The cause of lyme disease are small, spiral form bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferii, which are carried and transmitted by ticks.
After the bite of a tick it does not always come to a erythema migrans (the cardinal symptom of lyme).
Symptoms in the beginning:
Head, body, muscle and joint pain (similar to a flu)
In the further course lyme disease can manifest itself as a chronic multi systemic disorder and the patient might develop a neuroborreliosis which leads to nerve inflammations.
The symptoms of lyme disease are unspecific and similar to those of cervical instabilities. It can come to a variety of neurological problems which makes it hard to differentiate. Also lyme disease is very complicated to diagnose because a lot of blood tests which are available are false positive or false negative. Especially if the infection was a long time ago.
Lyme disease is diagnosed in blood tests or if neuroborreliosis is suspected through a lumbar puncture.
To stay unrecognized from the immune system the bacteria tend to hide in tissue with poor blood supply especially in the chronic state. That leads to ligament and tendon damage and even ruptures, which can also affect the cervical spine.
The biochemistry of lyme disease in case of nitrostative stress is similar to the appearance of cervical spine instabilities.