• Phoenix Rising needs funds to operate: please consider donating to support PR

Alternative Non-Surgical Possibilities for Addressing CCI/AAI or Other Serious Neck Issues

pattismith

Senior Member
Messages
2,747
Likes
5,162
I use an inversion table. It is helpful and i don’t get the rebound effect I get with traction, so maybe it’s like gentler traction applied more evenly? Only downside is if you don’t use some kind of harness it will fuck up your ankles
@BadBadBear

I plan to buy one today and start immediatly. I am convinced that my fibromyalgia and my headaches are related to a kind of myelopathy (positional cervical cord compression and cervical instability). I removed my pillow which helps a bit, but I think the inversion table is the answer for me if i want to avoid surgery.
 
Messages
50
Likes
163
Could near infrared be if any help?

I’m really clutching at straws to try and add things into my routine that might help 🙈. I have the symptoms but no money for an MRI or surgery...
 

winterschlaf

sleeping satellite
Messages
83
Likes
174
Location
rural scotland
@Wayne

do you know this site?

https://treningogrehab.no/atlas-joint-instability-causes-consequences-solutions/

this PT seems really aware of craniocervical instability, internal jugular compression, chiari and intracranial hypertension!
Wow thank you for sharing this, @pattismith.

It's pretty dense but the sections I've been able to read and assimilate have given me a better insight into a whole range of symptoms I experience, and offer up some possible structural causes.

I expect many of us have dedicated quite some precious energy to researching around this subject - this article saves a lot of time and effort, imo.

Would that this PT were operating in my area!
 

Sushi

Moderation Resource Albuquerque
Messages
18,636
Likes
30,792
Location
Albuquerque
@BadBadBear

I plan to buy one today and start immediatly. I am convinced that my fibromyalgia and my headaches are related to a kind of myelopathy (positional cervical cord compression and cervical instability). I removed my pillow which helps a bit, but I think the inversion table is the answer for me if i want to avoid surgery.
Let us know how your inversion therapy goes. It looks like there is potential there. It would be nice to see the opinion of a PT who does traction therapy.
 

pattismith

Senior Member
Messages
2,747
Likes
5,162
Let us know how your inversion therapy goes. It looks like there is potential there. It would be nice to see the opinion of a PT who does traction therapy.
The idea was good, but I don't recommend it to nauseous people….unfortunately I am one of those, and I had to give up after some trials. It seems that my neck pain was mostly from muscle issue (exarcebated by hyperthyroidism), and it went away with just massages...
 

Wayne

Senior Member
Messages
3,769
Likes
5,583
Location
Ashland, Oregon
Cautionary Note: -- Fairly Long Post

I wrote quite a bit about my Atlas Profilax procedure in the first post in this thread, and how it worked so well for me. The thing about getting this done is that it's somewhat expensive (around $250-300), and since there are so few practitioners (in the U.S.), it's often not easily accessible.

For a long time this did not present a problem. I was told before getting it that it's usually a one-time "repositioning", after which it's relatively rare to need it done again. Fortunately, that was the case for me, and I was able to sustain my initial significant benefits for the next 10 years or so.

I then had the most unfortunate experience of experiencing many negative "side effects" from being given an anti-nausea medication (Promethazine, aka Phenergen) after going to the ER in February 2018 with extreme abdominal pain. I wrote about those experiences in the following thread: -- Need Advice - Having Very Adverse Reactions to Promethazine (Phenergan).

One of those side effects was some extreme contracting and spasming of my muscles and connective tissue. Parts of my body that I'd had relatively minor problems with all of a sudden became major problems. My right knee locked up, as did my left ankle, and right shoulder. My lower back became very fragile, as did my whole neck area.

A few months later, I was able to see my original AtlasProfilax practitioner, who told me my atlas had really gotten whacked out of position. He was able to get in back in position, and within a half hour or so, I felt like a different person, physically, emotionally, etc. Unfortunately, this only lasted about 2-3 days, before I was back to not doing nearly as well.

