Joint pain in the various joints of the body is usually caused by some sort of weakness in the soft tissue. Pain in the neck is no different. Ligament weakness is very often the underlying cause of neck pain and it can also be the reason behind headaches, and even ear and mouth pain. Regenerative Orthopedics, such as Prolotherapy, has been proven to effectively stimulate the healing of weakened ligaments that are behind all of this pain. That’s great news because there is an answer for those suffering with these ailments and a way to find permanent pain relief.
Neck Ligaments and Cervical Instability
When the ligaments of the neck are weakened, the instability that transpires in the neck is called cervical instability. Sufferers with this malady often experience a bunch of bizarre symptoms in addition to neck pain which can include dizziness, visual disturbances, eye pressure, mouth pain, sinus congestion, tinnitus, and many others. Instability of the ligaments of the neck is implicated in conditions like disc herniation, whiplash, cervicocranial syndrome and spondylosis. When these ligaments are injured, they elongate and become weak, which allows for excessive movement in the vertebrae of the neck.
Instability that arises in the upper part of the neck or cervical spine (C0-C2) can manifest symtoms such as vertigo, tinnitus, dizziness, facial pain, arm pain, and migraine headaches. A condition called vertebrobasilar insufficiency (VBI) with its associated symptoms of neck pain, headaches/migraines, dizziness, drop attacks, vertigo, difficulty swallowing and/or speaking, and auditory and visual disturbances can also develop in instances of upper cervical spine instability, because the excessive movement in the neck can alter the flow of vertebral arterial blood.
When the instability is located in the lower neck or cervical spine (C3-C7), the resultant symptoms include muscle spasms, crepitation, and feelings of pins and needles along with neck pain. As the instability worsens, so do the symptoms. Surgery to fuse the vertebrae of the neck is often recommended in cases of cervical instability, but a consultation from an expert in Regenerative Orthopedics should be sought, since this therapy can often prevent the need for the fusion, as well as strengthen the involved ligaments and restore proper motion to the neck.
The Neck Is Unique
The neck is unique, because the vertebrae in the neck are smaller and more mobile than all of the movable vertebrae of the spine. The high degree of mobility in the neck vertebrae is required to move the head through its varied range of motion. These anatomic features are necessary for optimal functioning, but also make the area vulnerable to injury due to the demands placed upon the neck. The ligaments of the neck, which are the stabilizing structures primarily responsible for connecting adjacent bones, are especially vulnerable when trauma occurs. When the neck is stable, it moves and functions normally, while remaining in proper alignment and protecting the blood vessels, nerves and spinal cord. Injury to the ligaments changes this dynamic, and leads to instability of the cervical spine. Add to that all of the stresses and loads placed upon the neck and a cycle of imbalance is set in motion generating even more abnormal changes in the vertebral alignment. Remember that cervical instability involves excessive motion between adjacent vertebrae which causes excessive stress on the supporting ligaments and the nerve endings within them. The result is a cycle of pain and the associated variety of aforementioned symptoms.
Whiplash: A Type of Cervical Instability
Whiplash injuries are a common source of cervical instability. The sudden acceleration and deceleration during rear end collisions causes the head to severely whip backwards and forwards. The backward “whip,” or hyperextension, is often associated with more injury to the soft tissue of the neck, because it lacks the limiting effect of the chin meeting the chest in the forward “whip.” The excessive motion in hyperextension severely strains the involved muscles and ligaments, and adjoining neck joints.
The ligaments of the neck are particularly vulnerable to injury during a whiplash event and more notably when the head is rotated at the time of collision, such as when looking in the rear-view mirror. The ligaments that function to limit side-to-side head movement become susceptible to failure in this turned position, which then compromises their ability to limit motion. The lack of a stabilizing structure can lead to further injury of the soft tissue and joint structures and the possibility of nerve injury as well as irritation of the sympathetic nervous system. Provocation of these nerve endings alters firing patterns and increases activation of the sympathetic nervous system resulting in a myriad of symptoms, as those that occur in the condition called Barré-Liéou Syndrome or cervicocranial syndrome.
Resolve the Underlying Ligament Injury and the Symptoms with Regenerative Orthopedics
Regenerative Orthopedics strengthens weakened ligaments. It is effective in repairing and regenerating the ligaments and structures involved in cervical instability, eliminating the instability and abnormal movement, which then resolves the neck pain and associated symptoms. Cervical instability can be a frustrating and life-altering condition, but Regenerative Orthopedics, a safe non-surgical option, can stabilize the neck and increase functionality in the person suffering it, and essentially help the patient get their life back.