The spine is the backbone of the human skeleton and one of its most important systems. It is he who protects the spinal cord and supports the body in an upright position. In addition, the spine provides protection of the brain from shaking during human movement. This is due to its high cushioning properties. They can be explained by a special structure of the spine - it consists of 24 vertebrae. They are grouped into four departments, united by common properties. Among them, each cervical vertebra differs in its features . The anatomy studied at school does not give a complete picture of this. Therefore, damage to the cervical spine is so common . And this is very dangerous, because in this place it is quite fragile. And every person should know what features each cervical vertebra has.
Anatomy of the cervical
The spine performs very important functions to protect the spinal cord. It gives rigidity to the skeleton and softens the jolts when walking. In addition, the spine allows you to perform various movements.
Features of cervical vertebrae
Inside the spine is the spinal cord. Its protection is provided by a special structure of the vertebrae:
- The front segment is called the vertebral body and has a cylindrical shape;
- Behind him, the canal of the spinal cord is limited by the arc of the vertebra;
- In addition, he has spinous processes, permeated with holes for blood vessels.
But not so the cervical vertebra is arranged. Human anatomy makes it possible to understand why one should be cautious and for what reason so often injuries occur in the cervical region. The vertebrae in this area are small and very fragile. They almost all differ in size and shape. The first vertebra is called "atlant", it holds the spine with the skull. In addition, in the lower part it is connected in a complicated way to the second vertebra, called "axis". The sixth and seventh cervical vertebrae are also unusual in structure. This can be explained by the functions that they must perform. A special structure of the cervical vertebrae is necessary in order to protect the spinal cord, provide the proper nutrition to the brain and the ability to perform various small movements of the head.
1 and 2 cervical vertebra
The uppermost vertebra is called "atlant". It is axial and does not have a body and a spinous process. In this place the spine is connected to the occipital bone, and the spinal cord with the head. This determines the special structure of the "atlant": it consists of two arcs bordering the spinal canal. The anterior one forms a small tubercle in front, and in the back - a hollow, which coincides with the tooth-like process of the second vertebra. On the posterior arc there is a groove in which the vertebral artery is located . Above, the articular part of the "atlas" is convex, and from the bottom - flat.
6 and 7 cervical vertebrae
The backbone of this department slightly widens. The largest here is the 7th cervical vertebra. He even acts, and most people can grope him with his head bent forward. Therefore, he is also called a speaker. It is on it is often guided in the calculation of vertebrae. In the lower part, it has a depression. This is the place of connection with the first rib. 7 cervical vertebra has one more feature - the holes in the transverse processes are too small, or not at all. It has long transverse and one large spinous process, which, unlike the others, is not bifurcated. Through this vertebra passes the transverse vein, and it is the only one that has two pairs of nerve roots. Often in this place salt is deposited and a protruding "withers" are formed. 6 cervical vertebra is also called "sleepy." This name he received for the fact that his anterior tubercle is located very close to the carotid artery, and if necessary, the doctor presses it to stop bleeding.
Other vertebrae: characteristic
For the normal functioning of the human body, the cervical spine should be very mobile. This is provided by its special structure. The cervical vertebrae of a person from third to sixth are very small. The holes in their body are quite large, similar in shape to the triangle. The upper edges of the vertebrae protrude a little, forming the sides. The articular processes are short and located slightly at an angle. 3, 4 and 5 of the cervical vertebra have still small transverse processes and are split at the edges of the spinosa. In the transverse processes there are holes for the blood vessels. It is through them that the main vertebral artery passes, which feeds the brain.
Why do we need such a structure?
The body of a person is arranged wisely, there is nothing superfluous in it, and all the details perform some functions. This especially applies to the cervical spine. A special structure of his vertebrae is needed to provide better mobility in the neck, as well as to protect the brain and spinal cord. Often the health of a person depends on the state of this part of the spinal column.
Cervical spine injuries
They can occur as a result of a blow to the neck, a severe blow to the head or a fall. Even a sharp tilt or turn of the head can lead to injury to the cervical vertebrae. Often this happens when diving into the water in a shallow place. In many cases, such traumas result in death. Even if the fracture or dislocation is successfully cured, serious complications can develop. Because the vertebrae and intervertebral discs in this place are so fragile that they react to any sudden movements or blows to the head. Sometimes it happens that the consequences of trauma do not immediately manifest, since small cracks on the articular processes of the vertebrae are not visible even on X-rays. And their consequences can be serious. What are the injuries in the cervical spine are most often:
- ruptures of ligaments;
- ruptures of intervertebral discs;
- subluxation and dislocation of vertebrae;
- displacement of vertebrae;
Why such damage is dangerous?
Even small changes in the structure of the vertebrae entail various ailments and diseases. For example, when a hernia or pathologies of intervertebral discs can appear such symptoms:
- general weakness;
- violation of gait, speech or sight.
This is due to the compression of the vertebral artery and the blood vessels that feed the brain. In case of serious injuries, there is a danger that the damaged vertebrae will touch the spinal canal. This can lead to paralysis, disruption of the heart, or death. Dangerous damage to the spine in the cervical region is also due to the fact that it is not always immediately possible to determine the severity of the injury. Sometimes only pain during movement or swelling testify to it.
How to treat the pathology of the cervical department
With spinal injuries, it is very important to start treatment immediately to avoid complications. The most important thing is to fix the neck in a fixed position. This must be done so that the damaged vertebrae do not injure the spinal cord or blood vessels.