Cervical Spine

Spinal Decompression for Cervical SpineYour neck consists of the top seven vertebrae in your spine. The bony parts on your cervical spine surround and protect the spinal cord, which are the nerves that run from your brain down to your tailbone. At each level in your cervical spine, there is a disc (cushion) between the vertebral bodies, and joints on the right and left side of the spine, which help your spine move. As well, nerves come out from the spinal cord at each level and run to the skin and muscles upper body and arms.

What is different in your cervical spine than the rest of your spine?
There are two arteries called your vertebral arteries which travel through special holes in the cervical vertebrae up to the brain to bring oxygen and blood to certain parts of the brain.

Reasons for cervical pain:

Patients commonly complain of neck pain; muscle pain and tension; nerve pain (referred pain) running into the arms; numbness and tingling into the hands; headaches; and stiffness. There are many structures in the cervical spine that can cause cervical pain. Cervical pain can occur from poor posture, resulting in neck tension and headaches. Straining to lift something or being involved in an accident can strain the soft tissue, joints and discs of your spine, causing a disc to bulge or herniate. Turning suddenly to look at something can strain a muscle or lock a joint and cause severe pain and loss of movement (torticollis). You may have some degenerative changes or arthritis, which will cause stiffness and loss of movement. If you have degenerative changes of the bones and joints in your cervical spine, the nerves in your neck can be pinched, causing severe arm and neck (cervical) pain. Degenerative change in your spine is a normal aging process; however; your involvement in certain sports, repetitive or heavy work may contribute to this process occurring sooner.

Cervical Pain Treatment:

There are many ways to treat cervical pain. Massage therapy can help with stiff muscles and tension headaches. Physiotherapy can help with stiff and short muscles, joint stiffness, and exercises for strengthening for your neck and to improve your posture. Joint manipulation by a chiropractor or physiotherapist can also be effective for joint stiffness, subluxed or locked joints. A very effective method of treatment for relieving cervical pain caused from a pinched nerve or a disc bulge or herniation is traction. Spinal decompression for your cervical spine is the leading traction type treatment as it is gentle and more specific. Spinal decompression tables can be programmed to the specific level in your cervical spine causing symptoms and decompression or traction is applied to that specific area. SpineMED is one of the leading tables for spinal decompression.