Excessive movement of vertebrae relative to other vertebrae is considered an instability. Some movements are of course normal. With unstable movement, the movement is greater than that of adjacent segments. Spinal instability can be the result of an accident such as whiplash trauma, an injury, a degenerative process, an operation or a congenital disorder.

If the cause of the problem is instability, you may experience: pain, muscle spasm, nerve pain, dizziness, nausea. Excessive painful movements of the vertebrae in the spine is considered a cervical instability. Symptoms of cervical instability also include: acute pain in movement or posture, upper back pain and an unstable feeling in the area. Neck and back muscle spasms are also common in patients with cervical instability, because the muscles are overloaded.