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J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2013 Jun;36(5):327-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2013.05.006. Epub 2013 Jun 13.

Morphologic differences in intervertebral foramina: a radiographic study of cervical spine positions in asymptomatic men.

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  • 1Department of Physical Therapy, Tokoha University, Shizuoka, Japan. tomo310@mb.imfoweb.ne.jp



The purpose of this study was to investigate morphologic differences using plain film radiographs in cervical intervertebral foramina (IVF) for the following positions: neutral; flexion combined with lateral flexion to the right, rotation to the left (FLFR-RL); and flexion combined with lateral flexion to the right, rotation to the right (FLFR-RR.)


Fifteen participants (male; age, 22-29 years) with no history of neck pain were recruited to participate in this study. Radiographs were taken with participants standing and their cervical spines positioned in neutral, in FLFR-RL, and in FLFR-RR. Foraminal height and width were measured at levels C5/6 and C6/7 by a radiologist. Differences in IVF sizes between positions were analyzed.


The FLFR-RL position (flexion with contralateral rotation and lateral flexion) increased IVF height at C5/6 by 2.40 mm (24%; P<.01) and C6/7 by 2.64 mm (26%; P<.01) compared with the neutral position. However, no significant increase in foraminal width was observed compared with the neutral position (P>.05), and no significant difference in foraminal height and width increase was observed between FLFR-RL and FLFR-RR.


The results of this study demonstrate that the cervical FLFR-RL position increases the height of the cervical IVF as measured on radiographs.

Copyright © 2013 National University of Health Sciences. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.


Cervical Vertebrae; Posture; Spine Radiculopathy

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