The symptoms and treatment of instability of the cervical spine

Methods of treatment and rehabilitation exercises for instability of the cervical spine

The cervical spine consists of seven vertebrae. Of the whole spine it is the most mobile, which explains the possibility of turning, movements or head tilts.

Through the processes of the vertebrae that have holes, are vertebral artery. It is thanks to him is a full-fledged nourishment of the brain important nutrients, oxygen and trace elements.

In the presence of any damage and inflammatory processes that can affect the cervical vertebrae, the ability to fully supply will stop.

Such disease is very dangerous because health neck you need to follow carefully.

General information about the disease

The occurrence of excessive mobility in the spine suggests the development of cervical instability. A similar situation may occur in the event of displacement, excessive range of motion of the vertebrae or too loose degree movements.

Complicates early detection of the disease the absence of symptoms of pain, and instability are often diagnosed only by carrying out x-ray.

Mobility and stability

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The spine includes these properties. The stability required to maintain the balance between discs and vertebrae, preventing their deformation, and prevent the possible development of pain during any physical activity.

The stability of individual elements of the spine will depend on this criterion as a whole.

This criterion, mobility of the spine will have a more individual, as it all depends on the structure of the vertebrae, the disc between them, as well as several other factors.The mobile Department and is considered to be cervical.

The causes that provoke instability

Reasons that could cause the development of instability in the cervical spine, can include the following:

  • Injury. It can be both mechanically and received in the accident;
  • Innate characteristic;
  • Osteochondrosis of the spine;
  • Surgery.


Instability of the cervical spine has the following most common symptoms:

  • Pain. Can significantly increase after exercise;
  • Deformity of the spine, which may even be visible from the side;
  • Limitations in the ability of neck movement;
  • Feeling of tension in the muscles of the cervical.


Violation of functional instability of the cervical spine may be of the following types:

  1. Post-traumatic. The development of the disease begins after a dislocation, fracture or severe impact.

    In this case, if the displacement of vertebral disc came less than 2 mm, the prediction can be considered very favorable. If you increase this number, the instability is able to progress further. The peculiarity of this type of violation is that it can occur at any age. The children post-traumatic instability most often occurs due to the low professionalism of midwives.

  2. Degenerative. This type of instability manifests itself under the influence of low back pain. A fabric disk is fragmented, it is also possible the dissociation of the fibrous ring. This may subsequently lead to a decrease in the fixing ability of the discs. Degenerative processes may be caused by a decrease in sufficient enrichment of trace elements cartilage, or in case of violation of the statics of the spine. In both cases, the mobility of CDs and the shift increases when exposed to additional loads.
  3. The postoperative. Usually occurs after laminectomy, because this has a serious impact on the stability of the spine. After bilateral surgery, oporosposobnosti may deteriorate even after long time. Deterioration provoke excessive strain, hernia recurrences, as well as the development of instability in the spine, where previously carried out the intervention. To get rid of the disease can only be re-operation, much more complex than the first.
  4. Dysplastic. Instability of this kind occurs with signs of dysplasia, which are usually found in the body of the vertebra. In the lower spine the cause of disease can be congenital feature. In other departments dysplasia can also occur due to underdevelopment of the internal structure of the vertebrae. As they grow up and change they keep this anomalous, which in adulthood may cause not only a manifestation of instability, but also of spondylosis and degenerative disc disease.

Diagnostic methods

The diagnosis of instability in the cervical spine is performed through the survey, x-ray tests, and some neurological manifestations.

Radiographic manifestations

On radiographs become especially noticeable instability. Often make two shots, the first of which the human head is in an upright position, and the second is bent forward.

In the first case, a noticeable SAG more than usual. The second spine is also curved, but outwards. In some cases, it also becomes apparent displacement of the odontoid process, as the jaw bone not superimposed on it.

Neurological manifestations

If instability of the spine there is a noticeable narrowing of the vertebral canal, as a result you may experience the following symptoms. They can be grouped into three conventional categories:

  1. Radicular. This includes symptoms such as sciatica, lumbago, cervicalgia;
  2. Spinal. Paresis, twitching, weakness or numbness of limbs;
  3. Neurodystrophic. When this happens you will lose any muscle, becomes pronounced weakness, may occur periarthritis, cardinal syndrome.

Treatment of pathology

Measures of treatment of instability of the cervical spine can be divided into methods that do not include surgical treatment and, in fact, surgery.

Conservative treatment

This type of exposure to the disease is the most acceptable. Usually need to resort to surgical interference is not, as conservative treatment yields excellent results.

In General, the impact on the cervical not particularly different from other methods of treating those diseases that are associated with the spine.

It is possible to allocate a specific list of measures that will help to cope with the disease:

  • Wearing growdigital hard or soft type;
  • Procaine blockade, which you should during exacerbation of pain;
  • Taking anti-inflammatory drugs non-steroidal type;
  • Physical therapy (Phono — electrophoresis, laser irradiation and so on);
  • The massage therapy. In addition to the common set of massage can be performed as cupping, acupuncture, acupressure and other types;
  • Reflexology. Can be carried out through acupuncture, cryotherapy, magnetic therapy, and many other types;
  • Physiotherapy;
  • Traction of the spine.


Surgery for instability of the cervical spine is necessary only in particularly serious cases, when the disease began to affect not only the spine, but also on the functioning of internal organs.

Surgical operation in the following cases:

  • The appearance on the soil instability subluxation;
  • A short period of remission and frequent exacerbations;
  • Individual intolerance, which can occur from some conservative methods of treatment;
  • Persistent symptoms, which can be caused by more serious problems. These include, for example, a herniated disc, compression of nerve fibers and more.

Cervical vertebra is usually fixed with a special plate that helps to prevent further displacement, but allowing you to retain mobility.

During the operation posterior fusion plate is usually fixed on the back. It is important to note that the possibility of resorption of the graft or the appearance of the joint, called about.

A set of exercises

During the treatment period of instability wearing a special collar is required, however, during this period the mobility of the cervical significantly reduced, and the muscle without having sufficient training, weaken.

In case of instability of the cervical spine is needed more than ever specific exercises that will restore all the functions and further strengthen the joints.

It is best to run the complex under the supervision of a specialist, but you can choose exercises that will be easy to do at home:

  1. The first exercise is performed using, for example, a rubber bandage. It should be folded into several layers, and after one side mounted on the wall. Second, the resulting hole needed to thread the head and leave the gum at the level of the forehead. Must sit exactly in this case should be slow deviation to the side and forward.
  2. Turning his head to the side. If the neck will slightly crackle, then nothing. But if the pain is severe and crunch very clear, that this is a clear reason to seek further advice.
  3. «Rolling» the head is an exercise in which the chin is pressed to his chest and gradually rolling on it. Much to tip the head back is not recommended. Coaches are advised to try to stretch the top upward, pulling the neck and slightly tilt your head back.
  4. Divorce hands is not particularly intense. Most suitable slow pace. Hands should be put on the belt, lift up the shoulders, and then put them back. In this case, the elbows should try to get in touch. Of course, this do not work, but after exercise it feels light in the joints as the neck and shoulder region.

Video: neurologist says about the instability of the spine

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