Normal shoulder pain can underlay post-concussion syndrome

Posted in on May 9, 2020

Many symptoms can be associated with post-concussion syndrome, including shoulder pain and other musculoskeletal complaints that take a back seat to the cognitive and emotional issues. 

Shoulder pain is one of the least acute symptoms associated with post-concussion syndrome, but it can add insult to injury if severe enough.  

Over the years, we have written many articles about post-concussion syndrome because it has been our experience that patients that suffer from PCS often spend tens of thousands of dollars before they find real help. 

We believe this is because post-concussion syndrome treatment is missing a key component that, if not corrected, the body cannot completely heal. That missing link is neck injury and subsequent spinal misalignment.

Brain injury is an obvious cause in the genesis of the post-concussion syndrome; however, any injury that can cause shearing damage to the brain simultaneously damages the upper cervical spine. 

Upper cervical spine misalignment can cause long-term health issues. In this article, we will discuss what you can do to heal from a concussion and still struggle despite seeking out multiple forms of care. 

We will also discuss how upper cervical spine misalignment can be a causative factor in PCS cases not recovering from their health issues.

Post Concussion Syndrome - What is it?

Concussions result from a severe acceleration-deceleration injury that "shears "  the brain,  causing injury to the brain tissue. The result of a concussion can be devastating. 

Post-concussion syndrome can be a lingering long-term health problem that does not recover and becomes chronic until the right combination of natural treatments is employed. 

Many people who suffer from a concussion have years of health issues that do not recover with time or conventional care.  Thankfully our Lake Elmo-based upper cervical chiropractic office has helped many PCS patients that did not recover with conventional care. 

We believe that upper cervical spine injury caused by concussion trauma is the underlying factor that inhibits the body from being able to regain full function and health.

SymptomsPost-concussion symptoms include:

  • • Headaches 
  • • Dizziness 
  • • Fatigue 
  • • Irritability 
  • • Anxiety 
  • • Insomnia 
  • • Loss of concentration and memory 
  • • Ringing in the ears 
  • • Blurry vision 
  • • Musculoskeletal Pain         
  • • Noise and light sensitivity 
  • • Rarely decreases in taste and smell

The hallmark post-concussion symptoms are cognitive issues, headaches, light and sound sensitivity, chronic shoulder, neck, back pain, and sleep disturbance. 

Musculoskeletal symptoms, although common, are not discussed that often when discussing post-concussion syndrome because the more severe symptoms overshadow them. 

None the less shoulder pain and neck pain are ubiquitous with PCS sufferers. Chronic musculoskeletal pain can result from cervical spine joint injury. 

When the joints in the neck are injured and the soft tissue is damaged, the joints do not glide freely. Loss of motion in the joints leads to imbalanced spinal muscle tone, postural imbalance, neck, mid-back, and shoulder pain. Because PCS symptoms are so severe, musculoskeletal symptoms are often overlooked.

Upper cervical misalignment not only affects the musculoskeletal system but also affects the central nervous system. Loss of joint motion leads to increased sympathetic tone, which has been implicated in cognitive issues, emotional upset, and fatigue.  

Long term, if the upper cervical misalignment is not corrected, it can lead to a host of long-term chronic health issues. 

In a landmark paper titled "The Role of the Craniocervical Junction in Craniospinal Hydrodynamics and Neurodegenerative Conditions," Dr. Flannagan explains comprehensively how a misalignment at the skull neck junction can have devastating effects on human health and physiology. 

For anyone who wants to delve into the intricacies of how Upper Cervical misalignment affects human physiology, this article is a must-read. (1)

What Exactly Does a Blair Upper Cervical Doctor Do? 

Blair Upper Cervical doctors are specially trained to locate spinal misalignments in the upper cervical spine and correct them. Spinal misalignment is located by running a battery of neurological tests that locate the spinal segments that have been injured and misaligned by a prior neck injury.

Once located, precision imaging in the form of digital x-ray or cone-beam computed tomography (Cbct) is used to precisely determine which joint has misaligned and the angulation of the misaligned joint. Each person’s anatomy is different, and therefore imaging is used to uncover the blueprint to correct each patient’s individual misalignment pattern.

Once this information is gleaned, a gentle, light correction is made without twisting, popping, or pulling. The patient is then monitored overtime to ensure that the correction is holding. If the testing indicates the need for another correction, then it is performed. However, the goal of Blair Upper Cervical Care is for the patient to stay in “adjustment.”

It isn’t the correction that produces healing. It removes nerve irritation and the adjustment “holding” in its normal position that allows the body to function better and proceed through a healing process. 

This is how Blair Chiropractic treatment can often help remove the underlying cause of many who suffer from PCS, shoulder pain, neck pain, headaches, and other chronic health problems by supporting the body in healing itself.

1.The Role of the Craniocervical Junction in Craniospinal Hydrodynamics and Neurodegenerative Conditions

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