Your Amazing Incredible Neck
Your neck is packed with all kinds of things: bones (vertebrae), nerves, blood vessels, glands, voice box (larynx), esophagus (food pipe), trachea (windpipe), discs, connective tissue, muscles, ligaments, tendons and other structures. Your amazing, incredible neck balances your heavy head as it turn, tilts, and twists without damaging its vital occupants.
The Cervical Spine
Cervix, the Latin word for neck, means "a constricted area." The uterus and urinary bladders also have a neck or cervix as does that part of your body that connects your head to your torso.
You have seven neck bones (also called cervical vertebrae) and they are numbered C-1 to C-7 from top to bottom. Your top cervical vertebrae, C-1, has a special name – the atlas – because, like Atlas in Greek mythology, it balances a globe, your skull. The next one is C-2 and it also has a special name – the axis – because it permits your next to move in many different directions.
All your vertebrae work together to balance your head and protect your spinal cord, an extension of your brain that lies in your neck. This protection is extremely important because a spinal cord injury can result in paralysis or death.
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