Dr Drew Hall

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Can Leg And Shoulder Pain Be Caused By Neck Misalignments?

Posted in Arm pain, Chronic Pain, Leg Pain on Jul 25, 2017

Neck Trauma Can Be An Underlying Cause Of Leg Pain And Shoulder Pain

OUR health care system is very mechanistic. Shoulder Pain or leg is not always caused in the arm or leg but oftentimes it is coming from the neck. Each of these conditions can have their roots in a postural adaptation that is caused by an upper cervical spine misalignment caused by a neck injury. 

In the following article, we will outline common conditions that are under the heading of, "arm pain" or "leg pain" and then discuss how an injury to your upper Cervical spine can be the underlying cause for each condition.

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Common conditions that cause shoulder and arm pain:

  • Cervical disc problem
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Fibromyalgia

While all of the syndromes listed above can cause arm pain and a plethora of other problems, current medical treatment does not try to uncover their cause but rather chooses to treat the end result of body dysfunction, the symptoms.

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Common methods of treatment are pain killers, physical therapy or surgeries. We have written several articles on each of these subjects in the past but thought it was important to cover each of these and explain how an upper Cervical injury can globally affect the body and lead to many of these conditions that have no known cause or cure in the medical literature.

WHAT Does My Neck Have To Do With My Shoulder Pain?

The upper cervical spine houses the most important anatomical region of the body, the brain stem. The brainstorm controls all internal functions that you do not think about: cardiac function, respiratory function, blood pressure control, and among other things postural muscle tone. When the neck skull junction, the craniocervical junction (ccj) is injured the brain-stem atlas skull junction becomes a "choke point" and can cause irritation and interference to the central nervous system function.

A misalignment at the base of the skull creates structural imbalances through the body. Many of the conditions listed above have their root cause in postural imbalance. Postural imbalance can be the underlying cause of fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, shoulder pain, and neck pain. In our Los Angeles offices, our Upper Cervical Chiropractors address the underlying cause of body imbalance.



Common conditions which cause leg pain:

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  • Piriformis Syndrome
  • Low back disc bulge
  • Sciatica

While each of these conditions can cause leg pain and have different names, their underlying cause can be coming from the same condition. It is well known that postural muscle tone is controlled in the upper Cervical spine.

In the same way that conditions causing arm pain can be tied back to upper neck neurology the same is true for leg pain. Each of these leg pain conditions can be tied back to imbalances in muscle tone that leads to their development. 

When the upper neck is misaligned it alters spinal muscle tone and causes the head to be tilted to one side, one shoulder higher, and one hip higher compared to the other (fig.1). What follows body imbalance can be disc problems in the low back, tight piriformis muscle, and sciatica.



What Does An Upper Cervical Chiropractor Do?

The goal of upper cervical care is to correct atlas and axis misalignments. Upper cervical doctors run objective neurological tests to determine whether or not a person has an upper neck misalignment. Once located precise x-rays are taken to determine the direction of the misalignment and the angle of the joints that are involved.

This information is then used to make a precise correction to the atlas or axis. Once corrected the patient is monitored overtime to make sure they are maintaining the correction. If the correction has misaligned again another correction is made. 

If the tests indicate it is in alignment no correction is made on that visit. While the correction is maintained is when healing accrues. We hope that his blog has been helpful and informative and leads those who suffer in the direction of healing!

About the Author:

Dr. Hall has been the president of the BLAIR Upper Cervical Chiropractic Society for nine years. He is a BLAIR technique instructor and has been practicing the procedure for 16 years seeing over 9000 patients. Dr. Hall runs two offices, one in Los Angeles the other in Carson.