C1 through C7 refers to the seven (C1, C2, C3, C4, C6, C6,
C7) vertebrae (bones that form an opening in which the
spinal cord passes) that are in the neck. The letter "C"
stands for "cervix," which is Greek for "neck." C1 refers to
the 1st cervical bone, C2 to the 2nd cervical bone, C3 to
the 3rd cervical bone, and so on, until C7, which is the last
C1 is at the top and C7 is at the bottom, with the numbers in
between going down the body in numerical order. For
example, C3 is below C2, C4 is below C3, and so on.
These numeric levels are often mentioned on imaging studies of the spine such as
scanning is an advanced imaging technique that uses x-rays and computer technology to
produces clear and detailed picture of the body area being examined. MRI scans
produce extremely detailed pictures of the inside of the body by using very powerful
magnets and computer technology.
Other designations for other levels of the vertebrae include a) T1 through T12, where T
The cervical vertebrae are located above the thoracic vertebrae.