man touching neck

Here on the Revelation Chiropractic blog, we love sharing our expertise about the spine and central nervous system! To start off the year we’re doing a four-part blog series on the parts of the spine. In today’s blog we’re covering the importance of the cervical spine, which is the very top of your spine connected to your head. And in the subsequent posts, we’ll be moving down the spine until we reach the lower back.

Understanding the anatomy and importance of different parts of the spine is a great way to support back health and prevent things like neck pain and back pain. If you’re experiencing any sort of back pain, please schedule an appointment with one of our Fort Collins chiropractors. We’ll work to diagnose the source of your pain and teach you ways to deal with your pain between chiropractic adjustments, such as personalized stretches.

Anatomy of the Cervical Spine 

Atlas (C1) 

  • Supports your head
  • Named after Atlas from Greek mythology, the person who carried the world on his shoulders

Axis (C2) 

  • Important for rotation and movement of the head
  • Called the cradle

C3 – C7

  • Reduced mobility
  • Support the head and other loads to the neck

Role of the Cervical Spine

The cervical spine performs several crucial functions, which is why it’s vital to keep it healthy and working as well as possible. 

Perhaps most important, the cervical spine supports the head and its movement. The cervical spine carries a heavy — and important! — load. Did you know that the average head weighs between 10 and 13 pounds? And not only does the cervical spine support that weight, it also turns your head and allows for your neck’s flexibility. Often, you don’t realize how much the cervical spine does for your daily functioning until it is injured and you have to turn your entire body to look to the left or right.

The cervical spine also facilitates the flow of blood to the brain. Your spine has small holes that provide a safe passageway for vertebral arteries to carry blood to your brain. The cervical spine contains critical nerves, blood vessels, and joints in a relatively small space, making it one of the most complex parts of the body.

Causes Of Cervical Pain

Like any issue with the spine and central nervous system, there can be many different causes for cervical pain. Here are some of the top causes that we see at Revelation Chiropractic and that may be causing you pain.

Overuse of The Neck

If you have a job that involves repetitive movement, like heavy lifting, you may be putting extra pressure on your cervical spine, resulting in painful wear and tear. If you lift weights and exercise regularly, you may also be putting more stress on your neck. Even desk jobs can cause overuse of the neck if you’re not sitting with correct posture.

Injury

If you’ve been in a car accident or had another injury you may be experiencing cervical pain. This pain can last long after the accident, so if your neck is still feeling achy, stop in and visit one of our Fort Collins chiropractors.

Herniated Discs

You can get herniated discs anywhere in your spine, and they can be extremely painful. This occurs when spinal discs develop cracks in them. Those cracks cause the internal cushioning material between your vertebrae to leak, resulting in neck and back pain.

Cervical Pain Symptoms

Cervical pain symptoms are generally concentrated in the shoulder and neck region, but like any central nervous system problem, the pain can radiate to other parts of the body. Symptoms of cervical spine pain can include:

  • Numbness, weakness, and tingling in the arms, hands, legs, and feet — all of which are directly connected to the cervical nerves
  • Lack of coordination
  • Muscle spasms
  • Stiffness in the neck and headaches 

Revelation Chiropractic Fort Collins

Our team of chiropractors is here to help you find relief from back pain, whether you’re experiencing pain within your cervical spine or somewhere else in your body. We’re passionate about the power of chiropractic adjustments. After all, we’ve seen how it can change lives! 

We started our chiropractic practice in order to help people live happier, healthier, pain-free lives. We specialize in the Torque Release Technique to align your spine without any loud popping or cracking, so even those who are bothered by this can experience the benefits of chiropractic care. Schedule a consultation today and our chiropractors will work with you to develop a treatment plan that fits your needs!