One of the things that are most challenging about Brain Fog Syndrome is that it is not a true diagnosis in the traditional sense. It is an extremely accurate description of a symptom that is closely linked with chronic fatigue, chronic pain, whiplash, concussion, depression, and anxiety. Yet it can exist independently from these other factors. In other words, Brain Fog can be a problem in itself.
The next challenge is that there is no test for Brain Fog. Yes, a CT and MRI scan of your brain is usually a wise idea to rule out pathology such as a tumour, infection, bleeding, or CSF leaking. However, for so many people who experience chronic brain fog, their MRI scans come back saying that everything appears completely normal. But normal is about the farthest thing from the truth that you actually feel.
What we want to do is present to you a different perspective on the cause and also a potential solution for Brain Fog Syndrome: a natural treatment option for people with Brain Fog that involves a little bone at the base of your skull.
What Causes Brain Fog Syndrome?
Let me begin by saying that no one knows 100% what causes Brain Fog Syndrome. Nevertheless, from what we know about the anatomy and physiology of the human brain, we can put forth an idea that would seem to make the most sense.
Like any organ in your body, your brain requires nutrients, oxygen, and energy to function. Your brain has a unique assembly of vessels that supply blood across an almost impenetrable layer known as the blood-brain barrier. This barrier exists to protect your brain from bacteria, viruses, and other substances that would otherwise destroy it. The brain is far more sensitive to these types of things than most other organs in your body.
Your brain is also bathed in what is known as Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF). CSF is the functional medium comprised predominantly of water that provides the nutrients, oxygen, and energy from the blood vessels so that the blood does not ever come in direct contact with the brain tissue. Like any fluid in the body, CSF is cleansed and recirculated multiple times daily.
The problem as you may appreciate maybe that when CSF does not circulate as it is supposed to, it can lead to local areas of congestion. Think of the difference between a cleanly flowing stream versus a stagnant cesspool where all kinds of debris accumulate in the water. From a functional perspective, this may be one of the potential causes of Brain Fog syndrome (amongst many other symptoms).
When the brain is not in a clean, healthy environment, its function begins to suffer. And a sense of fogginess, lack of clarity, or poor memory can be one of the most common issues. Now, there can be other important causes for Brain Fog Syndrome as well. For example, if a chemical substance or poison damages the blood-brain barrier, causing substances to spill across it. Nevertheless, in the absence of any other types of pathology showing up on your MRI scans or blood tests, a disruption of CSF flow is one of the most likely causes.
What Causes CSF disruption in Brain Fog Syndrome?
One of the most common restriction points that can lead to Brain Fog Syndrome is at the very base of your brainstem where your skull meets the top vertebra in your neck known as the C1 vertebra or atlas vertebra. The atlas is a uniquely shaped bone that provides approximately 50% of all the motion that occurs in your neck. It is also constructed in such a way that protects your brainstem so that it isn’t crushed whenever you move your head. The way that it does so is via what is known as myodural ligaments.
Myodural ligaments anchor onto the inside of the atlas and its surrounding muscles, and then tether your spinal cord in a place like a series of suspension cables. Not only do these ligaments preserve the patency or opening of your spinal canal, but they are also believed to facilitate the normal flow of CSF. Now, this is all under normal circumstances. It is believed that if there is ever an injury involving the joints between the atlas and the skull above or the C2 vertebra below, it can disrupt the normal function and tension of these ligaments. Therefore, instead of these ligaments supporting your brainstem, they can actually produce a physical tug that disrupts its normal function.
When this occurs, it is also believed that the atlas can cause local disruptions with the flow of cerebrospinal fluid at the level of the brainstem. The thing about it is that unless the blockage is massive, it typically does not show up on a standard MRI. This can be one of the reasons why so many people with Brain Fog Syndrome have a normal MRI because of the symptoms they experience, but then are told that everything appears “normal.” It takes a specialised MRI to measure CSF flow to determine if this is actually the case and to get these types of scans can be a very timely and costly process. Moreover, these types of MRIs may show what the problem is, but they still frequently do not show what the cause or solution is.
When it comes to identifying the types of problems involving the C1 and C2 vertebrae, we also aren’t talking about massive traumas that cause broken bones, bleeding, or even bruising. We are talking about relatively small injuries - trips, slips, tackles, and things like “little” car accidents - that only cause relatively minor shits in the alignment and central axis of motion by a few millimetres. However, these micro-traumas accumulate over a long period of time like 5% unpaid compounding interest. This is why when it comes to diagnosing and then treating Brain Fog Syndrome, it is essential to get exactly the right information regarding the actual position, direction, and degree of misalignment of the atlas that could be causing the problem.
The Blair Technique and Brain Fog Syndrome
For people with Brain Fog syndrome, the Blair Technique is a natural treatment option that may be able to help you. The Blair Technique belongs to a unique division of chiropractic known as specific upper cervical care. Upper cervical care and the Blair Technique were developed and researched in the USA, but are unfortunately still relatively rare here in Australia. Unlike general spinal manipulation, there is no twisting, stretching, or cracking. The Blair Technique is a precise, personalised approach to healthcare that aims to provide the best change of success with the least amount of intervention possible.
The Blair Technique begins with a history of your health condition, and physical and neurological assessment, and then a series of diagnostic images designed to account for your unique body structure in order to find out exactly what is going on. Because every human being is built differently, it is only by taking such a customised approach that we are able to find the actual nature of your condition. With this information, we are then able to provide a personalised care recommendation to help you get the best possible chance of success for healing from your condition.
As unpleasant and difficult as Brain Fog Syndrome can make your life, we believe that healing comes from within and that if these innate healing forces are free from interference to flow as they are designed, then the body should be able to heal. In this way, the Blair Technique is a natural approach to healthcare that isn’t just treating their effects but is focusing on the cause of your condition to allow your body to heal as it is designed, from inside out.
Our practice, Atlas Health, is dedicated to helping people with challenging health conditions including Brain Fog Syndrome so that they can find the answers and solutions they are looking for so that they can get back to enjoying the things in life that matter most to them. We are the premier Upper Cervical Chiropractic healthcare centre located in North Lakes Brisbane with over 15 years of experience in helping people with conditions of the upper neck. If you would like more information or to schedule a no-obligation consultation, please click the Contact Us link on this page, or call us direct at 07 3188 9329.
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