Cervical Spine, Good and Faulty Positions: For the radiograph on the left, the subject sat erect, with the head and upper trunk in good alignment. For the radiograph on the right, the same subject sat in a typically slumped position, with a round upper back and a forward head. As illustrated, the cervical spine is in extension.
Cervical Spine, Extension: In Figure A, the head tilts backward, the cervical spine is hyperextended, and the chest and shoulders are elevated.
Cervical Spine, Straight (Flexed): Figure B, the head is in slight anterior tilt, the scapulae are prominent, and the upper back is straight. (See p. 334 for a posterior view of a subject with a straight upper back and prominent scapulae.)
Forward Head with Attempted Correction: In Figure
C, the subject apparently is trying to correct what is basically a forward position. The curve of the neck begins in a typical way in the lower cervical region, but a sharp angulation occurs at approximately the sixth cervical vertebra. Above this level, the curve seems to be very much decreased. The chin is pressed against the front of the throat. This distorted rather than corrected position of the neck results from a failure to correct the related faulty position of the upper trunk.
Forward Head, Marked: In Figure D, the subject shows an extremely faulty alignment of the neck and thoracic spine. The degree of deformity in the thoracic spine suggests an epiphysitis. This patient was treated for pain in the posterior neck and occipital region.
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