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Articles > The Cervical Flu or Bizarre Symptoms Associated with Neck Trauma

The Cervical Flu or Bizarre Symptoms Associated with Neck Trauma

~ by Dr. Greg Anderson, DC

I think we can all understand that with neck trauma we can get neck and shoulder pain and stiffness. How about tendonitis of the shoulder, elbow and wrist? Yes, this is frequently associated with a neck problem. Why? It is because there is a causal connection between the nerves in the neck and tissues in the arm. Your neck nerves are being irritated (pinched) and they cause "weird" reactions in the tissue that they send their nerve impulses to. How about swelling of the fingers? How many of you have had swelling of the fingers following a neck injury and had no idea this could be directly related to the neck.

Numbness, tingling and burning in your arms, hands, head, face and tongue can also be due to a neck involvement. Again it is due to the complicated connection between the nerves in your neck and those areas. Weakness of your neck, arms, hands and even your legs can be due to your neck troubles. How many of you have dropped a cup of tea and burned yourself because it "just slipped out of my hand"?

Ear and eye disturbances are quite common following neck trauma. Blurring of vision is a frequent complaint. You may have had your eye glass prescription changed, but experienced no change in the condition. You may also notice that changing the position of your neck and head improves the condition. You may have an increase of tears in your eyes from time to time. You may complain of pain behind the eye or a sensation of the eye being pulled into the head or being pushed outward. Again it happens because of the intricate connection of nerves which go to the eyes from the neck. Falling from side to side, losing your balance, ringing or roaring in your ears and partial deafness can also be related to the nerves from the neck.

Shortness of breath is quite common due to tension in some of the respiratory muscles. And guess why? These muscles get their nerve supply from the neck. How about heart palpitations and tachycardia (this being a fast beat which can be irregular)? Yes indeed, a nerve from the neck supplies structures in the heart and diaphragm.

Other symptoms which complete the picture, are nausea, vomiting, low back and leg pain, "drop out" (attacks in which a person falls without any warning but does not lose consciousness), fainting and black outs. These may be due to irritation of the nerve roots, spinal cord or vertebral artery in the neck.

So what is the point of all this? Chiropractors are the best-trained and most knowledgeable health care providers when it comes to mechanical dysfunction in the neck as well as the rest of the spine. As you can now understand, symptoms from mechanical neck problems can occur just about anywhere in the body. Some chiropractors have coined the phrase "Cervical Flu to describe the syndrome of symptoms. People don't actually have the flu; they have nerve irritation in their neck.

See your family chiropractor, if you have had neck trauma or experience any of these symptoms.


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