Blocked cervical spine - acute pain of the neck

Did you wake up in the morning and you couldn't turn your head to the side due to the terrible pain which kept you in a rigid position? In this article we will talk about neck blockage.

CLBolestKrcniPatereCervical spine is composed of 7 vertebrae and number of short muscles, connecting two neighboring vertebrae, and long muscles connecting head to the cervical spine and thoracic spine. In an ideal situation it enables you to move your head in all directions. The cervical spine is the most flexible part of the spine, which passes on to the least flexible part of the spine, the thoracic spine. In addition, the first two vertebrae are burdened to carry the heavy head, therefore this area is also the most burdened one, and it puts high demands on the correct posture. If the ideal posture is violated, painful problems occur.

The most common disorder in this area is acute blockage of the cervical spine.


This problem happens, when one or more vertebrae are blocked and it restricts the mobility of the cervical spine. Muscles in this area of the blocked vertebrae are contracted and they fix the blocked position of the vertebrae. The whole situation is accompanied by significant stiffness and pain, which often shoots towards the shoulder and it forces us to keep our head in a rigid position, usually in a slight bend or a rotation to the side where the blockage occurred in the first place.

Blockage in the cervical spine is usually caused by holding the cervical spine in an incorrect position, for example during the sleep, during an abrupt movement or in a car with open window, that is when the wind causes reflexive contracture of the muscles of the cervical spine and a subsequent blocked position of the vertebrae.


The doctor will prescribe you drugs which lower the pain, you will get a fixing arm sling, cervical collar, which often times only deflects the cervical spine, instead of helping. You will be also most likely injected with muscle relaxants (substance which relieves muscle tension). Then you will be advised to keep a peaceful regime according to your needs.

We often meet with insufficiently treated acute cervical blockage, where the position wasn't adjusted or the muscle tension of the cervical spine was still present. Insufficient or incorrect treatment leads to unnecessarily slow “self-recovery”, worsened condition or repetitive occurrence of the blockage, which occurs more often, because the problem hasn't been treated inside of the musculoskeletal system.


Physiotherapy offers immediate solution for this painful condition. It uses a considerate joint mobilizations of the blocked vertebrae, as well as manual relaxing techniques for relieving the muscle spasms. Physiotherapist will also treat the skin, subcutaneous tissues and muscle sheath, which are tend to be stiff and immovable and they restrict blood circulation and lymph circulation into the affected area. An ideal part of the therapy is also muscle treatment in form of shock wave therapy, which brings instant relief from pain and stiffness. We adjusted this combination of services in order for the help to be as fast and effective as possible. We call it Physiotherapy All-Inclusive.

In further phases it is important to support the correct posture of the head and cervical spine and establish harmonic tension for each muscle with the help of various physiotherapeutic methods. Important strategy is to also reveal the cause and avoid it in the future in order for the problems to not return. It can be correct (ergonomy) sleeping, sitting, common daily activities, and also preventive measures against blowing wind.

YTJemná trakce krční páteře (1) YTpnf pro hlavu

Example of exercises during pain in the cervical spine:

FYZIOklinika physiotherapy Ltd., Prague, Czech Republic

Source: Clinical experience in a physiotherapeutic field, FYZIOklinika

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