Instability of the cervical vertebrae: main causes and symptoms

Instability of the cervical vertebrae is a condition in which there is a violation of some correlations between the vertebrae of the cervical or pathological immobility. Treatment in this case performed operatively or conservatively. In addition, patients dealing with instability of the cervical vertebrae, often recommend special exercises to get rid of unpleasant and painful sensations in the neck.

General information on the stability and mobility of the cervical vertebrae

Нестабильность шейных позвонков: основные причины и признакиThe human spine is characterized by mobility and stability. In this case, stability is the ability of the spine to maintain the correct proportions between the vertebrae. Under proper proportioned here we need to understand those who are able to protect the spine from deformation and to prevent the emergence of unpleasant feelings. The basic and most important stabilizing elements of the spine are:

  • Capsule of the intervertebral joints.
  • Purposee -.
  • Ligament and the fibrous ring.
  • Instability of the cervical spine occurs when violations of the above elements. In each of the segments consists of 2 vertebra. They are connected by the intervertebral disc. The segments are the support complexes necessary to stabilize.

    In accordance with the Holdsworth, the human spine consists of 2 supporting complexes: the back and front. So, in front includes front and rear longitudinal ligament, it also features front and back pieces of the fibrous ring, the front and back halves of the vertebra. In the rear includes nedostacha and interspinal ligaments, capsules, etc.

    In accordance with Dennis, the human spine is «going to» already of the 3 reference systems. The front is described as in the above classification. The rear addition is divided into the middle and front.

    Instability of the cervical spine caused due to several factors. Directly on the mobility of the affected anatomy and the size of the disk between the vertebrae, the strength of the structures responsible for motility.

    This division is the most active. Therefore, instability of the cervical spine gives its owner a lot of problems and inconveniences.

    Main causes and symptoms of the disease

    Нестабильность шейных позвонков: основные причины и признаки

    Neck pain occurs because of compression of nerve endings

    In determining instability, whether cervical or problems of the lumbar spine, takes into account indicators such as the displacement of the vertebrae. It is determined during x-ray examination. The signs of the disease are different. In some cases, the offset does not cause the patient much inconvenience. If a person has the instability of the lumbar or cervical part, the painful sensations will inevitably arise.

    In the case of vertebral instability symptoms is often manifested in various violations of the bearing capacity of the human spine. This violation occurs under the influence of various external loads and due to the loss of the spine’s ability to keep and maintain the ratio between the vertebrae at a certain level.

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    The instability of the lumbar and cervical parts have a number of common symptoms. Patients often have pain, diagnosed neurological nature, there is muscle tension and limitation. The problems with whiplash, as well as the instability of the lumbar, can lead to serious complications. Among the typical complications, you can highlight the irritation of the sheath of the spinal cord, appearance of crosses, narrowing of the channel. Often painful sensations appear after different types of physical activity.

    Most often the instability observed in the cervical and lumbar spine. As a rule, to the emergence of instability leads to abnormal anatomy of the vertebrae in this Department. In addition, the instability occurs as a result of osteoarthritis, surgery, various injuries, etc.

    Especially need to be careful to pediatric patients. Instability of spinal segments occurs at a different frequency, which depends not only on the localization of the spine, and the age of the patient. Thus, in children, the amplitude of the mobility of higher than for adult patients.

    The reason is that the children in one of the segments of their spine there is an intervertebral disc. And quite often due to the instability of the upper division occurs in children with acute torticollis.

    Existing types of instability of the cervical

    Before you begin treatment, you need to set a number of important points, one of which is the type of instability.

    The types of instability:

  • Post-traumatic. Appears because of various injuries, including post-partum. In addition, it leads fractures, dislocations and perelomova.
  • Degenerative. Is one of the complications of osteoarthritis. The disease destroys the fibrous ring and other important items, the result that appears instability.
  • The postoperative. Appears when surgery was damaged the integrity of the reference complexes.
  • Dysplastic. Appears at patients with displastic syndrome. The symptoms of this type of deviation observed in the body of the spine, disc, joints and ligaments.

  • The main features of conservative treatment

    Нестабильность шейных позвонков: основные причины и признакиInformation on any treatments, exercises are given for informational purposes only. Any disease of the spine are extremely serious and require constant medical supervision. Do not self-medicate is very dangerous.

    The treatment of such deviations in most cases begins with the use of conservative methods. In the case of vertebral instability, cervical the mainstay of treatment is fibrosis of the intervertebral disc. This treatment in most cases is assigned to people with a low degree of deviation, which is not accompanied by painful sensations.

