Vertebral Blockage

By | June 10, 2022

Each vertebra is responsible for the supply of an organ. If the head hurts or stomach pains become noticeable, this can also come from the spine. Displacements of just one millimeter with serious consequences: vertebral blockages ; Trigger of sharp pains and cause of most back problems.

What is a vertebral blockage?

The individual vertebrae are held together by small facet joints and ligaments. These allow the head to be turned to the side or the person to bend forward. Between the vertebrae are the intervertebral discs, which prevent the vertebrae from colliding directly. For definitions of holt-oram syndrome, please visit

Overstretched ligaments mean they are no longer strong enough to hold the vertebrae in the correct position. If intervertebral disc fluid leaks out, the vertebrae have no more space and shift. The result is a restriction of movement and is called vertebral blockage. Restrictions caused by inflammation do not fall under these blockages.


The causes of a vertebral blockage vary depending on the affected vertebral area. The cervical vertebrae are most often displaced by external blunt impacts. The classic case is whiplash. The first vertebra, the atlas, is connected to the head via a ball joint.

The protective intervertebral disc, which acts like a shock absorber, is missing between the vertebra and this joint and also between the first and second vertebra. Blockages in the thoracic vertebrae are due to a lifestyle that is unhealthy for the musculoskeletal system. Sitting on a rigid surface, leaning forward and not stretching enough to supply the intervertebral discs.

In the lumbar vertebrae, the usually insufficient muscles are responsible for a blockage, as are herniated discs. Lifting heavy loads incorrectly is often enough and a stabbing pain is felt immediately. In order to keep the spine straight when the pelvis is tilted, the supporting apparatus not only helps the muscles, but also the first cervical vertebra. The result is a straight spine, but a displaced atlas vertebra.

Symptoms, Ailments & Signs

A vertebral blockage usually leads to severe symptoms in the first few days. These then go away on their own. Symptoms appear in the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, or coccyx vertebrae. Affected people have to accept restricted mobility on a regular basis. In addition to pain in the respective vertebrae, signs also extend to other parts of the body.

In the event of vertebral blockages, the body automatically assumes a relieving posture. This creates stress on other parts of the body, which in the long run promotes poor posture. Patients usually go to the doctor because of a cervical spine blockage. You complain of severe neck pain. In addition, the head can only be moved to the left or right to a limited extent.

The blockages are often accompanied by headaches and fatigue. Blockage of the thoracic vertebra sometimes leads to problems with breathing and the musculoskeletal system. The area around the abdomen is also often affected. Patients sometimes complain of indigestion. The most well-known sign of lumbar blockage is lumbago.

But other symptoms such as cramps in the abdominal area, back pain or circulatory disorders can also accompany an illness. Calf cramps extend the signs to the legs. If the coccyx is affected, abdominal pain sometimes occurs. Those affected describe the sitting position as extremely uncomfortable. Anal itching and constipation also sometimes occur.

Diagnosis & History

At the beginning of the vertebral blockage, the surrounding muscles compensate for the misalignment in order to prevent greater pain. However, this protective attitude in turn leads to tension. A muscle tension is always accompanied by a constriction of the nerves; the spiral nerves, which are responsible for supplying the organs, report and this inevitably triggers pain.

It is not uncommon for the doctor treating you to suspect other causes first. If the thoracic vertebrae are slightly displaced, the heart or lungs cannot be supplied properly, which can sometimes be noticeable in breathing difficulties. A clear diagnosis is difficult. Only a herniated disc is visible using imaging methods. On the other hand, a long-lasting misalignment of the spine due to a tilted pelvis can be seen with the naked eye.

To keep the spine and head as straight as possible, the atlas vertebra at the other end compensates for the oblique position. The muscles in one half of the body are overstretched and the other half is shortened. If this blockage remains untreated for a long time, chronic pain is the result.


In most cases, a vertebral blockage causes severe pain and leads to massive restrictions in movement. Vertebral blockages are common and usually harmless. In most cases, they will disappear on their own once the incorrect posture that caused the blockage is corrected. However, if a nerve is pinched, abnormal sensations and symptoms of paralysis can also occur.

Signs of paralysis on the arms or legs must be examined and treated by a doctor. In most cases, a vertebral blockage causes severe pain and restricted movement, which can severely limit those affected in their everyday life. Blockages in the back, shoulders and cervical spine often radiate to the head and cause headaches.

The symptoms can also limit the function of the heart and lungs, and in worse cases a vertebral blockage can also cause shortness of breath and heart problems. If the pain does not go away even when lying down, the quality of sleep suffers. Caution should be exercised when performing chiropractic repairs to blocked vertebrae, particularly cervical blockages. In the worst case, such interventions can cause herniated discs and strokes.

When should you go to the doctor?

