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Craniocervical Syndrome: What Is It & Can Chiropractic Help? 

 July 27, 2022

By  Dr. Todd Osborne

chiropracticIf you are struggling with pain in your neck or back, you understand just how big of an impact it can have on your quality of life. There are a lot of possible reasons why you might be suffering from discomfort in your back or neck. One of the most common reasons is called craniocervical syndrome, also called cervicocranial syndrome. This is an abnormality that impacts the bones of the neck, and it can lead to a wide variety of symptoms. It is important for you to find a way to address this condition quickly and comprehensively, and that is where a chiropractor can help you. What do you need to know about this condition? Keep reading to learn more.

An Overview of Craniocervical Syndrome

This is a term that is used to refer to a constellation of symptoms that are caused by an abnormality of the upper neck and how it articulates with the base of the skull.

The cervical spine is comprised of seven cervical vertebrae, numbered C1 to C7. All of them are required to provide your neck with the protection and mobility it enjoys. If there is any damage to the cervical bones, if they are moved out of place (known as a subluxation), or if they are not aligned properly, it can impact the way the spinal nerve path through the cervical vertebrae. As a result, you may experience a variety of motor or sensory issues due to never compression. Individuals with certain chronic medical conditions, such as a Chiari malformation or osteoarthritis, could be at a greater risk of developing this condition as well.

The Symptoms

Similar to other conditions, the symptoms of craniocervical syndrome can vary significantly depending on the degree of misalignment. A lot of people who develop this condition experience vertigo. They often feel like the room is spinning around them.

There are other people who develop headaches and pain at the back of the head. This pain can get worse if you turn your neck in certain directions. Some people even described hearing ringing in the ears, which is usually called tinnitus.

They are also situations where people may have a difficult time swallowing. This is called dysphagia. You may experience discomfort when you try to swallow, particularly if the bite is rather large.

Finally, this condition can also lead to a significant amount of neck pain. This pain usually gets worse if you move your neck up and down or side-to-side.

More complex cases cause spinal cord compression. Spinal cord compression is a nerve-related condition that can cause all kinds of havoc with your daily life and overall health.

Here’s a list of symptoms associated with spinal cord compression:

  • A loss of awareness of your limbs
  • A feeling of electric-like pain or tingling moving down your spine and into your legs after bending your neck forward
  • A loss of the ability to feel heat and cold in your hands or feet
  • Reduced ability to feel pain
  • Weakness in your arms or legs

The Treatment Process

If you are diagnosed with craniocervical syndrome, you may believe that you need to take prescription medications or undergo surgery. It is important to make sure you reach out to your local chiropractor for a complete evaluation.

There are some situations where this condition could stem from a subluxation at the craniocervical junction. If this is the case, your local chiropractor can make chiropractic adjustments to the upper portion of the spinal column to make sure your vertebrae are aligned properly. That way, you can alleviate pressure on your muscles, tendons, and ligaments, but most importantly your nerves. Removing nerve compression will restore health to the area which also will help alleviate your symptoms.

Reach Out To a Chiropractor for Help With This Condition

In the end, there is a lot to know about craniocervical syndrome. It is a relatively common phenomenon, and there are far too many people who believe they need to undergo a surgical operation. Before you sign up for a surgical procedure, make sure you talk to your local chiropractor first. A chiropractor can perform a comprehensive evaluation and use manual therapy to put your body in its best position to heal.

If you don’t have a local chiropractor, please give us a call. Our Doctor of Chiropractic helps people overcome situations just like yours using safe and effective chiropractic care. So give us a call today. We’re here to help!

This article is copyrighted by Blogging Chiropractors for its Doctor of Chiropractic members and may not be copied or duplicated in any manner including printed or electronic media, regardless of whether for a fee or gratis without the prior written permission of Blogging Chiropractors.

Dr. Todd Osborne


Dr. Todd Osborne has completed extensive post-graduate education in Activator Methods, and has hundreds of hours in continuing education in Upper Cervical Chiropractic, Neurology, and is a Board Certified Atlas Orthogonist, certified by the Atlas Orthogonal Board and Sherman College of Chiropractic.

Dr. Todd Osborne

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