Sub-occipital neuralgia is a terrible condition to live with. If severe enough, patients who suffer from sub-occipital neuralgia feel a constant aching at the back of their heads. Occipital neuralgia can also include sharpshooting radiating pain up to one or both sides of the back of the head. Mainstream health care has few treatment options outside of pain medication, anti-inflammatories, and in worst-case scenarios surgery.
Little can be done by mainstream health care to get at the ROOT CAUSE OF sub-occipital neuralgia. This article will discuss the mechanism that leads to sub-occipital neuralgia and then we will offer up a simple natural procedure called Blair upper cervical technique and how this procedure can help remove the underlying cause, upper cervical spine misalignment.
What Causes Sub-occipital neuralgia
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Suboccipital neuralgia is an entrapment syndrome. There are several groups of deep muscles in the upper neck called the
Sub-occipital muscles. Underneath them are the greater and lesser occipital nerves. When the occipital muscles become chronically tight they cause pressure at the back of the skull, a heavy-headed feeling, and often can lead to entrapment of the greater and lesser occipital nerves. Entrapment of these nerves can lead to those terrible shooting shock-type pains experienced by suboccipital neuralgia patients. If occipital neuralgia is caused by tight muscles at the back of the head, what causes the muscles to be tight?
Upper cervical spine injury as an underlying mechanism for the cause of suboccipital neuralgia
Injury to the upper cervical spine from whiplash, sports injuries, or other blunt trauma can damage the soft tissue surrounding the joints in the neck leading to spinal misalignment. Once a joint becomes misaligned in the spine, it loses normal motion. In response to the loss of motion, muscles in the spine become imbalanced, tight, and a cascade of effects follow.
When the postural muscles become tight the normal cervical spine lordosis(backward c-shaped curve) flattens which leads to tensile stress on the spinal cord and associated brainstem. These three factors set the stage for tight occipital muscles, forward head posture, headaches, occipital pain, and often can be the underlying cause for occipital neuralgia.
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My journey with Dr. Hall has been an eventful one. I came into his office after a hiking trip with a number of neurological issues: occipital neuralgia, general facial pain, spasms, and numbness, cervical dystonia, migraine, vertigo/noise sensitivity/light sensitivity. I was a wreck, to say the least. I caught wind of his office by searching through reviews just like this. I figured I had tried most medical options (which I still continue with to this day, don't get me wrong), but it was time to take a leap of faith.
I went to his office with low expectations. He was energetic and supportive, but the thing I appreciated the most was that he had heard almost everything I had told him before. These symptoms I experienced were not foreign to him (like they can be with some neurologists I see), and we figured out a plan of action.
He adjusted me on the first day (no popping, cracking, etc), and I swear that my symptoms over the course of that day and the next went from like an 8/10 to a 1/10. No medicine had provided me with this drastic of improvement and so quickly. It was as bizarre as it was amazing. Of course, nothing is that easy, and the symptoms slowly crept back over the course of the week but through his initial plan, you meet with him twice a week to make sure you're holding adjustment.
Because of my dystonia, the adjustment has been harder to hold than the average patient, but I just remind myself of how much my symptoms are decreased by our appointments. Also when my symptoms begin to flare up for whatever reason, his adjustments consistently seem to "bail me out" of these episodes. It's such a blessing to have this resource.
He continually refers to my recovery as a dogfight and that it is. Because of the interaction of my problems, this has not been the speediest of recoveries. But the fact of the matter is that my health is noticeably better than it was 7 months ago. I'm not in constant anguish as I was before. A combination of positivity and great technique has provided me with some relief and I'm looking to the future for even better results. Thank you, Dr. Hall.
What exactly does a Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractor do?
Blair Upper Cervical doctors are specially trained to locate spinal misalignments in the upper cervical spine and correct them. Spinal misalignments are located by running a battery of neurological tests that locate the spinal segments that have been injured and misaligned by a prior neck injury.
Once located, precision imaging in the form of digital x-ray or cone-beam computed tomography (cbct) is used to precisely determine which joint has misaligned and the angulation of the misaligned joint. Each person’s anatomy is different and therefore imaging is used to uncover the blueprint to be used to correct each patient’s individual misalignment pattern.
Once this information is gleaned, a gentle, light correction is made without twisting, popping, or pulling. The patient is then monitored overtime to ensure that the correction is holding. If the testing indicates the need for another correction, then it is performed. However, the goal of Blair Upper Cervical Care is for the patient to stay in “adjustment”. It isn’t the correction that produces healing. It is the removal of nerve irritation and the adjustment “holding” in its normal position that allows the body to function better and proceed through a healing process.
This is how Blair Chiropractic care can often help remove the underlying cause of many who suffer from occipital neuralgia, tinnitus, Vertigo, Meniere’s disease, neck pain, migraine headaches, and other chronic health problems by supporting the body in healing itself.