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  • james23
    Post count: 1

    Dr. Corenman,

    I landed on my neck (hyperflexion) in judo approximately 3 years ago. The condition has became gradually worse and my neck never felt the same again. I have been to multiple doctors and specialists and they could not give me a pinpoint diagnosis except for “cervical lordosis”. From my experiences and research, I truly believe I have a cervical instability condition.

    I feel as if I have a “wobbly” neck, a constant urge to crack my neck, sharp pains in certain motions of my neck, referred pains to my trapeziums and shoulder blades, jaw tightness, neck tightness, neck clicking & cracking. Sadly, I believe that my cracking of the neck and the chiropractors constant high velocity manipulations (over 80+ manipulations) added to my condition. Before my injury, I could never crack or even want to crack my neck. However, for the past 3 years I have built this terrible habit of cracking (approximately 300+) times a day my neck in a certain twisting motion because my neck gets extremely tight. The cracking provides only temporary relief and my neck just goes back to its normal stiff routine. Vicious cycle.

    The only treatments that work are heat and massage, however, they are only temporary. I have tried prolotherapy, upper-cervical chiropractic, and myofascial release massage. After all this, I truly believe the problem lies in my cervical facet joints and its instability (hypermobility).

    I hope you can shed some light. I am not going to give up even though I have been told multiple times that I have to just live with this for the rest of my life. I want my life back, and I am motivated to do anything to get better. I would really appreciate your help.

    Thanks in advance,

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Post count: 8459

    You had a hyperflexion injury to your neck three years ago and you feel your neck is unstable. I assume you have had X-rays including flexion-extension X-rays. I also assume that you have had an MRI on a quality machine.

    Sharp pains with certain positions and a general ache in your neck could indicate instability. Typically with hyperflexion, the facet capsules can be torn and an injury to the back wall of the disc can also occur. The flexion-extension X-rays are invaluable as you can track the global motion of the vertebra and infer injury based upon motion analysis.

    There is a condition called a degenerative spondylolisthesis that can occur (although in your case it would be called a traumatic spondylolisthesis) that is revealed by the X-rays. The MRI would be able to note back wall tears of the annulus of the disc.

    You first need a diagnosis. You need to find a “sports” spine surgeon who has some experience and knowledge of this disorder (there are some who do not understand this disorder). There may be treatments short of surgery that can stabilize the neck. I would not recommend further manipulation until this matter is addressed.

    You might carefully try the “neck sit-ups” exercise video found on the website to see if that can give some stabilization to your condition

    Dr. Corenman

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