Upper Cervical Care for Leg and Arm pain
About the condition
Leg pain and arm pain which does not resolve on it’s own within 1-2 weeks is most often related to injuries affecting the nerves or blood vessels supplying the limb. While both can present with pain in the limb as well as numbness or loss of strength, a detailed history and brief exam can usually identify which it is.
Limb pain resulting from nervous involvement is typically due to impingement of the nerve roots as they exit the neck (to the arm) or the low back (to the legs) and is most often due to injury of the discs between the vertebrae.
Limb pain resulting from interference with the blood flow can have a number of initial causes, but most often in the arms it is due to altered position of the bones of the shoulder which narrow the passage through which the vessels going to and from the arm pass through. In the legs blood flow issues can have more serious consequences but are also much less common.
Theory of how upper cervical treatment helps
There being two main ways to get limb pain, it would make sense that there would be two different ways that upper cervical could help, but that is not the case. In both the case of nerve insult and blood vessel insult, the primary culprit is an unbalanced and strained posture.
When the head and neck are misaligned, the body must compensate in order to keep the eyes level and the head centered over your base of support. This results in global postural compensations making one shoulder higher than the other (often rounding the shoulders into a “stooped” position), and unlevels and twists the hips. This altered posture changes the position of the structures of the shoulder (blood cause) and also puts tremendously more strain into the discs of the spine (nerve cause).
A precise upper cervical correction of a misalignment allows the body to relax back towards it’s ideal and balanced posture, letting the shoulders come back to their ideal position and also relieving the stress on the discs as all of the postural muscles have to work less to keep you upright