Neck and back pain - red flags

Posted in Neck Pain Disorders Back Pain Disorders on 05/03/2021 00:00 AM

Not all neck and back pain red flags are dangerous, but they can certainly make your life miserable.

In health and medicine, a “red flag” is a sign or symptom that demands immediate investigation because it is associated with a potentially dangerous condition or disease. Some neck and back pain red flags include things like bone tumours, infections, or internal bleeding.  

While these types of neck and back pain red flags are not common, they must be excluded.

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For many people, unfortunately, the search ends there. They still experience pain, vertigo, or other health problems, but because they don’t have any neck and back pain red flags and their tests all came back saying that “Everything is normal,” their medical practitioner or specialist says, “There’s nothing more you can do.”

This is the point: neck and back pain red flags can MIMIC other more common conditions that are easily misdiagnosed

And even though these other conditions may not kill you, they can still make your life very difficult:

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Common diagnosis mistakes with neck and back pain red flags

One of the most common diagnosis mistakes that happen with neck and back pain red flags is the simple confusion between cause and effect.

Let’s look at some of the common symptoms that people can experience:

  • severe headaches or migraines
  • vertigo or dizziness
  • neuralgia (e.g., suboccipital neuralgia, trigeminal neuralgia, or fibromyalgia)
  • back pain or sciatica
  • concussion, whiplash, or brain fog syndrome

All of these potential “diagnoses” are all effects. But what is their underlying CAUSE?

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Nothing happens in the body unless there is an underlying cause. Granted, we don’t always know what the underlying cause IS, but there is ALWAYS a cause. That is basic physics!

So when we can successfully exclude the neck and back pain red flags as the potential cause, that’s a good thing! It means that the cause of your condition is most likely NOT a tumour or infection or bleed, etc. 

However, it means that the search MUST go on!

And there is a big differences if a medical specialist says, “There’s nothing more that you can do,” versus “There is nothing more that I can do.”

Let’s say that you want to buy a new car, but (somehow) you go to the hardware store by mistake. You’re simply in the wrong store!

Unfortunately, this distinction often gets lost in the conversation. And so even if you don’t have the dangerous type of neck and back pain red flags conditions, it only means that the solution is not in the medical specialist department.

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It means you need to find your solutions elsewhere.

Atlas alignment - a common solution for neck and back pain red flags

Once you can rule out the dangerous or pathological neck and back pain red flags, one of the common reasons why you may be experiencing symptoms is because there is a mechanical or alignment problem with the top vertebra in your neck, otherwise known as C1 or the “atlas.”

The atlas vertebra physically tethers onto the base of your brainstem and spinal cord. It is also the only vertebra in your entire spine that does not have an intervertebral disc that locks it in place.

As a result, if you ever suffer a physical injury that causes the vertebra to shift and get stuck in an abnormal position, it can directly produce tension on your central nervous system.

This tension may have the potential to cause strange symptoms throughout your body that can mimic neck and back pain red flags … things that you might never otherwise think could possibly be connected with the alignment of your neck.

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The proper alignment of the atlas vertebra is the particular focus of a unique division of healthcare known as Blair upper cervical specific chiropractic.

Unlike general spinal manipulation, a Blair upper cervical chiropractic procedure does NOT involve any neck twisting or cracking. The procedure is gentle and precise because it is based on the individual structure of your own joints. 

A Blair upper cervical chiropractor has additional training beyond the standard doctoral degree in the relationship between the upper neck, nerve function, and body health.

Upper cervical care is actually known worldwide as an approach that is often able to help people with those hidden, or not obvious conditions who have been everywhere else - had all the neck and back pain red flags ruled out - but still have not been able to find answers.

Although it is certainly not a cure all - there is no such thing - it is actually one of the essential elements necessary for any person to be as healthy and well that they desire.

 

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Atlas chiropractor Brisbane

If you or a loved one has struggled with problems and you continue to have neck and back pain red flags despite having spent thousands of dollars and dozens of tests, but still no one can tell you what is wrong, Blair upper cervical chiropractic may be worth a fair go.

Our practice, Atlas Health, is dedicated to helping people with chronic health challenges so that they can find long term solutions and get back to enjoying the life that they really want. Our principal, Dr. Jeffrey Hannah, is an advanced certified Blair practitioner with over 15 years in upper cervical specific care.

If you would like to find out more about how upper cervical care may be able to help you, we offer a complementary 15-minute phone consultation with Dr. Hannah where you can discuss your particular condition so that you decide if care may be right for you.

Call us at 07 3188 9329, or email us through the Contact Us link at the top of the page, and we will be happy to help.

Remember: with neck and back pain red flags, there is ALWAYS a cause. It is sometimes then just a matter of finding out what the TRUE cause actually is.

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Atlas Health Australia - “Hope, healing, and wellbeing from above-down, inside-out.”

 

References

Bogduk N. The cervical-cranial connection. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1992;15(1):67-70.

Burcon MT. Health Outcomes Following Cervical Specific Protocol in 300 Patients with Meniere’s Followed Over Six Years. Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research ~ June 2, 2016, ~ Pages 13-23. https://www.vertebralsubluxationresearch.com/2016/06/02/health-outcomes-following-cervical-specific-protocol-in-300-patients-with-menieres-followed-over-six-years/

Damadian RV, Chu D. The possible role of cranio-cervical trauma and abnormal CSF hydrodynamics in the genesis of multiple sclerosis. Physiol Chem Phys Med NMR. 2011;41:1-17.

Eriksen K. Upper Cervical Subluxation Complex: a review of the chiropractic and medical literature. Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins. Baltimore (MD). 2004.

Flanagan MF. The Downside of Upright Posture. Two Harbors Press, 2010.

Flanagan MF. The role of the craniocervical junction in craniospinal hydrodynamics and neurodegenerative conditions. Neurology Research International, 2015; Article ID 794829: http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/794829

Hannah J. The Doctors who Give no Medicine. Health Publishing Intl. 2012.

Martinez-Merinero P, Nuñez-Nagy S, Achalandabaso-Ochoa A, Fernandez-Matias R, Pecos-Martin D, Gallego-Izquierdo T. Relationship between Forward Head Posture and Tissue Mechanosensitivity: A Cross-Sectional Study. J Clin Med. 2020 Feb 27;9(3):634. doi: 10.3390/jcm9030634. PMID: 32120895; PMCID: PMC7141123.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32120895/

Rosa S, Baird JW. The craniocervical junction: observations regarding the relationship between misalignment, obstruction of cerebrospinal fluid flow, cerebellar tonsillar ectopia, and image-guided correction. Smith FW, Dworkin JS (eds): The Craniocervical Syndrome and MRI. Basel, Karger, 2015, pp 48-66 (DOI:10.1159/000365470).

Vernon H.The cranio-cervical syndrome. London, Butterworth-Heinemann, 2001.

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