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Your Amazing Incredible Neck

Inside your neck are your neck bones (cervical vertebrae), spinal and cranial nerves, spinal cord, blood vessels, glands(including the thyroid and parathyroids), voice box (larynx), esophagus, trachea, brain stem, and many muscles ligaments and other structures. With all that, it’s still able to gracefully balance your head and turn, tilt and bend without damaging its vital “occupants.”
That’s amazing because if your neck’s functions are interrupted for even a few seconds you’d lose consciousness and begin to die.
neck_pain_2The Cervical Spine
Cervix is the Latin word for neck, meaning a constricted area (the uterus and urinary bladders have a neck or cervix too). Your seven small neck bones are called cervical vertebrae, numbered C-1 to C-7.
Inside your cervical vertebrae lies your spinal cord, a continuation of the brain down your neck and back. Protection of the spinal cord is extremely important because an injury to it can result in instant paralysis or death.
Your vertebrae are connected to each other by discs, ligaments and tendons that help give the neck its shape (the cervical curve). Between the vertebrae are opening where nerves, blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, fat and connective tissues are found.

 

Neck Problems
With all the neck’s complexity, it should come as no surprise that neck problems are common. They may develop suddenly from a trauma such as a whiplash or fall, or slowly as a result of spinal imbalance, vertebral subluxations, emotional stress or bad posture.
Damaged or irritated neck nerves can cause more than neck pain. Pain in the face, shoulder, arm, wrist, hand and fingers, as well as reduced neck motion may also occur. Other neck problems include headaches, vision difficulties, dizziness, ringing in the ears, decreased attention span, learning and memory impairments, nasal problems tongue and throat problems.
The more serious neck problems such as fracture, dislocation or severe tissue damage can be fatal if not given emergency medical care. Most other neck problems, however, although not life-threatening, can impair your health if not corrected.

Neck Pain
Pain in the neck can be caused by irritation, inflammation,injury or infection. Pain in the neck, shoulder, arm, hand or head “most frequently results from irritation of cervical nerve roots in the region of the intervertebral foramen, encroachment of the vascular supply as it courses through the vertebral canal, or invasion of the cord in the spinal canal.

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