Cervical instability - feel like I'm running out of options

Hi everybody and happy holidays,

I posted on this forum a number of months ago regarding my issue with cervical instability (neck pain, migraines, nausea, left arm nerve pain, dizziness, postural tachycardia). In 15 months i dont feel like I've made any decent improvements and the symptoms are debilitating at times. I've consulted neurologists and neurosurgeons with no answers, and it feels like no medical professionals here in Australia recognise cervical instability or take it seriously if nothing major shows up on a scan. 

I've been having NUCCA chiropractic since March, and I initially had results but the alignments do not hold longer than a few days anymore. I'm feeling deflated and feel like options are dwindling. 

Does anyone suffer from cervical instability that hasn't responded to NUCCA? What other things have helped? Has anyone tried Prolotherapy?

Any guidance with this very concerning condition is much appreciated 




  • Hi Kristy

    I have similar symptoms, the neck/nerve/arm pain was due to extended head forward posture and probab;lly some very stressful events at the time, but then i had a heart ablation surgery (to correct tachycardia) when i had not fully recovered from the neck / nerve issue. I woke from the surgery very anxious and dizzy. this was April 2019 and i still have these symptoms. I began NUCCA treatment 2 monts ago with no improvement.  I was hoping it was the answer.

    the neck arm pain i understand and may need surgery if i cannot rehab my neck through physical therapy, but no one can explain the dizziness yet. They claim anxiety. I just dont know which came first, the anxity casing dizziness, or the dizziness causing anxiety. I felt the head position during intubation at sugery may have caused my atlas sublixation, but as mentioned, I have not seen an improvement yetfrom NUCCA.


  • Hi @wheelsup, I'm sorry to hear about your symptoms and the tachycardia, and not getting relief from NUCCA. I feel your frustration, I hoped NUCCA would help me too. I initially had good results from it where i held my alignment for a month and I felt like my head was on straight for the first time. that was in April last year and I haven't had those positive results since with the alignments.

    I occasionally get episodes of postural tachycardia, and the feeling my heart is beating faster than it should . I think  it's because the Instability in the neck affects the brainstem which  controls heart rate via the vagus nerve. The tachycardia is very scary. 

    Many doctors don't acknowledge or understand cervical instability. Im hoping there are options out there to fix this 

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  • Kristy - I'm from the U.S. here it often feels like insurance companies determine the level of medical care.  I fought for medical intervention for over three years after being diagnosed with cervical instability.  After ten second opinions, being hospitalized four days with stroke symptoms and another time four days with false positive test results for a heart attack, in addition to losing my job and a resulting permanent spinal cord injury, I finally got an ACDF surgery to correct the "gross cervical instability". 

    The neurosurgeon refused to explain the difference between cervical instability and gross cervical instability.  After the fact, I checked with a lawyer about going after the insurance company for damages to find out that I has missed the 90 day appeal window where I had been denied a diagnostic test requested by the neurosurgeon.  So by my state's law, I had no recourse against the insurance company. 

    From my experience, when dealing with a complex issue, it is often better to go to a regional/national hospital that specializes in complex spine issues.  I regret that I didn't do that years ago.  I've been dealing with complex cervical issues for over 20 years.  When I finally this past year got referred to regional hospital that has multiple spine surgeons that specialize in complex issues, their response was, "if I could have only diagnosed you years ago".  Why was I not referred years ago?  That is a very frustrating question. 

    The point of my reply, you need to be a squeaky wheel and keep pestering the spine doctors and sometimes that includes doctors at multiple hospitals.  At least that is what it feels like here in the U.S. 

  • I get the feeling that no mdoctors can understand simple issues let alone complex ones.  I think the doctors need to be in our positions. I still deal with lack of balance and heart ebat feeling ove rmy whole body...the anxiety we feel is caused by the symptoms, not the other way arouund. for two years I have gotten used to navigating my way through life feeling like I will faint and fall and walking like a durnken sailor. Docs say I am perfectly fine.---not sure what to think since even the therapists think I am fine---the doctros dont like to hear that since the moment they cannot help you they ge frustrated and want to blame it on psychosomatic issues.  get your chins up and lose the fear of the symptoms...this tends to help me mentally, while the symptoms persist I show no reaction to them :)

  • dianenodianeno doncasterPosts: 35

    Hi. I'm new to head neck issues have occtipical neuralgia 

    From what some of you say regarding the tachycardia it's very interesting as I have this also, so basically instability can be to blame in the neck?

    Sorry to hear the pain story's hope you all find some relief

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