Post-traumatic stress, or PTSD, is a mental health disorder affecting more than 13 million Americans. Post-traumatic stress is developed from a shocking, scary, or dangerous life experience. Certain triggers can cause the person to have involuntary, split-second changes in their body to help avoid or defend themselves.
Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
There are four different types of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. These symptoms can start within one month after the traumatic experience or sometimes occur years after.
- Random recurrences of distressing memories regarding the traumatic experience
- Flashbacks of the traumatic experience or reliving the experience
- Severe emotional distress or having physical reactions towards something that reminds them of the experience
- Nightmares or unsettling dreams about the traumatic experience
- May try to avoid thinking or speaking about the experience
- Avoids places, people, or activities that remind them of the experience
Thinking and Mood Changes
- Hard on oneself or develops negative thoughts toward self, other people, or thinks negatively of the world
- Feeling no emotion (emotionally numb)
- Finds it difficult to feel positive emotions
- Issues with memory, such as not remembering significant parts of the traumatic experience
- Feels detached from family and friends
- Not hopeful or looking toward the future
- Having difficulty in maintaining close relationships
- Lacking interest in things they once enjoyed
Physical and Emotional Changes
- Difficulty sleeping
- An overwhelming sense of shame or guilt
- Irritable, angry outbursts or shows aggressive behavior
- Lack of concentration
- Self-destructive behavior, including speeding while driving or over drinking
- Always on guard for danger
- Easily startled or frightened
Children may also re-enact their traumatic experience through play, become clingy with an adult, develop an inability to speak, wet the bed after learning how to use the bathroom, or have horrible dreams associated with the experience.
Causes of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
When a person experiences an event that causes shock, fear, horror, or a sense of helplessness, they may develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Below are a few examples that can cause post-traumatic stress disorder:
- Victim of crime
- Terrorist attack
- Loss of a loved one (this does not have to involve violence to be a shocking experience)
- Personal assault
- Serious accidents
- Military confrontation
- Natural disasters
- Life-threatening diagnosis
Whether a person develops PTSD or not depends on the person’s natural response. Brain scans have shown the hippocampus appears different in those who have post-traumatic stress disorder than those who don’t.
The hippocampus belongs to the limbic system and is located under the cerebral cortex (allocortical) and in primates under the medial temporal lobe. The limbic system is the area of the brain that is connected to our memories, emotions, and motivation. The hippocampus, in the limbic system, is primarily associated with memory and helps consolidate information from short-term memory to long-term memory and spatial memory.
Can Upper Cervical Help Those with PTSD?
Upper cervical puts a heavy focus on understanding the brain stem and how a misalignment changes the brain function, bodily functions, and the entire nervous system of the person. In the upper cervical area of your spine, there are two bones, the Atlas and the Axis, that support the neck and protect the most significant part of your body: the brain stem.
The brain stem controls your automatic bodily functions such as heart rate, temperature, digestion, blood flow, and allows your brain and body communication to stay regulated. Any interference with this communication can create negative impacts on your brain function and central nervous system, changing the way your body takes in information and reacts.
Having pressure applied to the brain stem from misalignment can also cause intracranial pressure and reduce your central nervous system function. When you do not have proper cerebrospinal fluid drainage, it can cause pressure on the brain tissue and affect your brain health.
As for the signals sent to and from the brain and body through the brain stem, these signals help your body heal, repair, and keep itself “in order”. Misalignments cause mixed signals to be sent out and confuse your system, throwing your brain and body out of balance and will cause stress and tension throughout the body. If left untreated, the condition of the body will worsen over time and the brain to body mixed communication will continue to work against your system.
Since an upper cervical misalignment can apply pressure onto your brain stem and cause it to become disrupted, it is important to correct the misalignment and realign your upper cervical area. If your brain to body communication is not corrected, the brain and body imbalance will never be corrected.
When adjustments are made, the top two bones release pressure off the brain stem and allow your body to receive proper brain to body signals. Once these proper signals are sent out, the body will undergo many changes to begin healing and repairing damages.
This will also regulate the amount of blood flow to the brain so it can have the right amount of oxygen it needs to properly function. In addition, with the pressure off the nervous system as well, your central nervous system will begin to have proper cerebrospinal fluid drainage and improve your brain health.
Depending on the severity of the misalignment, more adjustments may be needed; however, unlike medication or surgery, the body heals and repairs damages in upper cervical treatments without outside toxins or unnatural interference. Patients who have had upper cervical treatments have reported drastic changes in their physical and mental health as soon as after one adjustment.
If you or a loved one is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, an upper cervical adjustment might surprise you in helping you not only dissipate post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms but correct the brain and body communication to improve mental health. Upper cervical adjustments are very precise and gentle, so they are safe for any age and provide you with a natural way to heal.