Pain in Neck, Back, Arms, Legs & Joints
How Upper Cervical Care Relates to
Pain in Neck, Back, Arms, Legs & Joints
Pain in the spine (neck, upper back, mid back, low back), limbs (arms, legs), and joints (shoulders, knees, hips, ankles) is frequently linked to spinal trauma in medical literature.1-31 Often, trauma is directed at the neck during auto accidents, head injuries, sports accidents, and falls. When the upper cervical spine is misaligned due to trauma, the head moves off center, and can sit tilted upon the injured neck. This creates imbalance from head to toe as more weight shifts to one side of the body compared to the other, and can lead to joint pain.
Rotation of the upper neck can cause twisting of the entire spinal structure, including the pelvis, so that one leg becomes shorter than the other, and can lead to pain in the low back, pelvis, and knees. Because the brain stem contains the control center for the postural muscles of the spine, an injury at the upper neck can interfere with the brain's normal control over the postural muscles, leading to muscular weakness, imbalance, atrophy and spasm throughout the neck and back. Spasm of the spinal muscles can lead to compression of the spinal vertebrae, to compression of the cervical, thoracic, and/or lumbar intervertebral discs, and to pain throughout the limbs and joints.
While many pain sufferers recall specific traumas such as head injuries, auto accidents or falls, which could have injured their spines, some do not. An evaluation is necessary in each individual's case to assess whether an upper cervical injury is present and whether benefit from upper cervical care can be achieved.
Research Articles and Publications
- "Whiplash: Information For Drivers, Pedestrians, and Athletes" by Erin Elster, DC. The Atlas Files. June 2000.
- "Cervical Dystonia Sufferers Find Relief With Upper Cervical Chiropractic" by Erin Elster, D.C.
- "Healthy and Well-Adjusted" By Cindy Schumacher, Maui Weekly, December 2013
- "A Unique Approach for 'Surfers' Neck'" By Erin Elster, DC, Lahaina News, March 26, 2015
- "Whiplash Information For Motorists and Athletes" by Erin Elster, DC, Lahaina News, June 19, 2015
- "Heads Up: Have You Developed 'Text Neck?'" by Erin Elster, DC, Lahaina News, August 27, 2015
- "Get Your Head On Straight" By Erin Elster, DC, Lahaina News, March 31, 2016
- "Ergonomic Tips For 'Computer Neck'" By Erin Elster, DC, Lahaina News, May 26, 2016
- "Do You Have A Pinched Nerve In Your Neck?" by Erin Elster, DC, Lahaina News, September 29, 2016
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- Adams MA, Freeman BJ, Morrison HP. Mechanical initiation of intervertebral disc degeneration. Spine 2000 Jul 1; 25(13): 1625-36.
- Dai L, Jia L. Central cord injury complicating acute cervical disc herniation in trauma. Spine 2000 Feb 1; 25(3): 331-5; discussion 336.
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- Weisskopf M, Bail H, Mack M. Value of MRI in traumatic disco-ligament instability of the lower cervical spine. Unfallchirurg 1999 Dec; 102 (12): 942-8.
- Abumi K, Shono Y, Kotani Y. Indirect posterior reduction and fusion of the traumatic herniated disc by using a cervical pedicle screw system. J Neurosurg 2000 Jan; 92(1 Suppl): 30-7.
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- Johansson B. Degeneration of the cervical vertebral disk is seldom the only cause of disk herniation. Cause of disk herniation is a common dispute in insurance cases after whiplash injuries. Lakartidningen 1999 Aug 25; 96(34): 3540-1.
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- Barnsley L, Lord SM, Wallis BJ. The prevalence of chronic cervical zygapophyseal joint pain after whiplash. Spine 1995 Jan 1; 20(1): 20-5; discussion 26.
- Foletti G. Chronic pain sequelae after trauma of the cervical spine. Z Unfallchir Versicherungsmed 1994 Sep; 87(3): 192-9.
- Mallinson AI, Longridge NS. Specific vocalized complaints in whiplash and minor head injury patients. Am J Otol 1998 Nov; 19(6): 809-13.
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- Nederlhand MJ, Ijzerman MJ, Hermens HJ. Cervical muscle dysfunction in the chronic whiplash associated disorder grade II (WAD-II). Spine 2000 Aug 1; 25(15): 1938-43.
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- Ide M, Ide J, Yamaga M. Symptoms and signs of irritation of the brachial plexus in whiplash injuries. J Bone Joint Surg Br 2001 Mar; 83(2): 226-9.