Troubles at AA

by admin on December 19, 2011

How many of your patients with neck complaints have limited rotation in one or both directions? I think it’s safe to say ALL! I thought it might be nice to revisit an easy correction at the atlato-axial joint (AA) to help you through your treatments. Aproximately half of the c-spine’s rotation is found at this joint so treatment here is a must. Today I’ve chosen to show you through the localization method of lower cervical flexion. I find it to be a bit easier on the neck versus facet opposition through lateral flexion (especially those with OA). Bring your patient easliy into flexion. You may use a pillow or your knee for added support. Now that you’ve localized to the level of AA, assess passively for limitations in either direction of rotation. If you feel limitation, choose your favorite intervention and reassess for improvement. Good luck.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Flora December 20, 2011 at 11:17 am

Great tip! After being a therapist for 10 years now, I continue to learn how special this joint is and how much I’ve underestimated its impact on cervicogenic headaches, TMJ and all sorts of neural/dural dysfunction. This joint is often hard to isolate during evaluation so anymore info on tackling this hard to reach area at times is much appreciated. Great Holiday!

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admin December 20, 2011 at 6:22 pm

I still find myself needing to clear this articulation almost as often as C2 on C3. The c-spine just seems to stay stuck until otherwise. I wish you a very special holiday season and hope to see you in the upcoming year.

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