    Such methods of treatment:

  • Mode with a special gentle action.
  • Fixation of the vertebrae in the desired position by using either soft or hard holder. Through such devices the progressive displacement of the vertebrae is stopped.
  • The use of anti-inflammatory drugs non-steroidal type.
  • Novocaine blockade for patients with exacerbation of pain.
  • Therapeutic exercises and massage.
  • Various physiotherapy techniques.
  • Traction of the spine.
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    How is surgery?

    In some cases, conservative treatment will have no effect. And the only possible solution to the problem in this situation is decompression of neural structures. Operation allows you to decompress nerves and stabilize the spine.

    Нестабильность шейных позвонков: основные причины и признакиSurgery is indicated in the following cases:

  • If 1-1. 5 month of treatment pain has not disappeared.
  • In the presence of persistent symptoms, triggered by nerve compression, herniated disc and other typical factors.
  • Subluxation due to instability.
  • Patients with individual intolerance of conservative methods of therapy.
  • If there is a frequent passing for a short time the pain.
  • When the operation is carried out fixation of the cervical vertebrae on a special plate. Thanks to this plate, they will not be displaced.This plate imposes certain restrictions on the mobility of the neck. If the plate is mounted on the back, sometimes there are some side effects: the graft is resorbed or in the postoperative period is detected about the joint.

    The preferred method of surgical treatment with fewer side effects is the fixation of adjacent vertebrae from the front. The advantages of this method include:

  • There is a small risk of trauma and the short duration of the recovery period after surgery.
  • Performing anterior decompression and open vpravlenie.
  • Reduction of nerve compression by increasing the distance between the vertebrae.
  • Addressing the risk of return of herniated discs.
  • The decision about the rationality of the use of any methods of surgical treatment should be determined by doctor. Before that, he conducts a number of surveys and tests. It is important that the patient throughout followed the recommendations of a specialist.


    In patients who have for a long time to wear special collars, significantly reduced mobility of the neck. To strengthen the joints your doctor may recommend to do special exercises. Do not do following exercises without the advice of a doctor, so you risk even more hurt himself.

    It is best to perform these exercises under medical supervision in a specially designed simulators. However, such a possibility is not for every patient. The problem is that to perform these exercises in most cases occur within 6 months, and to do various maintenance treatments a few years.

    There are available solutions. However, before their use should consult a doctor. Without prior consultation and approval of all professional, you do this entirely at your own risk. So, gymnastics can be made with your own hands, using, for example, spring from pre-expander.

    Нестабильность шейных позвонков: основные причины и признакиWill fit other convenient and suitable system for head fixation. For example, the spring can be replaced with rubber (but not elastic) bandage. Are sold in any drugstore. Fold the bandage in 2 times, and then four times. Tie the ends of the bandage with one hand with twine. In result, you will have a double-layered rubber ring. Attach the associated end of the wall at the height of his eyes. 2nd end of the bandage you will need to clasp your head on your forehead. When gymnastics sit confidently and steadily.

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    Exercises are done in 3 sets. Between each of them need to take a break for 1-3 minutes. The number of movements and the force of the tension of the bandage pick so that you no longer have the strength to run 4-th approach. Do exercises for several weeks, gradually increasing the load.

    For example, you make 10 oscillations. You’ve already done 3 sets, tried 4th and was able to do only a few repetitions. Therefore, a few weeks you will need to do on such a load. And when you’re able to do completely and the 4th approach, it is necessary to increase the load by increasing the number of repetitions in 1 approach.

    When you can do 20-25 reps in each of the 4 approaches, add the loop in the rubber bandage (or 1 spring, depending on what device you are using). So train for endurance your muscles, not their strength.

    In the case of exercise in which you perform head movements in different directions, the load can also make a difference. Check that when you exercise used spring has always been tight. Do each repetition smoothly and slowly. It is important that the head and neck exercises move together. Specific exercises should be discussed with your doctor. He can choose the best program for your case specifically.

    The doctor selects a suitable method of treatment of this disease of the spine, taking into account its type. For example, in the presence of severe post-traumatic instability of the vertebrae with a subluxation will need to execute a complex intervention.

    In this case, the use of different methodologies is an added advantage. As already noted, the task of choosing appropriate methods of treatment can be charged exclusively by a qualified technician. Be healthy!