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Atlas C-1 Twisted Causing PCS Symptoms

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Unread 02-15-2012, 03:59 PM   #1
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Default Atlas C-1 Twisted Causing PCS Symptoms

I have been PCS for alomost a year now has anyone ever heard of or have
any information concerning the Atlas Vertebra (C1) being out of place causing PCS related Symptoms

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Unread 02-15-2012, 04:30 PM   #2
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Is it severely twisted or more of a misalignment?

Some threads on c1/c2 - atlas/axis adjusting - Nucca
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Unread 02-15-2012, 04:52 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by crossline View Post
I have been PCS for alomost a year now has anyone ever heard of or have
any information concerning the Atlas Vertebra (C1) being out of place causing PCS related Symptoms

C1 is right around where the brain stem is...and if it's out of place it can be causing some mild compression to your brain stem which can cause a lot of problems. Since your recovering from a head injury and it's mainly your upper cervical area your concerned with, you want to see a NUCCA specialist.


You can find a NUCCA chiropractor in that above link.

If you want more information about the procedure you can click that first link that Jo*mar listed...it is my thread about the success I've so far had with NUCCA.
What happened: I was randomly assaulted from behind in June of 2011. I was knocked unconscious for an unknown amount of time (less than 30 minutes) and have no memory of the event. CT scan showed contusion and hematoma of the left frontal lobe. I spent 3 days in the hospital. Diagnosed with Post-Concussion Syndrome in September 2011. Currently have Medicaid, Medicare and SSI.

Current symptoms: Brain fog, mild memory issues, problems with spontaneity, occasional spacing out, word finding difficulties, tinnitus in right ear and some other things that I can't explain.

Life after the brain injury: 4 years after the injury, I'm engaged to my beautiful girlfriend of 5 years, I'm the CEO of my own business, Notorious Labs, I've taught myself how to program complex games and apps which is a feat I never thought I'd accomplish and now live a semi-normal life with very mild PCS symptoms.

Slowly but surely regaining my life back.
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Unread 02-15-2012, 08:47 PM   #4
Mark in Idaho
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Any misalignment of C-1 (Atlas) can cause inflammation that can interfere with nerve function, blood flow to the brain and blood flow to the brain stem. The idea of C-1 compressing the brain stem is an over-simplification. The compression is from the inflammation, not the position of C-1.

There may also be pinching of nerve fibers but there are are not nerve fibers in or very near the joint areas (occipital condyle to Atlas) like there are near the highly moveable joints of the lower vertebra.

That is why icing the area is so valuable. Anything to reduce the inflammation is beneficial.

The blood flow being restricted is likely the cause of the PCS symptoms since they manifest from areas that are not necessarily near the C-1 structures.

An important posture issue to be aware of is moving the head laterally (rotating side to side) at the same time as moving the head up and down. In other words, don't combine Yes movements with No movements. These combined movements are most likely to cause impingement in the joint increasing inflammation.
Mark in Idaho

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Unread 02-16-2012, 01:26 PM   #5
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Has anyone with these type of upper cervical issues felt like their necks make a grindy kind of noise when they make movements to their head, yes, no kind of movements?

Several weeks after my surgery in Dec of 2009, I recall walking and slipping off a curb with my heel landing on the street, but unfortunately in a locked leg position so I think the jolt and force of the step may have compressed some parts leading up to my brain. At least this is the closest event I remember just immediately prior to the return of my current PCS symptoms.

I've had a couple of adjustments by chiros, one of which is my current neurologist, who does a gentler adjustment. I just still don't have an immediate 'ahhhhh' feeling afterwards and wonder if more targeted adjustments are more applicable.

They've taken an upper cervical MRI which shows 'degenerative age related wear'. Yeah sure, but grindy noises? So soon after this event?

I'm debating seeing an atlas orthogonal specialist which may be closest in specialty to NUUCA adjusters and trying to evaluate the situation.

May 31, 2009: Concussion from syncope due to low blood volume resulting from severe dehydration. Occurred after finishing my 9th marathon. 100% of symptoms cleared by August 2009.

December 15, 2009: Major surgery due to diverticulitis. 6 weeks after surgery, dizziness, fog, cognitive difficulty, anxiety, some panic, lots of headache. These symptoms largely gone, but still cannot exercise above a very low threshold otherwise resulting in severe headache and cognitive fog. Same for overwhelming odors.

Meds: Nortriptyline and Naratriptan as needed to rid severe headaches (exertional migraines).
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Unread 06-12-2014, 12:41 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by crossline View Post
I have been PCS for alomost a year now has anyone ever heard of or have
any information concerning the Atlas Vertebra (C1) being out of place causing PCS related Symptoms

My atlas was out of place for years, symptoms were anxiety, depression, hopelessness, neck stiffness, grinding when turning away from problem side, muscle imbalances all over the body, jaw pain (on the opposite side), TMJ, jaw clicking, lower back pain, pain mid spine on the left, trapped nerves in left trap and back, thick upper traps (from forward head posture i think) anyway, all of my symptoms disappeared after lots of research I finally cracked it (not literally).

