Healthsheet

Know Your Neck: The Cervical Spine

Know Your Neck: The Cervical Spine

By learning about the parts of the neck, you can better understand your neck problem. The bones of the neck are called cervical vertebrae. Together, they form a bony column called the spine. Vertebrae also protect the spinal cord, a pathway for messages to reach the brain. Surrounding the spine are soft tissues such as muscles, tendons, and nerves.

 

Flexibility Is Key

For the neck to function normally, it has to be flexible enough to move without discomfort. A healthy neck can move easily in six different directions.

Flexion and extension move the head forward and backward.
Rotation turns the head from left to right, chin over the shoulders.
Lateral bending moves the head from side to side.


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