What the Heck is Craniocervical Syndrome?

What the heck is craniocervical syndrome? And why is my neck so important?

Today we are highlighting an article that just came out in August of 2018 titled: “Craniocervical Junction Syndrome: Anatomy of the Craniocervical and Atlantoaxial Junctions and the Effect of Misalignment on Cerebrospinal Fluid Flow.” Craniocervical syndrome is when you develop headaches, neck pain, or dizziness after a whiplash type accident. You may wonder why this is. The top two neck bones of the spine, C1 and C2 (also known as the atlas and the axis), sit under the skull and are held in place by muscles, ligaments, and tendons, unlike the rest of the spine. The rest of the spine has boney locks that hold them in place. So if you have an immediate sudden injury to the head and neck, the ligaments, tendons, and muscles can’t hold the joint in place like they normally do. The natural postural reflex gets overridden. Now what happens is because C0-C1-C2 is the most freely movable joint in the spine, then we get a rotational malposition, or misalignment of C1. This malposition or misalignment starts to cause problems in how the head and the neck talk to each other. This creates a “cork in the bottle” situation at the base of the skull and top of the neck where all of the messages to the body come down from the brain. So if you know of someone suffering from headaches, head pressure, head pain, neck pain, numbness or tingling in the head or neck, and dizziness or vertigo, an Upper Cervical Chiropractic Specialist will be able to analyze and assess the relationship between the head and neck, and see if there is a problem. Call our office today 603.380.9184.

A misalignment at C0-C1-C2 can also come from sitting at a desk with poor posture, birth trauma, or falling out of a tree when you are a child. However, the most common way we see large trauma produced is from a concussion from either sports or work related injuries, or a car accident. Once the injury has taken place, it’s just a matter of time before the physiology of the body starts to be affected by the structural underlying problem. Sometimes it can take up to 5-10 years before symptoms really start to become a problem. I hear that all the time, “Five to ten years ago I was hit from behind while stopped. I didn’t feel much at the time, but the car behind me was going 45 mph. Then just the other day I started to really feel pain in my head and neck and I’m starting to get dizzy.” THAT IS CRANIOCERVCICAL SYNDROME! Now what to do about it? Upper Cervical Chiropractors are specifically trained to correct the misalignment between C0-C1-C2. This is done without twisting or popping, and when it is done right, the correction of the misalignment should hold its position for a period of time. This “holding” proper alignment is what heals the body, not getting adjusted every week once a week for the rest of your life. So if you are frustrated with the answers you’ve been getting from your healthcare providers call an upper cervical chiropractic office today 603.380.9184.

There are other ways a misalignment can impact your body and health. The negative effects of having misalignment at C0-C1-C2 are beginning to be linked to things like: Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis and Chronic Neurodegenerative diseases. This is plausible because the relationship between the upper neck and the brain is very important. The Upper neck is a passageway that almost all of the messages between the brain and the body flow through in the brainstem/spinal cord. The Vertebral Arteries that pass through the upper cervical spine carry 20% of the blood flow to the brain. Also, the blood draining out of the brain actually prefers to go through and around the spine. which creates a backing up of fluid into the brain if the upper neck is misaligned. Lastly, the Cerebrospinal fluid (or CSF) flow can be kinked and compromised in the base of the brainstem and in the upper neck if a misalignment at C0-C1-C2 exists for a period of time. All of these dangerous processes happen slowly, but over time start to wear and tear on the soft tissue of the spinal cord and brain. So if you or someone you know is suffering from head pain, neck pain, or dizziness, have them call an upper cervical chiropractic specialist today to get checked. 603.380.9184