What is the Maximum Compression of the Intervertebral Foramina Test of Cervical Spine?
The maximum compression of the intervertebral foramina test of the cervical spine is used to detect facet joint dysfunction in the cervical spine. The test is performed actively (by the patient), and there is no involvement of the examiner.
The procedure of Performing Maximum Compression of the Intervertebral Foramina Test (Cervical Spine)
- The patient will be in a seated position.
- The seated patient actively (on its own) rotates its head to one side while slightly extending the neck.
This movement pattern leads to compression of the intervertebral foramina with structural narrowing of the intervertebral spaces and nerve root irritation with corresponding radicular pain symptoms.
An intervertebral foramina is an opening or space present between each pair of spinal vertebrae. Several structures pass through the foramina, like the root of each spinal nerve, spinal artery, and veins.
Now, this movement pattern leads to compression of the intervertebral foramina (opening or space present between each pair of spinal vertebrae). Compression will lead to a decrease in space between each pair of spinal vertebrae. And as the space between each pair of spinal vertebrae decreases, it will lead to irritation of the cervical nerve root as the cervical nerve root passes through the intervertebral foramina. And hence irritation of the cervical nerve root produces corresponding radicular symptoms.
Radicular symptoms refer to the symptoms such as the sensation of pain, numbness or tingling, and muscle weakness which originate from the compressed nerve root in the spine. Therefore, the radicular symptoms run along the spinal nerve root that is being compressed.
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