What is CCJ instability (CCI)?
CCJ instability has numerous names including cranio-cervical instability (CCI), cranio-cervical syndrome, the Syndrome of Barre Lieou, upper cervical instability, and others. The head is held onto the neck with strong ligaments. When these ligaments are injured or damaged or just loose due to congenital problems (like Ehler-Danlos Syndrome which can cause stretchy ligaments), the head can become unstable on the upper neck. This is called CCJ instability.
This extra motion can lead to many different issues. These include early onset arthritis in the upper neck joints. This can cause local pain in the upper neck as well as headaches and/or dizziness and other symptoms. In addition, the natural position sense provided by this part of the neck can become abnormal, causing other parts of the body to become misaligned and painful. There are also many nerves in this area that can become irritated, which can cause headaches, neck pain, and other symptoms such as rapid heart rate (irritation of the vagus nerve). Finally, there are many muscles that have tendons that can be beat up over time, leading to tendinopathy and pain.
Common symptoms of CCJ instability
We see many different symptoms, but the more common ones are:
- Dizziness or imbalance
- Visual changes
- Neck pain
- Numbness and tingling
- Rapid heart rate
- Feeling spacey or disoriented
Your Alternative to Surgery
At the CCJ Institute, our proprietary, research-driven techniques allow us to concentrate your body’s own cells and place them in the precise area of injury to promote healing and to achieve optimal outcomes for patients suffering from Craniocervical instability.