The C3 vertebra is the third vertebra from the top of the spine, putting it on roughly the same plane as the lower jaw and the hyoid bone. It is very similar in structure to the C4 and C5 vertebrae. From the C3 vertebra issues the C4 nerve root, which innervates the upper body muscles (e.g., the deltoids and the biceps).
Conditions of the cervical vertebrae
The C3 vertebra takes its name from the fact that it is the third of the cervical vertebrae. The cervical spine is the uppermost section of the spine, containing the smallest and most unique vertebrae in the entire spine. The cervical spine is also more flexible than the other spine sections, as it must allow for the bending of the neck and rotation of the head.
In the event of stenosis or a herniated disc in the cervical spine, a patient can expect numbness, tingling or pain in the neck, head or upper extremities. If the C4 nerve root is affected, pain generally locates at the base of the neck or in the upper shoulder.
If you are experiencing these symptoms and conservative treatments have not been effective, Laser Spine Institute may be able to help. Our surgeons perform minimally invasive procedures designed to relieve nerve compression. For more information or to receive a review of your CT scan or MRI, contact us today.