When it comes to the upper cervical spine, people can get just about any condition imaginable resulting from small insignificant misalignment that can go symptom free for years and can develop symptoms related to them later in life.
For those who are not familiar, the upper cervical spine is comprised of the first two parts of the seven-part cervical spine. Those parts are called C1 (atlas) and C2 (axis) and their primary roles relate to the mobility of the skull and neck.
These are one of the main signs of upper cervical spine issues. It makes sense since the base of the skull and the spine are prime areas to be affected.. Pain in that area is going to be a given. They tend to happen at the same time. Moving one’s head around will make the pain intensify.
There are other things that can make this issue even more painful for the patient. The pain may become very strong if they do something like cough or sneeze, both of which involve sudden involuntary head movements. If spinal nerves get compressed, then one’s arms may start to hurt or become numb as well.
The upper cervical spine can press on the spinal cord itself. Since this is a vital communication link for the whole body, it can create a lot of issues that can make day-to-day life quite challenging for those who experience this.
People who have this may lose awareness of the positions of their arms and legs, weakness in those limbs,and may lose the ability to feel heat and cold, as well as pain, in those areas.
Other things that can happen when people are affected by upper cervical spine issues: Their necks may change shape or they may lose a range of motion. They may have abnormal eye movements, hoarse speech, double vision. In some cases, a cyst called a syringomelia might form on the spine.
One should not self-diagnose these issues. An experienced chiropractor will be able to run a patient through a series of tests to determine what is causing this and then be able to help correct the issue - though sometimes surgery may be needed for some cases, most times a series of gentle specific adjustments to the area will establish proper balance and improve the situation.
Sometimes symptoms of the upper cervical spine misalignment may not show up for months or even years because only 20% of the nerves in the body actually perceive pain. So that means that a miscommunication of the nerves to vital organs may be happening without a sign or symptom. When symptoms it pain show up the problem is already well advanced accept in the situation of a sudden injury.
Dr. Robert Gucciardo has helped patients with all types of upper cervical spine issues over the course of his career. He utilizes upper cervical procedures in his office. Give him a call at 718-550-5790 to make an appointment at his Howard Beach office.
Dr. Robert Gucciardo
162-07 91st Street
Howard Beach, NY 11414