rmooneyMemberJune 12, 2012 at 11:44 pmPost count: 2
I have had chronic migraine for 8+ years (every day) due to neck problems. After a few years of failing to have positive results from medication and physical therapy, I tried chiropractic for a few years that would give me temporary relief. Osteopathic manipulation was even better, but my cervical vertebrae (most importantly C1 and C2) would twist back out of place and cause my symptoms again. Prolotherapy (injections of HGH and Testosterone in most cervical and some thoracic ligaments) has helped some but I have reached a plateau with that treatment.
My symptoms are constant pain in my neck on the upper right and left sides. Sharp and dull pains on both sides and the back of my head (it moves around a lot). Blurry vision, vertigo, nausea, visual disturbances (shadowy movements on everything), confusion, teeth grinding, irritability (sometimes aggressive), somewhat disassociated (feeling like I’m underwater). I feel like when its really bad (when it is inflamed or irritated the most due to physical or mental stress) it greatly affects my ability to comprehend what I see (I can see it but can’t “understand” it) and my ability to formulate speech.
I obviously have acquired hypermobility from years of working out and playing sports with my bones already in a place they shouldn’t be, and years of chiropractic treatment after that. Due to the neurological issues, it sounds like its borderline cervical instability.
Note also that this instability has caused further bone problems with my whole spine: my cervical spine zigzags all the way down (causes pain everywhere) and my pelvis is out of place causing back pain.
What, if any, surgical options are available for me? What are the risks and recovery times?Donald Corenman, MD, DCModeratorJune 13, 2012 at 1:48 amPost count: 8465
Migraines are not typically neck generated but I believe you mean constant type headaches that originate from the neck that “feel like migraines”.
The constant pain at the base of your skull could be from facet inflammation, actual degenerative joint disease (wear of the cartilagenous surfaces) or from nerve compression. The other symptoms you express can be from vertebral artery problems but that would be an extremely rare finding.
You don’t typically get hypermobility of the upper cervical spine from sports activities (unless significant trauma is involved) but more commonly from genetics.
Before you consider any surgical options, you need a diagnosis. Many times, this condition is treatable without surgery.
Dr. CorenmanrmooneyMemberJune 13, 2012 at 3:59 amPost count: 2
I have been diagnosed with acquired hypermobility disorder by my osteopathic physician. I was diagnosed with migraines by a neurologist, and I think this is accurate due to the temporary healing effects of vasoconstrictors on my condition.
I guess what I’m trying to say is I know upper cervical vertebrae don’t stay where they need to and muscle strengthening and ligament strengthening treatments have failed to hold them there. How can I get them to stay? I know the lax ligaments to be the cause of my pain as diagnosed by several physicians and my own experience and research. The greater the pain and inflammation, the worse the neurological issues. So when its bad, the bone causes inflammation that puts pressure on either the nerves or blood vessels that supply certain areas of the brain, most likely the cerebellum in the case of my vertigo and the nearby visual processing area near the occiput.
You mentioned avoiding surgery. Do you know of any non-surgical treatments that work well for this situation?Donald Corenman, MD, DCModeratorJune 14, 2012 at 11:43 amPost count: 8465
You note lax ligaments. These should be able to be demonstrated with x-rays at endpoints of motion. The motion of one side should be much greater with subluxation noted of the joint as compared with the other side. Occasionally with a CT scan at the endpoints of motion, this instability can be demonstrated.
Most times, it is not ligamentous hypermobility but it is facet or nerve inflammation that causes symptoms. Diagnostic blocks of these structures (see SNRB or facet blocks on the website) should yield temporary relief and treatment is based upon the disorder discovered.
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