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  • Crooked C-1

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    Old 05-16-2009, 04:46 PM   #1
    Saraken
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    Crooked C-1

    I mentioned in an earlier post (Neck problems and barometric pressure) that I believe I am getting migraines from disc problems in my neck.

    What is interesting and more than a bit frustrating is that, even though the Xrays my chiropractor took show clearly that my C-1 level is misaligned, this problem doesn't seem to have shown up on my MRI. Or, at least, the MD who read the MRI and wrote up the report on it didn't mention a word of it in her report.

    Problem is, I think my crooked C-1 (or Atlas, as I've seen it called) is the main culprit in my severe headaches.

    I hope the neuro I'm seeing Monday addresses this problem.

    Anyone here with a crooked atlas?

     
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    Old 05-16-2009, 06:57 PM   #2
    Toonces1
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    Re: Crooked C-1

    This would certainly not be the first time someone reading an MRI failed to note something significant. I would also urge your doctor to look at the films himself and not just read the report and assume everything is fine. MRIs are also best for soft tissue damage. My understanding is that an xray or a CT are much better at looking at bone issues.

     
    Old 05-17-2009, 04:19 AM   #3
    sammyo1
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    Re: Crooked C-1

    Now that you mention it, I have seen 2 chiros in the past, both found my atlas to be off, as did an osteopath & the current Pt I am seen by, who treats the body as a whole as an osteo would. My surgeon has never mentioned this to me. I to can get nasty headaches, yes migraine type. I have not had the severity as often since my fusion but still get slight headaches often which is scary. As I am left praying the headache does not go full blown. There are so many causes with these headaches its hard to pinpoint the cause at all times, as I have awful TMJ to & other disc problems.

    Do your headaches always start at the base of your neck? AS I have had migraines bad in past years I think these are some how alittle different. I am wondering if you can describe your headaches for me. I am curious. Before fusion I had the worst pain at the left temple area, much like nerve pain. till this day I have to say the preop headaches are the worst pain I ever experianced in my life as nothing touched that pain & could not rest at all with it. My heart goes out to anyone who suffers these headaches as it can be impossable to function at all. Sammy

     
    Old 05-17-2009, 11:31 AM   #4
    jennybyc
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    Re: Crooked C-1

    Your crooked C1 may have an easy answer. The Atlas bone sits on top of the axis(C2) with no disk in between. It is circular and is hooked onto the axis by a small piece of bone that juts up from the axis bone. Below the axis is the first disk.

    So there is nothing to keep the atlas steady as they x-ray the neck. Whatever your position when they take the x-ray, the bone will tilt with your position. If your head is tipped slightly up or down then the bone will go up or down with you. Same for side to side. And even if you are standing totally still and perfectly erect, your neck muscles can pull on the bone and make it tilted. It's meant to float free to allow maximum movement.

    I have herniated the disk between C2-3 and I'm going to my neurosurgeon in a couple of weeks to see what can be done. If he extends my current fusion(C3 to T1) to C2 I'll loose a lot of movement and put the hook on C2 at risk of fracture so for all I know, I may end up being fused all the way to my skull or at least C1. Neither looks good to me but it will stop the pain and the increasing loss of feeling on my left side.

    good luck all.................Jenny

     
    Old 05-20-2009, 08:12 AM   #5
    Saraken
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    Re: Crooked C-1

    That's very interesting about how the atlas is supposed to work. However, aside from what the Xrays show, which I now understand (thanks to jennybyc's post) can be very ambiguous, my chiro also probed the area with his hands (chiro-"hand" in Greek) and felt that something was out of whack at my C-1 level.

    I know one thing for sure - my atlas does not "float freely". I wish it did. That sounds like heaven!

    My headaches start at the base of my skull. Sometimes they spread around the sides of my head, making my ears, temples and sinuses pound. But then, sometimes the pain just engulfs my entire head. It even gets into my teeth. With one of these whole head migraines, throbbing pain is accompanied by burning pain. When that happens, any and all stimulation (light, sound, smell, even taste) to my sensory organs becomes almost unbearable. If I do not catch one of these super migraines with pain meds before it becomes full-blown, the only thing to do is shut myself up in a dark, silent room. And pray, like Sammy.

    Fortunately, since I have made the definite connection between headache emergencies and unstable barometric pressure, I can nip the pain in the bud by following weather forecasts closely and taking pain meds at the first sign of an approaching low pressure system. Accurate weather forecasts and opiates work wonders.

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    Old 05-20-2009, 04:54 PM   #6
    jennybyc
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    Re: Crooked C-1

    Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can affect the C1-2 area. My head clicks as it moves. But the nerve that exits the spine at C2 affects the scalp, sides of the head and around to the front of the neck...about the same areas you're talking about. It includes ears and lower jaw area. Maybe your headaches are related to OA of the C2 vertebrae pressing on the nerves. As for a misaligned Atlas bone, that is possible but a CT would best to figure that out. Since the C1 is hooked into C2 then both should be misaligned. And I don't know how a chiro can feel that. The altas is heavily guarded by thick muscles and a ligament that goes down the center of the cervical spine.

    I'll admit I'm not a fan of chiros. I've seen too many people taken advantage of and I usually meet them in my neurosurgeon's office when he has to do a massive repair that could have been minor had they seen him first instead of last.

    good luck with your neck and headaches............Jenny

     
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