Posted by: Dr. Rachel Banks |

The Main Symptoms Caused by Subluxation of the Cervical Spine

Did you know that many pain, injury, and illness symptoms are caused by spinal injuries and subluxations?

This blog post is the first of a three-part series that will be breaking down each section of the spine into its respective regions, the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar area, while also detailing the type of symptoms that injuries to each specific area can cause.

If you're experiencing constant neck pain, it's important to visit a neck pain doctor.

If experiencing neck pain, it is also possible that you have developed "text neck" For more information read our blog post, "Text Neck": Shocking Facts you Don't Want to Miss.

What Kind of Symptoms are Experienced After Damage to the Cervical Spine (C1-C7)?

Depending on the type of accident that caused your spinal injury, your resulting symptoms can range from extremely severe, like paralysis, to minor ailments that will heal on their own.

Below is the breakdown of the C1-C7 vertebrae and the symptoms each has the potential to cause when they become damaged or compressed.

This list can uncover many issues you may have been dealing with for years but you had no idea that it traced back to an old injury you might have suffered years ago.

With that being said...

Let's dig in!

Chiropractor explaining symptoms caused by Injuries to the Neck and Cervical Spine

C1 and C2 subluxation symptoms:

The C1 vertebra is known as Atlas,  and the C2 is known as Axis. The first two segments of the  cervical spine are made up of these two vertebrae.

These vertebrae support the head and work together in order to allow the head to rotate.

Therefore, any injury to one of these vertebrae can cause limited ability to move the head or neck. 

The Atlas is vitally important to the function of the rest of the spinal cord, and some chiropractors specialize in only adjusting the Atlas because its effects are so powerful on the rest of the spine and its function. 

Consequently, most medical professionals consider injuries to the first and second vertebrae in the cervical spine to be the most serious type of spinal cord injury. 

This is because severe damage to the C1 or C2 commonly causes full paralysis or death.  

Man on Stretcher After an injury to the cervical spineSome other symptoms of C1 and C2 injuries include;

  • Headaches
  • Nervousness
  • Insomnia 
  • Head Colds
  • High Blood Pressure 
  • Migraine
  • Nervous Breakdowns
  • Amnesia
  • Chronic Tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Sinus trouble 
  • Allergies
  • Pain around the Eyes
  • Earache
  • Fainting Spells
  • Certain Cases of Blindness
  • Crossed Eyes 
  • Deafness 
C3 subluxation symptoms:

The C3 vertebra is slightly less fragile than the first two, but severe injuries can still occur if badly damaged.

Individuals who experience spinal cord damage in this area usually suffer from limited mobility with the "flexion and extension" movement of the neck.

The symptoms of C3 vertebra damage, can range from severe to potentially unnoticeable, for example:

  • Limited range of motion
  • Loss of diaphragm function
  • Requirement of a ventilator for breathing
  • Paralysis in arms, hands, torso, and legs
  • Trouble controlling bladder and bowel function
  • Neuralgia
  • Neuritis
  • Acne or Pimples
  • Eczema
C4 subluxation symptoms: 

Damage to the C4 vertebra directly affects the diaphragm, which means victims of severe spinal cord injury in this area often require constant support in order to breathe and maintain healthy oxygen levels. 

Some of the symptoms individuals will suffer from after a  of a spinal cord injury to the C4 vertebra include:

  • Loss of diaphragm function
  • Potential requirement of a ventilator for breathing
  • Limited range of motion
  • Paralysis in arms, hands, torso, and legs
  • Trouble controlling bladder and bowel function
  • Hay Fever
  • Runny Nose
  • Hearing Loss
  • Adenoids
C5 subluxation symptoms:
Chiropractor explaining Cervical subluxation symptoms

C5 vertebral damage does not usually cause paralysis or the inability to breathe or speak on one's own.

However, some symptoms of a C5 spinal cord injury can still be traumatic and take time to heal and recover fully. 

Some of the most common symptoms patients experience are:

  • Difficulty or Weak Breathing 
  • Torso, Leg, Wrists, or Hand Paralysis
  • Paralysis on One or Both Sides
  • Laryngitis 
  • Hoarseness
  • Sore Throat 
  • Vocal Cord Issues
  • Bicep, Deltoid, and Upper Arm Muscle Restrictions
C6 subluxation symptoms:

One of the most common symptoms people experience after suffering a C6 injury is a similar to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Victims will feel a numbness or tingling in their fingers, hands, or arms.

Additionally, pressure on the C6 nerve can cause problems with muscle control in the forearms and wrists. 

Symptoms of a C6 vertebra injury can be experienced on one or both sides of the body. 

The patient may also experience the following:

  • Potential leg, torso, and hand paralysis
  • No ability to control nerves in the wrist
  • Lack of bladder and bowel function
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Stiff Neck
  • Pain in Upper Arm
  • Tonsillitis
  • Chronic Cough
  • Croup
C7 subluxation symptoms:
Man with pain in traps and shoulders from a cervical subluxation

The last vertebra in the cervical spine is the C7.

Individuals who have suffered injuries to this vertebra can potentially experience more severe symptoms like, numbness or tingling in the hands and fingers. 

However, some more common and less serious conditions as a result of an injury to this area include,

  • Burning sensation in the arms and shoulders 
  • Lack of dexterity in the hands and fingers 
  • Limited control of the bladder and bowels
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Bursitis 
  • Colds
  • Thyroid Conditions

Infographic Depicting the Cervical Spine & Corresponding Injury Symptoms

What Causes a Cervical Spine Injury? 

There are many potential causes of a spinal injury, but below is a list of the most common our accident injury doctors see and treat on a daily basis.

  • Slip and Fall Accident
  • Car, Truck, or Motorcycle Accidents
  • Tumors
  • Infections and Diseases
  • Birth Defects or Congenital Abnormalities
  • Trauma
  • Sport Injuries

If you are in pain after sustaining a cervical spine injury call the professional chiropractic doctors at Arrowhead Clinic today.

Our doctors specialize in helping victims of accidents that sustain an injury to the neck and back.

 Click on the link below for a free consultation with the doctor. 

Free Chiropractic Consultation


Next Blog: Getting Rid of Headaches Once and For All

Topics: Accident Injury Doctor


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