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If the spinal cord becomes compressed at the C2 level, it can cause pain, tingling, numbness, and/or weakness in the arms or legs, loss of bowel and/or bladder control, and other problems. Severe cases of spinal cord injury at C2 can be fatal because breathing and other critical body functions may be impaired or stop.
When your C2 vertebra becomes subluxated, it can result in pain and difficulty rotating your head, as well as creating specific health problems that affect your eyesight, hearing, sinuses, head and even your tongue.
The C2 nerves affect sensation at the top and back of the scalp, ear lobes, and front of the neck. They also affect the muscles used for neck flexion (nodding).
The second vertebra, C2, is called the axis in reference to its purpose — enabling motion. When together, atlas C1 and axis C2 allow for rotation and swiveling of the head since the C1 vertebrae is attached directly into the skull and pivots from its C2 axis.
If left untreated, it may lead to permanent nerve damage. The most common symptoms of a pinched nerve include neck pain that travels down the arms and shoulders, difficulty lifting things, headache, and muscle weakness and numbness or tingling in fingers or hands.
- NSAIDs. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen may reduce swelling.
- Oral corticosteroids. These are used to reduce swelling and pain.
- Narcotics. …
- Steroid injections. …
- Physical therapy. …
- Splint. …
Chiropractic manipulation. Manipulation of the cervical spine through chiropractic adjustment may help relieve pain stemming from C1-C2. This treatment, however, may not be recommended in cases where the stability of C1-C2 is compromised.
9184. A misalignment at C0-C1-C2 can also come from sitting at a desk with poor posture, birth trauma, or falling out of a tree when you are a child. However, the most common way we see large trauma produced is from a concussion from either sports or work related injuries, or a car accident.
Cervical vertigo, also called cervicogenic dizziness, is a feeling of disorientation or unsteadiness caused by a neck injury or health condition that affects the neck. It’s almost always accompanied by neck pain. Your range of motion can be affected, too, and sometimes it comes along with a headache.
The nerves in your thoracic spine go to your chest and abdomen. The nerves of the lumbar spine then reach to your legs, bowel, and bladder. These nerves coordinate and control all the body’s organs and parts, and let you control your muscles.
The C1 and C2 vertebrae function together to give your head flexibility. With the atlas and axis relationship, you are able to swivel and rotate your head, as well as support your head. These two vertebrae are more responsible for the head’s rotational range of motion than from any other joint.
C2 Vertebra (the axis). The second vertebra, called the axis, has a large bony protrusion (the odontoid process) that points up from its vertebral body and fits into the ring-shaped atlas above it. The atlas is able to rotate around the axis, forming the atlantoaxial joint.
The neck is connected to the upper back through a series of seven vertebral segments. The cervical spine has 7 stacked bones called vertebrae, labeled C1 through C7. The top of the cervical spine connects to the skull, and the bottom connects to the upper back at about shoulder level.
Here the C1-C2 joint is responsible for half of all of the rotation of the head on the neck, so fusing it dramatically increases force both on the C0-C1 and C2-C3 joints above and below. Meaning that over time, you can expect these levels to break down in most patients.
When we move our head and neck, the facet joints glide and slide over one another. As the lubrication begins to wear away and decrease over time, the surfaces of the facets can rub or grind over each other. The movement often is associated with a crackling neck crack or grinding sensation.
A pinched nerve in the neck is a common problem and can be very painful. However, it often clears up within a few days or weeks. There are many nonoperative treatments, such as rest, medication, and physical therapy, that a person can try before a doctor decides they need surgery.
- A sharp pain in the arm.
- Pain in the shoulder.
- A feeling of numbness or pins and needles in the arm.
- Weakness of the arm.
- Worsening pain when you move your neck or turn your head.
Cervical radiculopathy, commonly called a “pinched nerve,” occurs when a nerve in the neck is compressed or irritated where it branches away from the spinal cord. This may cause pain that radiates into the shoulder and/or arm, as well as muscle weakness and numbness.
Spurling sign. Axial compression of the spine and rotation to the ipsilateral side of symptoms reproduces or worsens cervical radiculopathy. Pain on the side of rotation is usually indicative of foraminal stenosis and nerve root irritation.
