am 19, living the dream as a lifeguard at a Southern California pool. While cruising around town in a sporty little car I get in a violent car accident.   

My seatbelt malfunctions and I slam into the steering wheel of the car. Once the cars come to rest, the adrenaline rush quickly fades and fear sets in.  

I go straight to the emergency room, sit in the waiting room for an hour and a half, waiting for the doctor, and leave hours later with a bottle full of prescription pain killers. I’m offered no follow-up appointment or given any indication that anything is really wrong with me. 

According to the emergency room doctor, my bones aren’t broken, so nothing is wrong. I start getting raging headaches, tightness in my shoulders and excruciating neck pain. I find that the pain killers only take the edge off and leave me feeling like I am living in a bad dream. 

My parents eventually take me to a great doctor in Redlands, CA.  He takes some X-rays and makes some gentle adjustments to my back and neck.  The adjustment doesn’t hurt, it actually feels good, like my body releases.  My headaches and neck pain go away. And on top of that, he encourages me to alter my diet, and with his direction, I lose 15 lbs. and I am ‘back on top!’ Oh, did I mention that this doctor is a chiropractor? 

It works so well for me, and I am so impressed with the other ‘miracles’ I see in his office, that I chose to go to chiropractic school myself, and here I am, a Colorado Springs doctor of chiropractic.  

It’s strange how life is, because now people come to see me with their back aches, migraines, carpel tunnel and neck pain. I even have patients who come to me with their whiplash, shoulder pain, shooting pains from their low back to their heals (Sciatica), muscle spasms, chronic pain, numbness in limbs, athletic injuries, and more. Some even come to me to try to get off their addictive medications and be drug free. 

Here’s what your neighbors had to say:  

"I experienced changes right away and in the first couple of weeks, I was pain free!” - Sarah  H. 

“I was delighted to find someone who actually listened to my problem and immediately went to work to find relief for my pain.” – Sharon G.    

“I run into friends and they comment, "Wow, you look so different, so well!“ – Carolyn C.

Several times a day, patients thank me for helping them with their health problems.  But I can’t really take the credit. 

My confession is that I’ve never healed anyone of anything.  I don't heal people of back pain. What I do is help patients get their bodies re-aligned with the way they are designed. Once we do that, it is their own bodies that heal their back pain. 

Tens of millions of Americans no longer have health insurance, and those who do have found that their benefits are greatly reduced. That’s where chiropractic comes in. A seven-year study compared costs of people seeing medical providers vs chiropractors. Overall, the patients seeing chiropractors had 60% less hospitalizations, 59% less days in the hospital, 62% less outpatient surgeries, and 85% less costs for prescription drugs. 

Given the range and impact of our services, you may be thinking “There is no way this is affordable.” But you’ll be relieved to know that it is. I consider it my obligation to see a patient as little as possible. One month of care at my office, can cost you the equivalent of one office visit from another Colorado Springs doctor

Special Offer – Look, I know you’re smart. You want to get to the cause of your problem, and not just cover it up with drugs. We offer a Free Spinal Adjustment to anyone who purchases a new patient exam ($99). No hidden fees...that’s the whole ball of wax. 

Curious about my qualifications? My post-graduate doctorate was completed at Life Chiropractic College. I’ve interned with the leading spinal correction clinic in the country, and I’ve worked as a certified personal trainer. I’ve adjusted day-old babies, helped victims recover from broken backs, and helped fibromyalgia patients feel 30 years younger. I just have that low exam fee to help more people who need care. 

Our office is very inviting and up-to-date, and we work hard to do little things that make you feel at home. One of our patients even said, “This is the nicest doctor’s office I’ve been in.”  Call us today, at 719.476.0873 or simply click "schedule appointment" to the left. 

To your health, 

Dr. Molly Kallenbach, DC
Going beyond back pain with patients really came about out of necessity. I’d have patients come in with fibromyalgia, or they were 75 lbs overweight and their knees were hurting, or they had digestive issues rocking their world. 

