Pain in the neck that radiates to the shoulder and often down the entire arm is often caused by a pinched nerve in the neck. This is known medically as a cervical radiculopathy. The spine is comprised of a column of bones called vertebrae and within the vertebra lays the spinal cord. In the neck or cervical spine, nerves leave the spinal cord through openings in the vertebra and run down the arm providing sensation and motor function to the arms.
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This tutorial is an attempt at offering you an introduction and outline to understand some of the basic concepts of spinal function and disease processes that affect the spine. Perhaps this tutorial will help you understand this difficult subject better, for what is mysterious and often frightening about the spine, is the unknown.
The normal, healthy spine is straight when seen from the front or the back. When seen from the side, the healthy spine has several mild curvatures. By obtaining an X-ray of a standing person, the exact contour of the spine can be measured and then compared to normal values to determine if a significant spinal deformity is present. Scoliosis is defined as a lateral deviation of the spine.
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