I was able to see my AP practitioner again about 6 weeks later. Since my initial AP had held about 10 years, I assumed it was still in place after only 6 weeks. Turns out, it wasn't. Apparently, the drug that had convulsed my muscles and tightened my ligaments had left some kind of residual effects in my body, so that my body could no longer sustain the atlas repositioning as it had done 10 years earlier.

This realization felt pretty devastating to me at the time, but it got me to thinking a little more deeply about the AP technique itself. I described it in detail in THIS POST, and a big component of it is to use a special kind of massage tool around the edges of the atlas--the boney ridge right behind the ears. This is to loosen the ligaments holding the atlas "out of place", so that the atlas can then "slide" back into place (and be held by two "pins" in the skull that normally give it a great deal of stability).

I decided to just start massaging those areas with my fingertips and thumbs on a regular basis, and see if I could get things to relax on my own. I was pretty shocked at how incredibly tender and painful those areas were. And how areas I thought had gotten worked out could become painful again after just a short period of time. It seemed like I was working through "layers" of tightness and constriction.

But after just a few days (4-5 or so), I started to notice a big difference in how I felt when I walked. It was no longer such a struggle to walk through the "normal" pain and "heaviness" in my neck. Which would often make me lean over, and put my hands on my knees until I was able to regain some semblence of functionality. The necessity of taking those kinds of breaks was pretty much gone after about a week.

I noticed another, almost "peculiar" thing. As things shifted significantly in my neck area, I was also concurrently feeling a notable difference in my pectoral muscles. They felt a little tender at first, but in very short order, felt quite a bit stronger. It was as if they had been "reactivated", and were now able to help hold my neck in place a little better. I also noticed that besides being able to walk more comfortably, I felt I was walking taller as well. Also... I noticed that within about a week, my endurance and resiliency while walking had literally doubled.

After only about a week or so of "self-massage" along the edges of the atlas, I felt I had gotten similar degrees of improvement to when I had the AtlasPROfilax adjustment done again after 10 years. I again thought I was likely set for a good amount of time, as AP adjustments usually stay in place. But similarly to what happened earlier, I discovered that if I didn't work on those areas behind my ears on a regular basis, I could easily lose my benefits.

Somewhat disconcertingly, I also discovered that even if I did do those massage techniques every day, I could still slip into a cycle where my neck and cranial stability were being challenged. So I've continued to look for ways to bolster my neck and cranial stability. I mentioned earlier in THIS POST that acupuncture in the brainstem area helps a lot. I also mentioned in my original post on this thread that applying topical DMSO regularly on my neck area(s) helps as well.

So, it's an ongoing challenge for me to maintain my improved degree of stability in my neck and cranial area(s). One other thing I've discovered is doing doing some thoracic extension exercises regularly helps me a lot. I thought for a while that if I did them 2-3x/week, it was probably all I needed to do. However, I was doing some work on a plumbing project this week that put my body in unusual position(s), and I decided to do those exercises daily to perhaps provide a little insurance for my body.

Yesterday was the first day in about a week I didn't do them, and I could definitely feel it in my body this morning that something wasn't quite up to snuff. So it appears to me at this time I need to do those thoracic extensions stretches daily, at least for a while yet. -- So many moving parts! :rolleyes: :)

To wrap up, I feel I've learned a number of good things to help stablize my neck area(s), but since it's often difficult for our bodies to incorporate even good things, it's probably best to start out slowly with doing just about anything. Starting them one at a time would also probably be a safe route to go. Of all the things I've mentioned, I'd suggest starting out with the self-massage behind the ears that mimics the AP adjustment. It feels very safe, and may give the fastest results.

Good luck to those who decide to give this a try! :thumbsup:
 
Last edited:

Wayne

Senior Member
Messages
3,769
Likes
5,583
Location
Ashland, Oregon
Thanks, @Wayne. Your experimentation (sadly, this is what it is, right?) benefits many of us. I am always grateful to reminded of the routes you have explored.
Hi @Jyoti -- I saw on another thread that you were still considering doing the AtlasPROfilax technique, and decided it was time for me to make an indepth post on how a person might do it for themselves. -- Thanks for the encouragement! :)