What is Cervical Spine?

The cervical spine (neck) is delicate—housing the spinal cord that sends messages from the brain to control all aspects of the body—while also remarkably strong and flexible, allowing movement in all directions.

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The Thoracic Spine

The cervical spine (neck) begins at the base of the skull and through a series of seven vertebral segments connects to the thoracic spine (upper back). With its complex and intricate construct, and the many stresses and forces that can be placed on it through a trauma or even just daily activities, the cervical spine is at risk for developing a number of painful conditions.

What makes it different?

  • Housing and protecting the spinal cord. A bundle of nerves that extends from the brain and runs through the cervical spine and thoracic spine (upper and middle back) prior to ending just before the lumbar spine (lower back), the spinal cord relays messages from the brain to the rest of the body.

  • The role of support and movement . The cervical spine holds a lot weight, as the head weighs on average between 10 and 13 pounds. In addition to supporting the head, the cervical spine allows for the head’s flexibility, including rotational, forward/back and side bending motions.

Brain Side-Effects

  • The flow of blood to the brain. Openings in the vertebrae (vertebral foramen) in the cervical spine provide a passageway for vertebral arteries to pass and ensure proper blood flow to the brain. These openings are present only in the vertebrae of the cervical spine.

thoracic spine cervical spine lumbar spine

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