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Conditions caused by Upper Neck Injuries

14 Jun

Conditions That May Be Caused by Upper Neck Injuries

The upper neck is a very sensitive spot in the spine.   This is because the upper neck vertebrae (atlas and axis) are the most movable part of the spine and these vertebrae in the upper neck can directly impact the brain stem.  By impacting the brain stem, these upper neck injuries can greatly impact and lead to many conditions such as headaches, migraines, backaches, neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and many other, more serious conditions (Parkinson’s Disease to Multiple Sclerosis.)  Fortunately, by addressing these upper neck injuries with our Chiropractors in Mississauga, you can greatly help these neck pains now and try to reduce the chance of these upper neck injuries leading to future problems.

How could an upper neck injury cause conditions like Parkinson’s Disease or Multiple Sclerosis?

Researchers theorize that vertebral subluxations set up “virtual road blocks” within the neck and spinal column. These roadblocks may alter nerve function and sensation, which may affect every part of the body from the brain to the heart.

The good news is that vertebral subluxations are correctable through chiropractic adjustments, safe and specific maneuvers employed by doctors of chiropractic.  Dr. Callum Peever uses the Activator Method Chiropractic Technique to locate and correct areas in your spine that are subluxated.

Bottom Line: Neck injuries affect more than just the neck. Spinal trauma accidents occur in just seconds, yet chiropractors, such as your doctor at Erin Mills Optimum Health, know that uncorrected vertebral subluxations may last for years, causing enduring pain and disability.  It is ideal to be checked for subluxations every 2 weeks according to lab research. But if this is not possible in your life, getting checked for subluxations after any neck injury or fall is a must!

Migraines, Emotional Problems, Neck Pain & Backache

In Mississauga we see many patients that have been suffering with migraines, emotional problems, neck pain and backache improve while under chiropractic care. Here is an article to read covering the same topic:
Treatment of Bipolar, Seizure, and Sleep Disorders and Migraine Headaches Utilizing a Chiropractic Technique

Depression after upper neck injuries

Researchers also link neck injuries to emotional depression.

Cerebral symptoms after whiplash injury of the neck: a prospective clinical and neuropsychological study of whiplash injury.

From this study they found that within 2 weeks of a whiplash injury to the neck, out of the 21 subjects of the study… “…13 patients reported concentration deficits, 18 reported sleep disturbances, 9 had symptoms of depression, and 7 female patients told of menstrual irregularities.”

Watch the posture in someone who is depressed –> their spinal posture plays a big roll in the experience of depression.

Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis

Research shows that spinal trauma may trigger and worsen Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms.

Acute cervical hyperextension–hyperflexion injury may precipitate and/or exacerbate symptomatic multiple sclerosis

Fortunately initial research shows that chiropractic adjustments can help reduce symptoms for both MS and PD patients who’ve sustained neck injuries.

Chiropractic Care for Nonmusculoskeletal Conditions: A Systematic Review with Implications for Whole Systems Research

Alzheimer’s Disease and neck injuries

Brain traumas are common with severe upper neck injuries.

Why? The brain stem begins at the junction of the neck, so any traumatic event to the upper cervical spine often results in some brain trauma.

Studies show that brain injuries – even early in life – may predispose individuals to develop the mind-robbing condition Alzheimer’s disease.

Thrombin, a mediator of neurotoxicity and memory impairment

From this study: “Thrombin has been found in neuritic plaques in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Also, traumatic brain injury, where neurons are exposed to high thrombin levels, is associated with an increased incidence of AD.”


Studies show that the trauma caused by spinal injuries speeds up the process of osteoarthritis. In addition, research indicates that osteoarthritis increases incidents of falls causing fractures.

Osteoarthritis of the knee is associated with vertebral and nonvertebral fractures in the elderly: The Rotterdam Study

How Does arthritis affect you?

Dizziness and the upper neck

It is very common for patients with upper neck injuries to present with dizziness or vertigo.  The upper neck is an often overlooked aspect in a patient experiencing dizziness or vertigo, but not at our office!  We see patients that have been experiencing this disabling problem regularly.  For those patients that the upper neck is involved in their dizziness, a course of specific Chiropractic adjustments can help restore the balance aspect of the upper neck! Check out our blog on a very disabling form of vertigo – Meniere’s Disease – to learn more about how the Chiropractic approach can assist people who are suffering with vertigo.

Arm Numbness

When the lower neck vertebrae pinches or irritates the nerves, the effect is felt into the arms leading to arm numbness, tingling, and weakness. However, the upper neck can lead to similar problems as all of the nerves pass from the brain, through the upper neck, to their destination.  In this 2018 study below, the upper neck of this man was the key factor that created his arm numbness which had lasted for 5 months.

Resolution of neck pain and upper extremity paresthesia in a 28-year old male following blair upper cervical chiropractic care to reduce vertebral subluxation 2018

If you are suffering with arm numbness, tingling, or weakness definitely have your neck checked for alignment.  If the neck is out of position it is very easy for the bones to irritate the nerves. Chiropractic can help!

Path of Prevention after an upper neck injury

If you’ve sustained any type of accident – form mild to traumatic – contact your doctor of chiropractic in Mississauga for a complete spinal evaluation.

If you’re currently in pain, your symptoms could be related to undetected vertebral subluxations, which can be easily corrected. Even if you feel you’ve escaped the trauma symptom free, scheduling an appointment with your Mississauga Chiropractor will ensure that your neck and spine are in working order to avoid future problems.

2 responses to “Conditions caused by Upper Neck Injuries”

  1. I am 80 and show signs of parks ,, But I had whiplash 20yrs ago
    If my hand shakes why cant I trick it to become someone else hand like legless people are doing to ease the pain/

    • Hi Gerald,
      Thanks for the question.

      My initial thought would be in the difficulty in “tricking” your own brain. Then my thought went to “easing the pain” in people with missing limbs or phantom pains. The pain experience has a large emotional component to it, which can be impacted through your own thoughts. The shaking of a limb would be different than the feeling of pain because of this.

      Another thought would be how to impact the shaking of the hands from a Chiropractor’s perspective and approach. A large part of this is the reflexes involved, which involve the nerves/brain/spinal cord. As discussed in this upper neck injury blog the upper neck, spine, and skull can all impact the nerves/spinal cord. Investigating these areas of your spine/upper neck would be a good idea for you. A Chiropractor is someone who is trained at this and may have some other practical suggestions for you.

      Also, learning how the reflexes work along the hands may be helpful. Occasionally you can impact the shaking but engaging certain movements or opposite reflexes. Definitely worth practicing and making efforts to learn for your unique case.

      I hope this helps your thoughts and gives you some action steps to try!


      Dr. Callum Peever – Chiropractor in Mississauga