Less known symptoms linked to your Spine health
Dizziness Vertigo feeling of instability:
Those symptoms are extremely common after an injury especially at the level of the higher cervical spine. They are commonly found following a car accident with the whiplash syndrome; but without even considering the multiple cases reported involving a vehicle crash; most certainly you can probably recall being pushed violently with our head swung backward and feel an instant dizziness and light headed effect. Most of those symptoms will go away by themselves but some will stay and will require treatment. The treatment usually involves chiropractic adjustment to realign a disrupted upper vertebra alignment.
Numb or painful finger with no associated symptoms
Typically someone will complain that his thumb is constantly sore and even wakes him up at night. All exams of the hand turn up negative. Patient does not complaint about any other area. Eventually, images of the cervical spine hint an irritation of the six cervical nerves. The phenomenon is very common and called at time “projected pain”. The sixth cervical nerve has fibers coming from the thumb, the brain converts an electrical current coming from the thumb into pain sensation; but the brain knows only the origin of the nerve not his pathway. As a consequence any irritation of the nerve on his pathway (such as in the neck) will be interpreted by the brain as pain in the thumb even though the thumb as nothing wrong with it. Treatments are multiple but the most conservative will be to “wiggle” the six cervical nerve root in the neck in order to eliminate the irritation and make the thumb’s symptom disappear.
Headaches flaring up following specific activities such as reading sleeping etc.
Headaches may have multiple origins and are given multiple diagnostic, but the most common encountered headache is the cervicogenic headache, very common even after light motor vehicle accident; this headache is triggered by an irritation of a nerve in the neck (greater occipital nerve) and this nerve covers a sensory area which is “helmet like” for the head. Those headaches are easy to treat by chiropractic but it is often hard to establish definitive diagnostic using tools such as X-Rays, MRI or nerve conduction studies. The most sensible approach is to try the least invasive and least expensive approach a chiropractic adjustment and observe the short term response. A quick modification of the pain pattern will confirm the diagnostic. No modification will lead toward more complex studies.
In summary: Your spine can mimic many pain symptoms and ailment that you would not see associated to your spine. You are often the best help to a doctor in pinpointing the origin of a problem. Start your detective work by observing what movement changes the pain, what activity and at what time. Always try to find something that can reproduce the pain in front of your doctor. And remember the spine has always some level of influence on any organs but sometimes they may be mysterious to the novice.