Cervical Spine Extension And Flexion

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A subject with normal flexibility was photographed and x-rayed in five neck positions. "Markers" were placed at the hairline and over C7.

Cervical spine extension by tilting the head in a posterior direction. Note the approximation of the markers on the radiograph.

Cervical spine extension in a typical forward-head posture. Note the similarity in the curve and the positions of the markers to those in the example above. Often, this slumped posture is mistakenly referred to as flexion of the lower cervical spine and extension of the upper cervical spine. However, the extension is more pronounced in the lower than in the upper cervical region.

Good alignment of the cervical spine.

Flexion (flattening) of the cervical spine by tilting the head in an anterior direction.

Flexion of both the cervical spine and the upper thoracic spine occurs when the chin is brought toward the chest.

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