Something About Your Neck
The small seven cervical vertebras support and move the head and neck. The body structure of the upper cervical spine structurally different from the other cervical vertebras. It specialised to allow remarkable degree of movement.
The ATLAS is a wide and thin ring of bone with transverse process, without spinous process. Between C1 &C2 is no intervertebral disk. The atlas serves the function of the disk.
The AXIS has a small body with an upward projecting process called odontoid process or dens. This process articulates with the atlas to forming a pivot joint, the Atlanto-Axial Joint enabling the head and C1 to rotate 90degree horizontally (no movement).
The Atlanto-Occipital joint is formed by the articulation of the atlas and the occipital condyle. The occipital condyle of the skull is sitting on the articular fossa of the atlas. The atlanto-occipital joint, in the conjunction of the C3-C7 facet joints, permit a flexion and extension of the head and neck.(Yes movement)
The joint capsule of the joints is reinforced with ligaments. These ligaments limit the rotation of the occipital on the atlas.
Ligaments are dense connective tissues. They extend from one bone to another. They contain elastic and collagen fibres. They function is not only hold the bones together in the right position, but are also responsible for keeping the muscles in they correct position. They are found almost every part of the body holding bones, muscles, and organs in their correct position.
The ligaments of the upper cervical spine may be demaged in high-speed accidents, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and other inflammatory disease.
The muscles of the cervical spine can be considered in four functional groups:
1. Superficial posterior
2. Deep posterior
3. Superficial anterior
4. Deep anterior
NORMAL FUNCTION OF THE CERVICAL SPINE DEPENDS ON PROPER FLEXIBILITY AND BALANCE OF THE MUSCLE GROUPS.
The muscles of the neck are prone to injury in recreational or other activities.
Myofascial pain of the neck is generated by trigger points result from different causes, such as acute injuries by sudden trauma such as strain or sprain. Trigger points may become active in the short period or remain latent and became active because of different factors.
A very common area of discomfort and tension is in just below the occipital bone. The muscles of this area are under constant tension from the weigh of the head when the body is in an upright position. Tightness, tension, and congestion can restrict the blood circulation and the circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid. This imbalance can affect the nerve stimulation of the head, and can cause frequent headaches.
Postural imbalances in the neck and back will also develop myofascial pain and tension. Very common problem when the curvature in the cervical spine became increased and the muscles are being shortening.