What Is Cervicocranial Syndrome?

Cervicocranial syndrome is a cluster of symptoms that are believed to be caused by instability and misalignment in the cervical vertebrae (neck bones).

The condition is also sometimes called Barré-Lieou syndrome or posterior cervical sympathetic syndrome. Cervicocranial syndrome can include a wide range of symptoms. They include:

  • Headache
  • Neck pain
  • Sinus congestion
  • Facial pain
  • Ear pain
  • Vertigo (dizziness or loss of balance)
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Disturbed vision
  • Hoarseness and loss of voice
  • Clicking in the neck
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Pain at the carotid artery

What causes cervicocranial syndrome?

With cervicocranial syndrome, weak or injured ligaments in the neck cause the cervical vertebrae to become misaligned or unstable. That in turn puts pressure on the nerve cells that are located just in front of the neck bones. The result is the wide-ranging symptoms associated with the condition.

Sometimes cervicocranial syndrome arises from a sudden injury to the neck, such as may happen in a car accident or skiing accident. In other cases, it develops over time as a result of spending a lot of time hunched over work or developing arthritis. Sometimes it can be congenital, meaning you were born with the condition.

Treating cervicocranial syndrome

Healthcare practitioners have several options to relieve cervicocranial syndrome symptoms. They include:

  • Nonprescription pain medication, such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen.
  • Prescription medications, such as opioids.
  • Chiropractic manipulation.
  • Neck braces to help keep the neck in a stable position.
  • Nerve block injections.
  • Physical therapy.
  • Surgery.
  • Prolotherapy, which is an alternative therapy that involves injecting the patient with natural substances. It is intended to trigger the body’s natural healing response and help repair tendons and ligaments. It is sometimes combined with platelet-rich plasma treatment.

We find that some patients may do best with a combination of treatments.

If you are suffering from cervicocranial syndrome or other pain symptoms, please do not hesitate to call us. Located in Fort Mohave, we serve patients in Arizona, Nevada, and California. Dr. Benjamin Venger, our pain management expert, is here to help. Call us now at (928) 788-3333 or request an appointment online and don’t live another day with chronic pain!

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

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