If mobility irregularities occur in the back area after a rotating movement, during sports activities, an accident, violence or a fall, a doctor should be consulted to clarify the symptoms. If there are only slight discrepancies, sufficient rest and protection can be enough to alleviate the symptoms. The prerequisite for this is that a significant improvement in the overall situation occurs with sufficient heat supply and a restful night’s sleep.

However, if the impairments persist or increase in intensity, help should be sought immediately. In the case of severe pain, it is also advisable to consult a doctor to clarify the cause. Tensions, headaches or restrictions in the general movement sequences are alarm signals from the organism. Functional disorders, fatigue and abdominal discomfort can also indicate irregularities in the spine.

Disturbances in breathing and changes in the heart rhythm are signs of a health impairment that should be examined as soon as possible. To avoid complications or secondary diseases, medical treatment is advisable. If everyday activities can no longer be carried out without symptoms or if participation in sporting activities is not possible, a doctor is needed. The permanent assumption of a relieving posture or incorrect posture of the skeletal system also indicates disorders that need to be treated.

Treatment & Therapy

Blocked vertebrae lead to limited mobility. It may sound paradoxical under this circumstance, but exercise relieves the pain. Displaced vertebrae can even find their way back into the right position on their own if the environment is sufficiently strengthened.

If the tension is massive and untreated for a long time, the doctor will relieve the pain before the movement therapy with infusions or infiltration. Only then can the vertebrae be stretched back into the correct position with massage or physiotherapy . Chiropractic straightens vertebrae with targeted overstretching in the affected area. In the case of minor displacements, this sudden intervention is rarely necessary and can also be achieved with gentler methods.

Caution is also required with blockages in the cervical spine, because several nerve cords go from the spinal cord to the head and the artery is also close to these vertebrae. In the Dorn method, the patient moves the arms or legs in a pendulum fashion while the therapist gently presses the vertebrae into the correct position.

The prerequisite for this is that the vertebral blockage does not come from a herniated disc and painful nerve inflammation is excluded. The compression of the spine that occurs during the day due to long periods of sitting and lack of exercise can also be relieved by gravity: hanging. It doesn’t matter whether you hold onto the bar with your hands and let your feet dangle or vice versa.


Movement and targeted strengthening of the neck and back muscles prevent vertebral blockages. When you work mostly sitting down, your muscles don’t fall into an unnatural posture that leads to tension.

Regular breaks with targeted relief exercises also keep the facet joints between the vertebrae flexible. Physical activity and movement in general lead to a good supply of the intervertebral discs, which remain elastic as a result.

Nocturnal rest should also not be underestimated: Although a sleeper moves every ten minutes on average, their head usually remains on the pillow. If this is too high, the cervical vertebrae shift. The body shows its dissatisfaction with the apparently more comfortable prone position, which, however, also affects the cervical vertebrae.


The ideal aftercare for a vertebral blockage depends on several factors. This includes the cause of the blockage, if identified, the degree and location of the vertebral blockage. It is also important to know whether this was a one-off event or whether the vertebral bodies have been blocked at this point before.

Follow-up care can be discussed with a physiotherapist or orthopaedist, but also with sports teachers or fitness trainers with the appropriate qualifications. The pain that vertebral blockage often brings with it often leads to tense muscles. In this context, aftercare can alleviate the symptoms by allowing the patient to use massages and take relaxing baths. A hot-water bottle or hot cherry stone pillows can also promise relief.

It is often also one-sided stress or incorrect posture in connection with muscular imbalance that can trigger vertebral blockage. Here it is also part of the aftercare that the patient thinks about the ergonomics at his workplace or compensates for the imbalance in his muscles through training and thus stabilizes the spine physiologically. Weak muscles (often in the abdomen and upper back) should be strengthened, while shortened muscles (often in the chest) should be stretched gently but consistently.

You can do that yourself

A vertebral blockage can be resolved by yourself if necessary. In consultation with a sports doctor, various exercises and techniques are recommended, such as the COX technique, in which the vertebrae are stretched and brought into the right position. Popular techniques such as unhooking or back swings are also available. However, you should never press or tear too hard.

If pain, restricted movement or other problems occur, the doctor should be consulted. Going to the chiropractor is recommended especially for severe vertebral blockages and other back problems. The medical specialist can provide further self-help tips and resolve the vertebral blockage professionally.

An acute vertebral blockage, which can occur in the form of lumbago, for example, initially requires rest. Those affected should lie down until the pain has subsided. The blockage can then be released with gentle movements. If this does not improve the symptoms, there may be severe tension that needs to be relieved with a massage or chiropractic mobilization. Following the therapy, possible triggers and risk factors for vertebral blockages must be found and eliminated, such as incorrect or excessive strain or a lack of exercise.

Vertebral Blockage