Published August 17, 2023 by

Functions of the Cervical Nerves

Cervical nerves are important in managing movement and sensory functions in the head, neck, shoulders, and upper extremities. The following are the primary properties of the cervical nerves:

1. C1, C2, and C3 cervical spinal nerves: These nerves govern head and neck movements. They help with neck flexion, extension, rotation, and lateral bending.

2. C4: The C4 cervical nerve aids in the control of upper shoulder movement. It also helps to power the diaphragm, a vital muscle involved in breathing.

3. C5: The C5 cervical nerve is in charge of coordinating the deltoid muscles in the shoulders and the biceps muscles in the upper arm. Allows for movements such as shoulder abduction and flexion.

4. C6: The C6 cervical nerve is involved in wrist extension control and innervates the biceps muscles. It aids in wrist extension movements and helps stabilise the arm during tasks such as weight lifting.

5. C7: The C7 cervical nerve is mostly connected with the upper arm triceps muscles. It also gives motor control to the muscles that extend the wrist. C7 is essential for elbow extension and wrist stabilisation.

6. C8: The C8 cervical nerve controls the hand muscles, particularly the finger flexors that contribute to handgrip strength. It is essential for fine motor control of the hands and fingers.

The cervical plexus is a network formed by cervical nerves C1 to C5.This plexus is formed by the merging of these nerves and gives rise to smaller nerves that transport sensory information as well as motor control to the muscles of the neck and shoulders.
Furthermore, the brachial plexus is formed by the union of cervical nerves C5 to T1. This plexus is divided into nerves that convey sensory impulses and govern muscles in the arms and upper back. It is essential for the upper extremity's sensory and motor activities.

Overall, the cervical nerves play an important role in coordinating movement and sensory perception in the head, neck, shoulders, and upper limbs, allowing for a wide range of functions and interactions with the brain.

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