This is an area that is controversial. It is extremely rare to have injury to the occiput through C2 ligaments without major disruption to the stabilizing ligaments of the upper neck. Injury to these major ligaments should lead to catastrophic failure and spinal cord injury.
I would be very careful in “finding an expert” in this region as many of these “experts” have no research or publications and have come to their “expertise” without significant science behind their “knowledge”.
There are genuine known problems in the occiput through C2 region. Many of my patients with symptoms here have degeneration of the facets. This is easily diagnosed with MRI, CT and facet injections. It is incredibly rare that I would see ligament disruption and normally this would be due to preexisting disease processes (Marfans, Down’s, Rheumatoid arthritis) or severe neck trauma.
Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.