Cervical (Neck) Spinal Nerves
In the cervical spine there is 8 pair of spinal nerves. Each pair of nerves provides sensation and function to parts of the body. Just as the levels of the cervical spine are abbreviated, the spinal nerve pairs are numbered in a corresponding way. C1 is the area between the skull and first cervical vertebra (also abbreviated C1). C8 exits the spinal canal between the last cervical vertebra (C7) and the first thoracic vertebra (T1).
Each pair of nerve roots exit the spinal column and branch out into the body forming the peripheral (outer) nervous system. These nerves innervate the body and enable movement (motor function) and feeling (sensory function). The illustration depicts this pattern called dermatomes. Your doctor uses the dermatomal pattern to help diagnose the location of your spinal problem based on where you have pain or weakness.
Treatment of Spine Pain
If you are interested in learning about the cause and treatment of your pain problem, please contact our pain management experts at The Spine and Pain Institute of New York in Manhattan, New York and Staten Island, New York. We would be happy to make an appointment for a consultation and provide additional information about other treatment options.