Medical Media Images

Monday, April 7, 2014

Neck Curvatures seen on Color X-Ray Images: what is Normal and what is Not?

                                           What is a Normal Neck Curvature?

A Normal Neck Curvature, also called a "Cervical Lordosis" in medical terms, is a smooth "C-Shaped" Curvature which extends from the bottom of our skull to the top of our mid-back (thoracic spine). The Color X-Ray Neck (cervical spine) Image below shows a Normal Neck Curvature with the green line.



Color Cervical Spine X-Ray Image showing a Normal Lordosis
Color Neck X-Ray showing a Normal Curvature

A Normal Curvature like this one allows the moving parts of the Neck (discs and facet joints) to move smoothly and in unison, giving us normal mobility and range of motion.



                       What is an Abnormal Neck Curvature?

An Abnormal Neck Curvature has lost its ideal "C-shaped" Curvature and has become straightened or even forward bent. The Image below shows the loss of the Normal Neck Curvature, resulting in a straight line between the Vertebrae, shown in red. This is called a "Hypolordosis" which means "less than a normal Lordosis (curvature). It is often the result of Disc Disease between the Neck Vertebrae, or chronic Neck Spasms.


Color Neck X-Ray Images showing a Normal Curvature on the right and Abnormal Curvature on the Left

The next Image shows the same information on Color MRI
Color Brain and Cervical Spine MRI showing a Lordosis and Hypolordosis
Color Neck MRI Images showing a Normal Neck Curvature on the right and Abnormal on the Left


Color Cervical Spine X-Ray Image showing a Hypolordosis
Color Neck X-Ray showing a loss of the Normal Neck Curvature



 
The worst form of an Abnormal Neck Curvature is a Neck which is forward bent. The normal "C-Shaped" curvature becomes reversed. This is called a "Kyphosis". The Image below shows this Abnormal Curvature with a red line.


Color Cervical Spine X-Ray Image showing a Kyphosis
Color Neck X-Ray showing an Abnormal Forward Bent (Kyphosis)

A Kyphosis is typically due to severe degeneration of the Discs and Joints between the Vertebrae, such as with long-standing forms of Arthritis. This can result in chronic Neck Pain and loss of normal mobility and range of motion.

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