The Cervical Spine is most commonly referred to as your “Neck Bones”. It consists of 7 bones, known as vertebrae. The first Cervical vertebra is known as the Atlas and the second the Axis, together account for nearly 50% of neck rotation.
The Cervical Spine is where the Skull (Cranium) sits on the Atlas and is where our Brain Stem sits. The Brain Stem works like the relay station for all bodily functions. The nerves that come out of the Cervical Spine levels also control our vision, hearing, sense of smell, balance, taste, fascial muscles, heart, lungs, arms, hands, muscles of the back and the diaphragm which controls our breathing.
Pain is the most common symptom of the cervical spine, so is arthritis. Other illnesses include, headaches, dizziness, respiratory such as asthma, and heart problems, increased arterial pressure, pain, numbness and or loss of strength in your shoulders, arms and hands. Severe cervical spine trauma can lead to partial or total paralyses of your arms and legs or total inability to breath.
Firstly, you should maintain a good posture when working, looking at your electronic devices or watching TV. Secondly, your pillow is very important as is your sleeping position. You should always maintain your cervical spine in alignment, otherwise you create mechanical stress on the soft-tissues that leads to premature degeneration, arthritis and many of the symptoms mentioned above.
Most importantly, you should have your Cervical Spine evaluated by a specialist. The first indicator of potential problems is your posture. When posture is corrected, you can prevent many health problems mentioned above. You may not have pain, but you likely suffer from other issues associated with the cervical spine. Regular physical exercise, stretching and flexibility typically involves the cervical spine and is very beneficial when performed correctly. Use an ergonomically correct pillow. Remember, we spend 1/3rd of our lives sleeping. Proper sleeping posture is the best way to maintain Cervical Spine health.