A Quick Cervical Stability or Motor Control Strategy | Modern Manual Therapy Blog

A Quick Cervical Stability or Motor Control Strategy

If you or your patients have limited cervical ROM in flexion or extension try these tricks.

By "trick" I mean motor control strategies, no magic here.

Victoria is a blog follower and attended my recent The Eclectic Approach to IASTM in Quebec City. Other than a loss of cervical flexion, which is DN (by 3-4 finger widths in the least), she had FN extension but DN return to neutral (giving her a DN overall for the test).

Passively, she has full cervical flexion in NWB, so you know this is a motor control/stability issue. Watch the video below for the quick solution.

  • cuing her to contract her adductors and pelvic floor, she regained full motor control of her cervical spine, being able to easily return to neutral
  • is this activating the deep front line? (I'm no anatomy trains expert), possibly, it certainly makes sense in this case if the adductors and deep cervical flexors are on the same "line"
  • using the same strategy, she was also able to move into cervical flexion pattern much easier, and nearly touched her sternum
  • she said after contracting her pelvic floor, she felt strong facilitation of her deep cervical flexors

Keeping it Eclectic...


  1. Neurological overflow?

  2. Today got interesting case. One of my patients had cervical flexion - DP, but pain was in subcostal area. After moderate inhale with hold, here flexion become FN. Sorry, I didn't camera here.

  3. Maybe by simply activating the nervous system (which has been disrupted due to the protection mechanism from pain) it helps to reset the systems normal physiological movement patterns?

  4. Certainly possible, just another novel input. However that movement of returning from cervical extension was not painful, just unable to do it properly

  5. The ISSS described by Kolar looks to be the mechanism by which some of this "magic" happens.


  6. Thanks Bob! Are you formally trained in DNS? Haven't taken any of their courses yet.