Upper Cervical Spine Quick Screen

by admin on October 4, 2011

When patients come to see you (and I know they do) for headaches or upper neck pain, a quick screen I like to have them do is cranial lateral flexion. If the patient is able to stay in the coronal plane during movement, I’m less worried about the relationship of the Occiput-C1-C2. If, however, rotation is coupled to the same side as the lateral flexion, I’m concerned the upper mechanics might be dysfunctional which would warrant a closer look. Any Thoughts?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Renee Lemieux October 4, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Perhaps the major dysfunction is at the atlanto-occipital joint which would yield the sidebending and rotation in opposite direction in normal function. If this mechanic is dysfunctional the upper part and lower part of the cervical spine are not balanced.

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admin October 4, 2011 at 5:28 pm

I completely agree. This is one of those screens you can almost observe from across the room before they even come in.

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