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Up C Spine - Is your Head on Straight?
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Upper Cervical misalignment = Poor Posture = Poor Health

The following Signs and Symptoms may indicate Upper Cervical (c0-c1-c2) Injury

C0 – skull or occiput; C1 – atlas; C2 - axis

These are the signs, which may indicate that you have an upper cervical spine injury, which may have gone undetected for some time. You don’t have to experience all of these symptoms, just some. However, the posture, head tilt sign, shoulder height sign and ear symptoms will, in my opinion, make it a strong possibility that you do have such an injury.

  1. Is your posture poor? Do you have rounded shoulders and/or forward head posture? Does your head feel heavy to hold?
  2. Is your head tilted to one side and/or your head rotated to one side when you look in a mirror? This can be really subtle.
  3. Does your nose or nasal septum deviate to one side? If so, you may find that it deviates towards the side to which your atlas has moved anterior (e.g. nose deviates to the left; then atlas is anterior on the left)
  4. Is one of your shoulders lower than the other? Pull your shoulders back and down and look carefully for one lower than the other. Again it can be subtle.
  5. Press firmly but gently with your thumb into the impression just below your skull at the top of your neck on both sides (see picture). This is known as the sub-occipital area. Find the base of your skull and press the soft flesh around that area. Is this tender or painful for you?
  6. Do you have some shoulder and/or neck pain/aches, which don't seem to go away?
  7. Does your jaw click when you use it, open it to eat etc. Further check on this; Put your pinkies (little fingers) into your ear canals and chew normally. Do you feel a bumpy dislocation like feeling? This should be a smooth action in your joints.
  8. Do you have any lower back pain or mid back pain (under the shoulder blades) niggles?
  9. Can you move your head from side to side without pain or restriction? Is there a loss of Range of Motion (ROM)?
  10. Do you have any sand paper, clicking or crunching sounds when moving your head from side to side in a 'NO' action? (i.e. cervical crepitus)
  11. Is your hearing a problem or do you have other ear symptoms (e.g. tinnitus, watery sounds, blockages, vertigo, Meniere’s Disease, otalgia, recurrent ear infections)?
  12. Do you often get headaches or migraines?
  13. Can you remember any trauma (even minor) to the head, neck or shoulders?
  14. Was your birth difficult?
  15. How's your vision? – Sensitive to light, especially at dusk, floaters?
  16. Do you experience any dizziness, vertigo or movement sensations (i.e. loss of proprioception)? Does the ground seem to move away from you?
  17. Do you experience any tingling and burning sensations especially in fingers and toes?
  18. Do you have confirmed Scoliosis of the spine, from x-rays? Do you have one leg shorter than the other or is your pelvis higher on one side?
  19. Have you had any x-rays, CT scans or MRIs taken of your cervical spine (neck)? Do these reveal loss of cervical lordosis (neck curve), even a small amount?
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