Clinical Cervical Instability | Cervical Motor Control Impairment
In another post, we presented a similar list of subjective and objective features for clinical instability of the lumbar spine. Cook et al. (2005) conducted a second Delphi study to identify which subjective and objective signs and symptoms could be indicative of clinical cervical spine instability/cervical motor control impairment. So here’s the list of the top 5 subjective symptoms:
Intolerance to prolonged static postures
Fatigue and inability to hold head up
Symptom decrease with external support, including propping on hands or wearing a collar
The Frequent need for self-manipulation
Feeling of instability, shaking, or lack of control
The top 5 objective identifiers are:
Poor coordination or neuromuscular control, including poor recruitment and dissociation of cervical segments with movement
Abnormal joint play
Motion that is not smooth throughout range (of motion), including segmental hinging, pivoting, or fulcruming
Hypomobility of the upper thoracic spine
As mentioned in our previous video on lumbar spine instability, it is important to recognize that there is no valid clinical test to diagnose spinal instability. Therefore, a Delphi study is the best available evidence we have.
Other common tests to assess for a cervical motor control impairment are:
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