When symptoms of cervical radiculopathy persist or worsen despite nonsurgical treatment, your doctor may recommend surgery. The primary goal of surgery is to relieve your symptoms by decompressing, or relieving pressure on, the compressed nerves in your neck.
Address a Pinched Nerve with the Help of a Chiropractor A chiropractor can use adjustments to release a pinched nerve, addressing the root cause of the issue. This can help someone recover without requiring invasive procedures or medications that could otherwise lead to side effects.
- Have a chiropractor check you for neck bone misalignment.
- Keep your head directly above your shoulders.
- Limit your electronic usage, such as taking time away from your phone, laptop, or notebook.
- Perform Bruegger’s Maneuver (also known as Bruegger’s Exercise).
If your main priority of getting chiropractic adjustments is to maintain a healthy body, you should visit your chiropractor several times a month. You might benefit from getting adjustments as often as every week.
During rest periods, your doctor may recommend using a soft cervical collar. This device wraps around and supports your neck by further limiting motion. Rest can relieve the pinching of the nerve roots.
- Inability to hold up the head for an extended period of time.
- Upper neck pain near the skull.
- Referred pain to the shoulders.
- Head feels heavy.
- Tightness or stiffness in neck muscles.
- Shaking or unstable feeling in neck/head.
C1, C2, and C3 (the first three cervical nerves) control the head and neck, including movements forward, backward, and to the sides. These nerves also play key roles in breathing. The C2 dermatome handles sensation for the upper part of the head, and the C3 dermatome covers the side of the face and behind the head.
Chiropractic care may be able to cure your symptoms of vertigo by doing different exercises or manipulations. Chiropractic adjustments or manipulations may help alleviate a specific type of vertigo called cervical vertigo.
Cervicogenic dizziness is vertigo caused by conditions related to the neck. You may have asked yourself a question like, ‘can a pinched nerve cause dizziness’. The answer is yes, under certain conditions a nerve in the neck experiencing excess pressure can cause bouts of dizziness.
Over time, stenosis can advance to complete blockage of the artery. Risk factors for carotid artery stenosis include age, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and an inactive lifestyle. Some people with carotid artery stenosis may experience dizziness, fainting, and blurred vision.
Squeezing the nerves and cord in the cervical spine can change how the spinal cord functions and cause pain, stiffness, numbness, or weakness in the neck, arms, and legs. It can also affect your control of your bowels and bladder.
Thoracic (mid back) – the main function of the thoracic spine is to hold the rib cage and protect the heart and lungs. The twelve thoracic vertebrae are numbered T1 to T12.
The most vulnerable areas of the spine are the lumbar (lower back), and the cervical (neck) regions. They are the most mobile, and susceptible to injury.
Research shows that head and neck injuries can affect the brainstem structures and nerves that are involved in hearing. Tinnitus can occur when these structures and nerves are compressed or damaged as a result of a head or neck injury.
Injuries to the C1 and C2 vertebrae are rare, accounting for only 2% of spinal injuries each year. However, they are also considered to be the worst spinal cord injury that it is possible to sustain, and often fatal.
- Halo immobilization.
- Internal fixation (odontoid screw fixation)
- Posterior atlantoaxial arthrodesis.
A person with a complete C4 level of injury is paralyzed from the shoulders down. A person with a complete T12 level of injury is paralyzed from the waist down.
C1, C2, and C3 (the first three cervical nerves) help control the head and neck, including movements forward, backward, and to the sides. The C2 dermatome handles sensation for the upper part of the head, and the C3 dermatome covers the side of the face and back of the head. (C1 does not have a dermatome.)
Upper back and neck pain are often due to poor posture and muscle strain. People who are diligent in correcting and maintaining their posture will likely experience a reduction in pain. Anyone who cannot get relief with home treatments should seek the help of a medical professional.
Cervical spondylosis, commonly called arthritis of the neck, is the medical term for these age-related, wear-and-tear changes that occur over time. Cervical spondylosis is extremely common. More than 85 percent of people over the age of 60 are affected.