How to – Rehab for Upper Cervical Instability

In this blog we argue that the onset of dystonic symptoms is associated with the bio-mechanical impairment of the lower cranial – upper cervical area, TMJ disks displacement and cranial derangement. 

One common complication of cronic upper cervical distorsions and subluxation of the first 2 cervical vertebrae is the development of laxity or injury of the ligaments that keep the cervical vertebrae of the neck aligned and functional. When upper cervical instability occurs, it is common to develop asymmetric abnormalities in the tone of muscles of the neck (both weaknes and spasms) that can lock and perpetrate de cervical derangement.

Atlas and Axis Articulation, Muscles and the Transverse Ligament

The cervical spine is the top portion of the spine in the back of the neck. Some of the muscles that stabilize the neck are called: suboccipital, longus capitis, colli, multifidi, semispinalis cervicis and longissimus cervicis. The upper back and shoulder muscles, including the lower trapezius and the serratus anterior, are also important for spinal stabilization.

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The atlas is the first and top cervical vertebrae (C1), holding the head (occiput) and thus forms the atlanto-occipital joint (A-O). The second cervical vertebrae, is the axis, or C2. The atlas (C1) pivots on the axis of the dens, making it a unique type of joint compared to the other vertebral joints. It’s called the atlantoaxial joint or A-A (C1-C2).

Thick ligaments hold these joints in place, but patients with atlas misalignment often have ligament laxity after e.g whiplash injuries and/or years of improper cervical posture and movement patterns. Laxity or injury of the Transverse Ligament will result in the dens not being aligned with the skull and the neck not being able to support the head. People suffering from Down Syndrome have a well studied and documented genetic laxity of the Transverse ligament.

Most of the time, despite some level of ligamentous laxity, great and lasting results can be achieved by re-establishing proper postural and cervical movement habits, as well as significantly strengthening the muscles that stabilize and syncronize the movements of the atlas joints.

Please find herebelow some simple guided exercises that can  increase the strength in these muscles for improved stabilization.


Exercise 1: Suboccipital muscles

Exercise 2: Rectus Capitis Lateralis

Exercise 3: Scalenes

Exercise 4: Longus Colli

Exercise 5: Longus Capiti

Exercise 6: Sternocleidomastoid

Exercise 7: Upper and Middle Trapezious

The Cause of Gareth Bale’s Injuries

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Gareth Bale is the world’s most expensive soccer player to date. He was transferred in 2013 from the British team Tothenham to the Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid for a world record 139 million US$.

In 4 seasons, Bale has suffered 12 major injuries, resulting in 44 missed games and 256 days without been able to train. He is currently injured and unfit to play.

The majority of Bale’s injuries affect the muscles and tendons of one leg and the muscles that stabilize the pelvis and hips.

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Bio-Mechanichs of Dystonia

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

In this post we will describe 10 bio-mechanical derangements, impairments and misalignments. Patients suffering from Dystonia (and other neurological movement disorders such as Parkinson’s and Tourette’s) tipically present some or all of the 10 described bio-mechanical impairments.

We end the article by discussing how mainstream treatments for Dystonia recommended by  academic and clinical Neurology  are compatible and complement bio-mechanical treatments.

For a complete bibliography of peer reviewed scientific reesearch papers, case studies and FDA approved clinical trials, please refer to the RESOURCES page of this blog.

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Cervical Dystonia or Spasmodic Torticollis: Positive Evolution after Neurophysiological Treatment

Guest post by Dr. Lidia Yavich.

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The patient of this post contacted me through a derivation from a colleague from abroad.

Soon after he sent an email, where he explained the reason for his consultation on Cervical Dystonia or Spasmodic Torticollis, I answered that it was not my area and that I treated TMJ Pathologies and Orthodontics and Facial Orthopedics.

The patient insisted, commenting that the colleague that recommended me and knew me from the AACP meeting where I was invited as a lecturer explained to him that he didn´t know if I treated Dystonia, but he thought that considering what he had watched I could help him.

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Chronic Pain, Posture and the Dentist 

Guest post by Dr. Curtis Westersund

http://youtu.be/sWOqWGDdfgU

The video shows a patient of Dr. Curtis Westersund suffering from Dystonia who gets relief from an anatomical dental orthotic as a part of her therapy. There were many steps to get to this point and many steps subsequent

Everyone knows what dentists do. Fillings, crowns, root canals, tooth extractions. Practically the last person you want to have to visit. And while for many dentists, this is the limit of the services they offer, there are a growing number of dentists who have a passion for something more. A passion for helping patients with complicated conditions that have caused chronic pain, limited normal function and producing long term damage.

It is these dentists who are looking at how the simple act of someone bringing their upper and lower teeth together can create long term and far reaching painful consequences.

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Neurological Rehab for Dystonia

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In this post we will describe a basic Eye Tracking Exercise that helps balance and rehabilitate the nervous system in case of Dystonia, scoliosis and postural collapse.

Neurological Rehabilitation is one of the most important parts of the Protocol for the Treatment of Dystonia that we have developed.

In order to learn more about the protocol that we have developed for the treatment of Dystonia, you should be familiar with the theory that we set out to test as we describe in the post A Bio-Mechanical Approach to Cervical Dystonia.

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The ALF

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

In this post we will describe the appliance that can be used to unravel cranial distortions and collapse: the ALF.

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ALF is an acronym for Advanced Lightwire Functional Appliances.  In this post we will describe the use and purpose of the ALF device based on the work of  Dr. Gerald H. Smith.

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