The cervical spine, which refers to the upper seven of our vertebrae, is undoubtedly among the most under-appreciated and most vital parts of our body. It has 37 separate joints that allow the head and neck to move atop the torso – all the while obeying a constant stream of commands from the reflex mechanisms and special senses.
Consider this: the cervical spine, without fail, holds up our heavy heads between 14 to 16 hours a day, every day. This is no easy feat! For starters, the head is far from evenly balanced on top of our spine. As a matter of fact, it’s tilted heavily forward. Without the cervical muscles, our heads would topple over onto our chest.
Secondly, our heads are heavy and that weight weight can become unbearable over time. For a more in-depth explanation, try this experiment: hold a bowling ball with your elbow on a table for as long as you can. We'd be surprised if you are able to do it for more than an hour!
Most of what our head does is all in thanks to the cervical spine. It is a vital part of almost all our everyday activities, including speaking, gesturing, standing, sitting, lying down, breathing and many more.
Protecting Your Spine
Because the cervical spine is critical to so many everyday activities, injuries to this area are extremely serious – often resulting in paralysis or death. For example, hitting your head on the bottom of the pool or tackling in sports can compress the cervical spine against the shoulder and cause grave injury. Even everyday headaches often involve the cervical spine.
Chiropractors have been at the forefront of understanding the uniqueness of the cervical spine – even from the rest of the spine – and taking proper care of it. Contact us today to help your spine be at its healthiest!