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Help/Advice/Encouragement Needed! - Atlas Axis Subluxation

I have been struggling for the past three months with upper cervical head and neck pain. I turned my head suddenly to the right and heard a loud pop right behind my right ear about three months ago. Since then I have had a severe headache with intense pressure right at the base of my skull. I have had a CT, Xray, and MRI both of my brain and neck showing no significant damage. I finally went to an Upper Cervical Chiropractor who said I have a significant rotation of my C1 and C2 vertebrae. He adjusts them and then they rotate within hours. I got to the point when I was going every other day and they just weren't staying. I have had PT (craniosacral), epidural steroid injections, facet joint injections, etc. I am exhausted and still in so much pain. I have been taking medication to deal with the pain but what makes this condition so unabearable is that I can feel that my head is sitting wrong. It is the most uncomfortable feeling. Like "nails on a chalkboard" so to speak. I feel trapped and I am desperate to feel better. I have been off work for three months and my short term disability is running out. I manage a law firm and I really need to get back to work. Has anyone struggled with this? It may just be the tendons and ligaments taking a long time to heal but I'm afraid someone is missing something and I just want my life back :-(.


  • Lili_InuLLili_Inu Posts: 633
    edited 09/02/2013 - 8:47 AM
    I feel your pain because I too suffer from neck pain and migraines. This is just my opinion, but sometimes the stress of the pain can make your pain worse. If you are interested, PM me and I can give you some suggestions to help with stress, anxiety to help with your pain. There's a book that I am reading by a orthopedic surgeon who believes that when the nervous system is on overdrive, pain will not ease until you can learn to calm those nerves down. There are medications out there like valium which can help, but in the long run you want to be able to manage it without medication. I can not say that I am pain free, but I am at a good place right now.

    If the CT, Xray and MRI shows nothing, then you are most likely dealing with soft tissue issues such as: tendon, ligaments, muscles, etc. Have you tried yoga, stretching, heat or acupuncture? I have to say that acupuncture has helped with my issues. It's pricey, but worth it. PM me if you want to chat about any of these therapies!
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • Hi Julie, I was diagnosed with a ruptured traverse ligament which basically holds the C1 in place. This was picked up by my chiropractor who refused to treat me as she believed I had a fracture. As it transpired via x-ray and mri my c1 was out of whack by 8.3mm and on the brink of doing some serious damage, as my neck was very unstable. I have researched this a lot since, as I had never heard of the traverse ligament - but it is a very important ligament - perhaps it is worth asking them to check your mri to see if it is intact!
  • DASmith1DDASmith1 Houston, TXPosts: 4
    Any updates Julie? I'm dealing with a c1 sublaxation and have experienced some of same symptoms
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