In today’s world of computers, cell phones, and an increasing trend towards deskwork, excess dural tension is perhaps the condition I see most often in my chiropractic office. However, it often underlies more prominent symptoms and is less recognizable given it’s wide-ranging effects.
The dura is our deepest layer of connective tissue and surrounds the brain, spinal cord and our cerebro-spinal fluid. It lines the inside of the cranium, the spinal canal of cervical vertebrae C1 to C3, and also attaches to the tailbone (coccyx). Some muscles of the jaw attach to the sphenoid bone which is lined by the dura inside the cranium.
When certain muscles become too tight, or the cranial bones are not moving properly (with respiration), then dural tension increases. Falling on the tailbone may also cause a compaction injury (see earlier post) and increase tension by not allowing the tailbone to move correctly. All of our cranial and peripheral nerves pass through it; and therefore it can cause blurry vision, dizziness, balance issues, tinnitus (ringing in the ears)–as well as muscle weakness almost anywhere in the body. Additionally, one muscle in the spine attaches directly to it and is a little known yet major cause of headaches. Insidious pelvic and low back issues can also result as the body tries to twist into a better position to reduce dural tension.
Treatment can be very difficult if one does not understand the condition or know how to test for it, but once properly identified is easily resolved over a few sessions. If you live in the Greater Vancouver area and have been frustrated by ongoing symptoms that never fully resolve, I suggest making an appointment. I have also posted more summaries regarding other difficult to resolve health issues for your convenience.