Fibromyalgia Action UK

Positional Cervical Cord Compression (PC3)

FibroAction PAB member and American Fibro specialist Dr Andrew Holman has put together a new website with information on Positional Cervical Cord Compression (PC3)

The website includes details of clinical findings with PC3.

Unfortunately we do not yet know of anywhere in the UK performing flex MRI to diagnose this. However, if you suspect PC3 may be a factor for you, the usual treatment is to prevent it from causing symptoms as much as possible, through physiotherapy and lifestyle changes to minimise episodes of compression.

10 Replies

lindsey can i ask at which end of the spine is PC3 neck or lumber?

Poppy xx


Cervical, i.e. the neck


thanks lindsey,

I was diagnosed with spondalitis in my neck and recently tols i would develop stenosis as in my lumber spine in the neck.

I suffer with most of those symtoms and yrs ago my gp of the time used to manipulate my neck and it gave me so much release but i moved and he retired.

my neck is so much worse and i cant bare any presure against my neck and have all the usual meds to use but it makes me so ill with the pain i can be in bed for days needing to be knocked out i have to sleep in a sitting position but with out any pressure to my neck

This is something that i will discuss with my gp

thanks again

hugs poppy xx


What an interesting and really useful post, thanks Lyndsey - I am going to show it to my GP and rheumatologist as the explanation of PC3 aligns with what I experience - maybe a light at that end of that particular tunnel.



Hi you know of any specific physios who would be aware of PC3 and therefore be able to adminster the correct treatment. Please PM me if more appropriate. Thanks.



Still working on it sadly! I'm hoping to do some training locally (West Berkshire) if I can find the time.

The good thing though is that the physio isn't anything extraordinary. So a physio who knows to assess you properly and give you stretches, exercises, possibly strapping and possibly manual releases to enable you to maintain a good posture at all times, especially while exercising (as this will enable you to stretch and strengthen muscles to better support your body), can help with PC3.

The issue that the PT Dr Holman works with identified with PC3 is that many patients in pain will develop a hunched shoulder posture - the typical "pain posture". This means that, in order to look forwards, these patients constantly have their necks in extension, stimulating the PC3 and aggravating symptoms.

Other than PT for this, the rest is lifestyle changes - e.g. if you're putting air in a car tyre, crouch to do so, rather than bending and then tipping your head up to watch the gauge.


Hi there,

Is anyone having any luck having these dynamic scans done on the NHS? Thanks :-)


thanks for this very interesting info as a sufferer of fibro & cervical spondolosis I have found excercise good but didnt realise that manipulation would help as well. Will have to make inquiries into it xx


Hi Lindsay,

Has there been any further research into finding the correct scanner in the UK for this? I met Dr Holman recently at a lecture he very kindly offered to deliver for free locally, whilst on holiday here for the olympics, and he confirmed that I am high risk (if not a certainty) for PC3; hence my keen interest!

I have an appt with my rhuemy coming soon and I would like to pass info to him through his secretary in advance to avoid any head-scratching.

Best regards

Gary Peach


Any luck with this yet Gary? Cheers :-)


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