The Cervical Spine
The cervical spine consists of 7 cervical vertebrae. The function of the cervical vertebrae is to support the head and place the head in space. Each vertebra (spinal bone) has the ability to move slightly independently of each other during movement. If there are restrictions at a particular level, the result will be a loss of motion in the neck.
The technique demonstrated is a lateral, or side gliding mobilization of a cervical vertebra. This side gliding maneuver is an accessory, or secondary motion of the spinal column that is necessary for side bending of the neck.
Back Physical Therapy: Our Approach
- The restriction in direction of the motion is determined by comparing side to side.
- The patient is lying on her back.
- The level of restriction is isolated (usually painful to the touch).
- The therapist uses the joint between their index finger and the long bone in the hand as their mobilizing force.
- The mobilizing hand applies a sideways force in the opposite direction as the patient’s head is brought into side bending in the direction of their restriction.