Effects of an Upper Cervical Misalignment | Chiropractor for Migraines in Mount Dora, FL
Hello Dr. Todd here at Mountain Dora Family Chiropractic. I’ll be discussing the effect of an upper cervical misalignment on migraine headaches. Again, migraines are one of the worst kinds of headaches that can be very debilitating and a major life interruption. So today, I just want to talk about what is it that happens in the spine that can cause migraine headaches or what else may occur.
The Cranial Cervical Junction
So you can see these top two bones in the neck and when we talk about upper cervical, that’s specifically what area we mean. This is otherwise known as the Cranial Cervical Junction where your head and neck come together. This area here is a hotbed for neurological activity, because your brainstem sits in there. You’ve got blood vessels and arteries that are running through your vertebrae and feed up vascular supply to your head. So your atlas is in the front, and you’ve got the jugular vein, which is responsible for normal drainage. You’ve also got cerebral spinal fluid, you’ve got suboccipital muscles and cervical muscles all inside here. So if you get that tension on the base of the skull, those are the muscles that attach from your vertebrae up to the skull, and you’ve got nerves that are coming out of there that feed through the head as well.
What A Misaligned Atlas Causes
So when there’s a misalignment, as you see here on this diagram, it’s not necessarily that it’s putting direct pressure on a nerve. But what it is doing is it puts pressure on the tissues that surround and protect those nerves and blood vessels, which then irritates them. So if you look at the top here, number one is spinal cord tension. The misaligned Atlas can put pressure and pull on these little ligaments called dentate ligaments, which suspend your spinal cord inside the spine. So we could stop right there if I take your spinal cord and put tension on it, obviously that can be a trigger for not only migraines, but other neurologic based issues. Things like venous drainage, when we’re not getting proper blood flow drainage from the brain, causing pressure to build up in the cranial vault in the head.
Blood Flow Restriction
I will also mention the vertebral artery that can be restricting blood flow causing a decrease in oxygen to the brain. So aside from headaches, you know, forgetfulness, trouble concentrating, and brain fog are also red flags. Cerebral spinal fluid flow can be interfered with as well. This affects your balance so a lot of folks have dizziness or vertigo type of symptoms. So you get connections between all these muscles in here covering the base of the spine and spinal cord creating pain in the base of the skull. So a lot of times that’s really more of a source of tension headaches. You’ll feel these headaches kind of around the back and they might come around the front of the head. Migraines will typically be on one side and with excruciating pain behind one eye. Then there’s obviously just altered function. So when we start affecting your your central nervous system, and blood flow to your brain and so forth, it can create a whole cascade of global health performance to decline. Okay, so that is what we focus on and specialize in assessing and correcting in this office.
If you have any questions, we’d love to hear from you!