Neck

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The Neck (mok)

The neck can be seen as a connecting stem between the head, the brain and the rest of the body. It functions as a support of the head as well as a conduit.

The support is accomplished by the cervical (neck) spine This is the first part of the vertebral column (backbone). The other parts are: thoracic (chest) spine, lumbar (abdominal) spine, sacral (the part between the two hip bones) spine and the coccyx.

The cervical spine consists of seven vertebrae. Inside of the vertebrae is a canal which contains the spinal cord. The nerves going to the rest of the body exit from the spinal cord between two neighboring vertebrae.

Injuries to any part of the spine can lead to the fracture of a vertebra which if displaced will lead to compression or transaction of nerves on the spinal cord. This, in turn, may result in paralysis of the muscles or the part of the body innervated by the nerve or the spinal cord. The conduit part lies in front of the cervical spine. In front of this lies the larynx and the trachea (Adam’s apple and the windpipe) which bring air to the lungs. Behind lies, the esophagus (food pipe) which brings food to the stomach

On the side of these are located carotid arteries (one on each side) which take blood from the heart to the brain. Injury to the larynx, trachea or carotid arteries is extremely serious and can lead to rapid death. Injuries to the esophagus are very rare, except with a knife or gunshot wound to the neck.


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