Posterior Element Pain

The interspinous ligaments of the lower cervical and upper thoracic spine and their associated muscles are susceptible to the development to the development of acute and chronic pain symptomatology following overuse. It is thought that bursitis is responsible for this pain syndrome.


What causes posterior element pain?

Frequently, the pain is the result of prolonged activity requiring hyperextension of the neck, seen with such activities such as painting, or prolonged computer work where the monitor is placed above eye level. The patient may attempt to alleviate the constant ache by assuming a posture where he/she may hunch forward with a thrusting of the neck.

What are the symptoms of posterior element pain?

  • Tenderness
  • Pain in the lower cervical and upper thoracic region

Common Treatments Available for Posterior Element Pain