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Anatomy

A Quick Anatomy Lesson For You

     I know you might not understand your body, but I had a patient ask me about her neck the other day, so I’m going to do this short handout. I just want you to understand the complexity of your neck and head and why it’s so important to get your neck checked at a minimum of at least once a month.

     The bones of YOUR head and neck support your: brain, sensory organs, millions or delicate nerves, and sensitive blood vessels. That’s one of the biggest reasons you want to know more about your bones, especially in the neck area and why you should have your neck adjusted if it’s misaligned.

     Movements of your neck bones by the attached muscles of your head provide for things like: facial expressions, eating, speech, and head movement, so they do a lot - if you know what I mean.

     Get this. Your skull consists of 22 cranial and facial bones, which, with the exception of the mandible, (JAW) are tightly fused together. Your skull encases and protects your brain as well as the special sense organs of vision, hearing, balance, taste and smell.... so it’s VERY important.

     Attachment points for the muscles of the head and neck are located on the back part of your skull and allow for important movement like chewing, speech, and facial expressions. If you have problems with your neck muscles, this could affect a lot of things, even speech, so be careful.

     Another important bone of your head and neck is a bone called the hyoid. The hyoid bone is a “floating bone” that does not form a joint with any other bone anywhere in your body. It anchors muscles of your tongue and throat, so it’s pretty important to you and you functioning normally.

     The 7 cervical (neck) vertebrae form the bones of your neck that support your skull and organs that are associated with your neck.  Your head weighs a lot (up to twelve pounds).

     The first cervical vertebra (atlas) supports and balances your head which is important. The second vertebra (axis) allows your head to rotate to the left and the right. Bad misaligned bones means less movement in your neck.

     The hollow spaces within the neck bones protect and conduct the spinal cord and vertebral arteries through your neck. There are also some muscle attachment sites on the (neck) cervical bones that provide movement and posture to your head and neck.

     All of this may sound complicated, and it is, but if you’re aligned, you’re going to feel better, act better, and function better. I don’t know about you, but as I age, I find myself losing some of that flexibility I had when I was younger. If you want to retain as much of that young feeling and movement as you can, make sure you’re adjusted regularly. It pays to get adjusted in the long run.

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