The C3 vertebra

The C3 vertebra is the third of the cervical vertebrae found in your neck, which is positioned at almost the same level as your lower jaw and hyoid bone — the bone in your neck that supports your tongue.

The C4 nerve root is issued from the C3 vertebra and stimulates the upper body muscles (e.g., the deltoids and the biceps). While your neck contains the smallest and most unique vertebrae in the spine, it’s also the most flexible, as it supports the bending of your neck and rotation of your head.

Conditions of the cervical vertebrae

The constant motion of your neck creates added stress on the spinal discs that reduce shock and friction on the vertebrae. Added stress means greater risk of degeneration or injury to those discs, which increases your chance of a herniated disc, spinal stenosis or arthritis.

When these degenerative spine conditions cause nerve compression, you may experience severe pain and lack of movement in the neck, among other symptoms. If your C4 nerve root is affected, pain generally starts at the base of the neck or in the upper shoulder. If left untreated, these symptoms can seriously damage your quality of life.

Treatment options

If you are experiencing chronic neck pain, we encourage you to speak with your physician to receive a proper diagnosis. Your doctor may recommend a series of nonsurgical treatment methods, such as pain medication, physical therapy, exercises or lifestyle changes, to name a few options.

If these options are unsuccessful at relieving your neck pain and symptoms, your doctor may recommend surgery. Before making the decision undergo a highly invasive traditional open neck surgery, consider the minimally invasive options available at Laser Spine Institute.

Our team of highly skilled surgeons has the experience and knowledge to help treat spinal conditions without the higher risk of infection and complication associated with traditional open neck or back surgery. In fact, more people turn to Laser Spine Institute for minimally invasive spine surgery every year than to any other spine surgery center in the world. To date, our procedures have helped more than 75,000 people find relief from chronic neck and back pain.

To learn more about our minimally invasive decompression and stabilization procedures, contact us today and ask for a no-cost MRI review.* We can determine if you are a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures and help you on your next step toward pain relief.