I could adjust their spine and send them on their way, and this would help them tremendously, but these other problems create huge obstacles not just for their health, but for me helping them get get rid of back pain

What these patients needed was not just an adjustment. They needed their entire life aligned with the way they were designed to live. They needed to eat what the Creator intended them to eat, move like they were made to move, sleep like they were made to sleep and think of themselves and others like they should. 

The human body is an elaborate ecosystem with each cell, organ, and system effecting the rest. 

If you are 75lbs overweight, your intestinal track will be a mess, and there is no way your spinal curve will be correct due to weight distribution. If you are hooked on burgers, fries, and soda, your inflammation (what medical science now calls the "silent killer" and the number one cause of all disease) will be through the roof. 

I could not overlook these things, so I began introducing dietary changes with my clients, getting them off sodas, and other high sugar products. I taught them how to read labels, and to look for items like high fructose corn syrup, and aspartame, which is an excitotoxin. I have slowly introduced gentle dietary cleanses to help seal the gut and cleanse the liver and kidneys.  

I have found that re-educating my patients is a full time job in and of itself, and that it is a huge need. The public is generally mis-educated, and that is why I work to pump out a lot of good educational materials, like this, to discuss habits from sleeping and eating to what sort of deodorant is best for your body and where to buy local, organic produce and meat. 

            Patients that I see in Colorado Springs with headaches more often than not complain of neck pain.  Hence the term “cervicogenic headaches.”  

Anatomical Reasons Why Headaches and Neck Pain Are Connected 

1.  The first 3 nerves exiting the spine in the upper neck go directly into the head.  They penetrate the muscles at the top of the neck near the attachments to the skull. So, any excess pressure on these nerves by the muscles or spinal joints will result in irritation, neck pain and/or headaches.

2.  The origin or nucleus of the 5th cranial nerve called the Trigeminal, innervates the sensation to the face and is located in the upper cervical region near the origin of the 2nd cervical spinal nerve. The 2nd cervical spinal nerve innervates sensation to the back of the head and up to the top.  Problems located in the upper neck will often result in pain radiating up, from the base of the skull/upper neck, and over the top of the skull to the eyes and /or face.

3.  The 11th cranial nerve, which stimulates the upper shoulders and muscles in the front of the neck, arises from the top 5 to 7 spinal cord levels in the neck.  Injury anywhere in the neck can result in spasm and pain in these large muscle groups.

Pain often radiates from the tender points in these areas over the top of the skull when pressure is applied in the upper neck/base of the skull area. Tenderness on the sides of the head, in the temples, over the eyes, and near the jaw joint are also common. 

Common Recommended Treatments

Traction or pulling the head to stretch the neck is often quite pain relieving and this is often performed as part of the chiropractic visit and can also be applied at home with the use of a home cervical traction unit. 

Chiropractic adjustments applied to the fixated or misaligned vertebra in the upper neck often brings very satisfying relief to the headache sufferer.  

Exercises that promote movement in the neck, as well as strengthening exercises are also helpful in both reducing headache pain and in preventing occurrences, especially with stress or tension headaches.

To your health,

Dr. Molly Kallenbach, DC
Cold laser therapy is a painless, sterile, non-invasive, drug-free treatment which is used to treat a variety of pain syndromes, injuries, wounds, fractures, neurological conditions and pathologies. 

Around the world, cold laser therapy is rapidly becoming a medical therapy that can heal wounds and fractures up to 60% faster while also reducing the cost of treatment for many conditions. In the U.K., LLLT has become the treatment of choice for soft tissue “whiplash” injuries.

How Does Cold Laser Light Heal? 

Healing with the use of light is not new. With the development of the laser and its special properties, using light as a treatment has gained more popularity. This is because we can now use specific wavelengths of light and give accurately measured doses of energy directly to the appropriate treatment site, which was not possible with other light sources.

Cold lasers supply energy to the body in the form of non-thermal photons of light. Light is transmitted through the skin’s layers (the dermis, epidermis and the subcutaneous tissue or tissue fat under the skin) at all wavelengths in the visible range. However, light waves in the near infrared ranges penetrate the deepest of all light waves in the visible spectrum. When low level laser light waves penetrate deeply into the skin, they optimize the immune responses of our blood. This has both anti-inflammatory and immunostimulate effects. It is a scientific fact that light transmitted to the blood in this way has positive effects throughout the whole body, supplying vital oxygen and energy to every cell.

