Symptoms of Craniocervical Instability

The brain stem is an important part of the brain. It connects the rest of your brain to the spinal cord and it sends signals from your brain to the rest of your body. It controls all automatic functions in the body, such as breathing, heart rate, temperature, digesting, blood pressure and much more. Also, in the cervical spine are running a lot of cranial nerves that control other functions in the human body. Cranial nerves arise from the cervical region of the spinal cord.

We can see why those with even minor Cervical Instability have unique symptoms, so while the patient may feel something is specifically wrong with their heart or lungs it’s potentially a problem with their upper cervical spine.

Craniocervical Instability may lead to irritation or even deformation of the brainstem, spinal cord and cerebellum. If the brainstem and/or spinal cord gets affected by cervical misalignment and instability in the cervical spine, patients tend to get many debilitating symptoms, such as dizziness, vertigo, swaying, tinnitus, sensitivity to loud sounds, vision changes, and seizures. This makes patients disabled and unable to function. In some patients it can cause vascular problems in case there is a compression of the veins and arteries in the cervical spine, which primarily causes pressure headaches.

  • Tingling and numbness
  • Facial tinglings and pain
  • Burning sensations
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of balance
  • Loss of coordination
  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • Downward nystagmus
  • Tinnitus 
  • Pulsatile tinnitus
  • Hearing loss
  • Vision loss
  • Vision loss
  • Eye pain
  • Neck pain
  • Headache
  • Heavy head, “bobble-head”
  • Pressure headache
  • Sleep apnea
  • Syncope (fainting)
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Muscle twitching
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Memory loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Heat intolerance
  • Digestive problems
  • Low blood pressure
  • Tachycardia (rapid heart rate)
  • Heart palpitations 
  • Orthostatic intolerance
  • Gag reflux
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • And more

Rachael about her symptoms


In this video Rachael is talking about the symptoms she is experiencing. Some of her symptoms are extreme neck pain, heavy head, weird sensations, vision loss, nausea, gastroparesis, pressure headaches.