Also I wouldnt go to a chiropractor because I've seen some of their 'corrections', all that sudden twisting can't be doing those delicate nerves in your neck any good! I guess that's why the nucca approach is the best because it's gentle.

Here's what I did to re align my c1 atlas

First, I'm not sure how misaligned you are but I'm going to assume you have muscle imbalance in the neck but either way I think the first step I'm about to right is important. If the muscles are tight on one side your head / c1 simply cant go where it's supposed to.

1. Do these stretches to loosen the neck, pay attention to imbalances ie if you can go further on one side than the other. In this case stretch twice as much and don't count, only release the stretch when the muscle has relaxed. You CAN make tighter muscles even tighter by stretching improperly.


2. Next the hips. I'm also going to assume you have tight / limited hip movement so here's what to do.

Go for a walk, whilst walking focus on tightening you abs and your but (glutes) whilst tilting your pelvis backwards so you effectively straightening your lower back, so you're pulling the front up an pushing the back down. Hold it for as long as possible, you should feel your lower back free up almost straight away.

Necks loose and hips are loose, so that's the muscles in the top and bottom of your spine sorted, now to align the C1.

3. Perform these two simple exercises in this video. This (as he says) always works in positioning the atlas / *edit*

(Like he says repeat it every hour)

Tip: in ex.2 if you're tense try to relax and when you bring your arms to your shoulders breathe in.

Hope it helps!

Last edited by Koala77; 06-12-2014 at 05:15 AM. Reason: No links allowed for new members.
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Unread 06-12-2014, 02:07 PM   #7
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I believe that most of my long lasting issues after the initial concussion were due to neck problems.
After I started seeing an atlas orthogonal chiro about a year into my recovery, I finally started seeing good progress.
Nothing instantaneous like they claim in some of the AO videos, but definitely felt better over the course of weeks and then months. I've been seeing him for about 5 months now and a lot of my issues have either resolved or at least got way way better.
Exercise is finally an option, I'm doing 20 minutes on a stationary bike at a moderate pace and then a 2 mile walk after work.
12/02/2012 - Light concussion at boxing practice. Ended up having PCS for about 3 months.
March 2013 - Thought that since most of my symptoms resolved I could start having fun again.
Went snowmobiling once (didn't hit my head) and concussion symptoms returned and got even worse than before.
June 2013 - accidentally bumped my head against a deck railing, and had a month-long setback.
November 2013 - drove to work after a big snowstorm and the roads were very rough, ended up having another setback.
2014 - Having setbacks after coughing/sneezing too much, or someone slapping me on the back, or any other significant jarring.
Feb 2014 - Started seeing Atlas Orthogonal chiro - most helpful doc so far.
June 2014 - Two months of physical/visual therapy - no noticeable imporvement.
September 2014 - Diagnosed with Perilymph Fistula in right ear.
November 2014 - Fistula surgery (switched to left ear before the surgery after additional testing).

Current symptoms are: inconsistent sleep patterns, headaches, vertigo/dizziness, anxiety/panic attacks, mental fog/problems with concentration, problems with computer screens.
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Unread 02-08-2015, 11:45 AM   #8
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Does any problem with C1 and C2 show on an MRI? I suppose not. Then too, i guess no harm in getting an MRI done. Any thoughts ?
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Unread 02-08-2015, 05:26 PM   #9
Mark in Idaho
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Galaxy, there are other ways to diagnose C-1 and C-2. Many do not believe this can be a problem. They also do not believe chiropractors can help. You need to find a specialist that understands this issue. I advise against asking a doctor for an MRI of C-1 and C-2. Many will look at you as nutty and put a negative comment in your medical record. Find a specialist first.

I had a little bit of treatment but did most of my healing by being disciplined with good head/neck posture, especially when I rest or sleep. As I have said, it took a few years to get full healing. My neck is stable now.

Nobody is going to fix this for you. You will need to do most of the work.

My best to you.
Mark in Idaho

"Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10
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Unread 02-09-2015, 09:28 AM   #10
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How would one know if they have this issue? I have had xrays done of my cervical spine. Would this have shown up? Would the xray technician even diagnose this?
1 year post-concussion caused by a high-speed MVA.
Driver to driver head-on. I was stationary and the other vehicle hit me traveling > 110 km/hr successfully breaking my sternum.
Diagnosed with chronic neuropathic pain, PTSD, somatic symptom disorder, depression, anxiety. I suffer from daily headaches, 24x7.
Meds: On prescription medication for neuropathic pain, breakthrough pain, anxiety, depression and sleep disorder.
OTC medications used to try and keep headaches in check: acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
Treatments: Physio (declined since May '14), RMT (declined since Feb '14), Psychiatry CBT (since Nov '13), Pain Clinic Nerve Blocks, Botox and Lidocaine Infusion (since May '14), SLP (since Aug '14), OT (since Sep '14).
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