The cervical spine (neck) is made up of seven vertebra (bones) discs in between each vertebra, nerves, and many muscles and ligaments that provide movement and stabilization. An acute injury such as whiplash, a fall, or lifting heavy objects can cause pain, decreased range of motion and possibly headaches. Acute injuries can affect all structures in the spine from the vertebrae and corresponding joints to spinal muscles (strains) and ligaments (sprains), spinal nerves and discs (bulging or herniated). Chronic disorders can also affect the same structures of the spine but typically build up over time. Arthritic or degenerative changes to the spine that develop over time can predispose people to spinal disorders. These changes do not necessarily have to be painful; rather extraneous variables including our sitting/standing posture, sleeping posture, stress and/or other biomechanical faults can all lead to stress on these arthritic spinal areas eventually causing pain. At CPTC, we can treat all arthritic changes to the spine, and importantly, we look to identify the stressors that inflame these arthritic changes.
Another common symptom we treat is radiculopathy which is irritation of a nerve root resulting in altered sensation, pain and/or weakness radiating from the neck and into one arm or down toward the shoulder blade. It is important to realize that referred pain is a symptom of something that is CAUSING it. Disorders of the cervical spine, clavicle or first rib, shoulder and cervical muscles can all create these symptoms. It is our job to identify your source of referred pain and treat it.
We are also trained to treat all post-surgical spinal conditions following appropriate tissue healing parameters and the referring physician’s rehabilitation guidelines or protocol.
Depending on your individual needs, your treatment plan may include a wide variety of interventions, such as: joint mobilizations of the spine, soft tissue mobilizations to surrounding muscles, modalities (electrical stimulation, ultrasound, or traction if indicated), exercises for strengthening and/or stretching, and posture education. We can also assist with a referral to a local Certified Biofeedback Specialist for stress reduction if needed.