Your Incredible Neck

Your neck is made up of seven bones, referred to as cervical vertebrae, with discs between them.

There are a lot of structures in your neck. Your bones are strapped together with ligaments; tendons attach your bones to muscles and your neck is full of muscles that attach from your head and vertebrae to your ribs, shoulder blade (scapula), collar bone (clavicle), breastbone (sternum) and other structures in your chest. You’ve also got millions of nerves, blood and lymphatic vessels all over the place. In addition, there’s a food tube (esophagus), an air tube (trachea), a voice box (larynx) and so many more things it would take many pages to discuss them all. Your neck is a very busy place.

Your neck vertebrae are numbered from top down, C-1, C-2, C-3 all the way to C-7. Two neck vertebrae have special names: C-1 is also called the atlas (because it holds the globe of the skull) and C-2 is referred to as the axis (because it is involved in the turning of your head).

Chiropractors pay particular attention to the neck because inside your neck, inside your vertebrae, is a special canal: the spinal canal. Your spinal cord passes through your spinal canal. If the neck vertebrae are not properly aligned, the billions of nerves making up your spinal cord may be affected.

The result? A misalignment (subluxation) of a cervical (neck) vertebra can cause almost any health problem. Your resistance to disease, your immune system, your brain, your internal organs – all can be adversely affected by an unhealthy neck.

We spend so much time on computers and in cars that are two of the major sources of stress and injury. Speak to your chiropractor about simple techniques that you can use to reduce stress and tension in the neck and shoulders.

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