What nerves are affected by C4 C5-C6?

Answered by Antonio Sutton

C4, C5, and C6 are spinal nerve roots that play a crucial role in supplying nerves to various muscles and structures in the body. Let’s delve into the specific nerves that are affected by these roots.

1. Dorsal Scapular Nerve: The roots C4 and C5 give rise to the dorsal scapular nerve. This nerve innervates the rhomboid muscles (rhomboid major and rhomboid minor) and the levator scapulae muscle. The rhomboid muscles are responsible for retracting the scapulae (shoulder blades), while the levator scapulae muscle elevates the scapulae.

2. Nerve to the Subclavius: The upper trunk formed by the roots C5 and C6 gives rise to the nerve to the subclavius. This nerve supplies the subclavius muscle, which is located beneath the clavicle (collarbone). The subclavius muscle helps stabilize the clavicle during movement of the shoulder joint.

3. Suprascapular Nerve: The upper trunk also gives rise to the suprascapular nerve, which supplies the supraspinatus and infraspinatus muscles. The supraspinatus muscle is involved in initiating abduction (outward movement) of the arm at the shoulder joint, while the infraspinatus muscle aids in external rotation of the arm.

To summarize:
– C4 and C5 roots give rise to the dorsal scapular nerve, supplying the rhomboid and levator scapulae muscles.
– C5 and C6 roots form the upper trunk, which gives rise to the nerve to the subclavius, supplying the subclavius muscle.
– The suprascapular nerve arises from the upper trunk and supplies the supraspinatus and infraspinatus muscles.

It is important to note that injuries or impingements of these nerves can lead to weakness or dysfunction in the respective muscles they supply. This can result in symptoms such as shoulder pain, limited range of motion, and muscle weakness. Proper diagnosis and treatment by a healthcare professional are essential for addressing any issues related to these nerves.