Why the Back Pain Institute Uses the Micro Light 830 Laser 

Some manufacturers produce devices with super luminous diodes (SLD) or light emitting diodes (LED). See the chart below to see how typical light penetrates the skin. LED’s will normally penetrate less then 1cm. SLD’s are more powerful and can penetrate about 2.5 cm. But Lasers at 830nm can penetrate 5 cm. Far more effective then SLD’s or LED’s. 
As a Colorado Springs Chiropractor, I can't believe I didn't begin using this FDA-approved pain relief treatment sooner. 

The results are very exciting, and it is painless and their are no-known side-effects. We use the MicroLight 830 cold laser, the first FDA-approved cold laser in the United States. 

It was approved based on a carpal tunnel study conducted at Ford Motor Company. 

Though it has been all over local and national news stations, you may not have heard about it. So hear are a few news stories: 
We utilize techniques like the chiropractic spinal and extremity adjustments, active release technique (ART for soft tissue), traction and spinal decompression on a daily basis, but there is a little-known device that the FDA approved that is dramatically improving our results, when used in conjunction with these treatments. 

The FDA says that cold laser therapy, now offered by me, a Colorado Springs Chiropractor, and my office, is a pain-free, non-surgical and drug-free option to find pain relief. 

Cold laser therapy is a low level laser technique that safely increases cellular metabolism and healing in patients suffering from pain-related disorders. 

The Back Pain Institute is one of a few offices around the nation using this laser under an FDA-approved protocol.

Cold laser therapy is completely painless and totally non-invasive,  and there are no known side-effects. 

There are no pulsating shocks felt, as is the case with electronic stimulation and you generally don't feel heat. The most noticeable sensation is the touch of the probe head of the laser, as it comes in contact with the skin.

Some patients (3-5% of those undergoing cold laser therapy) have reported a slight tingling or tapping in a nerve or along a nerve pathway. Some have noted that they are able to sense a slight feeling of warmth. But for the most part, the treatment, which may last from 2 to 20 minutes, is not noticed at all.

Following (and even during) a cold laser therapy session, approximately 75-80% of patients being treated can notice an immediate improvement in their condition. This will depend primarily on the type of condition and the length of time the condition has been present.

Generally, the more chronic or severe the condition, the longer it takes to respond. The majority of conditions treated will take anywhere from 4-5 or 10-18 treatments. Once again, the number of treatments depends upon the severity of the condition and its duration. If your condition does not change immediately, it may take 3-4 sessions before a dramatic or marked change is perceived. 

Conditions that may be a candidate for cold laser therapy in Colorado Springs are: 

- Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
Back Pain
- Disc Injuries
- Neck Pain
- Post-surgery healing
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Shoulder Pain
- Knee Pain
- Rotator Cuff Injury
- Tennis Elbow
- Whiplash
- Joint Pain in Knees, Elbow, and Ankles
- Nerve Injuries
- Low Back Pain
- Sciatica
- Scar Tissue
- Many other musculoskeletal injuries 

Colorado Springs Chiropractor, Dr. Molly Kallenbach, has been licensed and practicing for 7 years, and she has owned Thrive - A Chiropractic Experience, P.C. for 3 years. 

Due to growth, hiring more doctors, and the introduction of new equipment (like spinal decompression), she has decided to launch another brand - like The Gap, who now owns Banana Republic.

It is the Back Pain Institute. 

We hope you enjoy what we have created, and we know you will enjoy meeting our new hires as they come on board in the next couple months. 

While Thrive will continue to offer more whole-body health care, and exciting opportunities like our 6 month raw foods retreat to Costa Rica, the Back Pain Institute will focus on back pain, neck pain, herniated discs, whiplash, car accident cases, and the like. 

Don't worry, you will receive the same high-quality, non-cookie cutter care that you have been receiving. 

Thank you for your support and loyalty as we continue to find new ways to serve you.