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Physical Trauma and CCJ

Traumatic events such as motor vehicle accidents or a concussion(s) from sports can certainly affect or even damage/injure the ligaments (alar and transverse) at the craniocervical junction (CCJ).  (1,2). The alar and the transverse ligaments are core components of holding the skull and the neck, comprising the CCJ. Once the ligaments are compromised in function due to the traumatic events, the affected spine (C0, C1 and C2) can become subluxated (Upper Cervical Subluxation Complex; UCSC). CCJ is where the brain elongates to become the spinal cord. Any malpositioning of the C1 or C2 can potentially affect the adjacent structures therefore can develop a number of non-specific neurological symptoms or deficits.  


Most common symptoms and signs of the UCSC are headaches (Typically the Migraine headache), neck stiffness and restrictive sensation of the cervical motion especially the flexion/extension and the rotation of the cervical spine. 


If you have a history of a traumatic event and suffering from the headache or such neurological symptoms as; tinnitus, vertigo, dizziness etc, please consider investigating your craniocervical junction integrity. 


  1. Krakenes, Jostein MD, PhD*; Kaale, Bertel R. MT† Magnetic Resonance Imaging Assessment of Craniovertebral Ligaments and Membranes After Whiplash Trauma, Spine: November 15, 2006 - Volume 31 - Issue 24 - p 2820-2826 doi: 10.1097/01.brs.0000245871.15696.1f 

  2. Roberto Izzo, Teresa Popolizio, Rosario Francesco Balzano, Anna Simeone, Roberto Gasparotti, Tommaso Scarabino, Mario Muto, Imaging of cranio-cervical junction traumas, European Journal of Radiology, Volume 127, 2020, 108960,ISSN 0720-048X,

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