The human neck is a complex and intricate part of the body that plays a crucial role in supporting the head, protecting the spinal cord, and allowing for movement and flexibility. In this article, we will explore the anatomy of the neck, including the difference between the surgical and anatomical neck, the levels of the neck, the symmetrical nature of the neck, and the muscles that are responsible for turning the head.
The neck is made up of several different bones, including the cervical spine, the hyoid bone, and the clavicle (collarbone).
The cervical spine is made up of seven vertebrae that are numbered C1 to C7. These vertebrae are responsible for protecting the spinal cord and allowing for movement in the neck. The hyoid bone is a U-shaped bone located in the front of the neck that serves as a point of attachment for several muscles. The clavicle is a long, slender bone that connects the sternum to the scapula and provides support for the shoulders and arms.
What is the difference between surgical neck and anatomical neck?
There are two distinct areas of the neck, the surgical neck and the anatomical neck.
The surgical neck is the area located at the base of the skull, where the neck meets the head. This area is called the surgical neck because it is where surgeons often make incisions when performing operations on the neck. The anatomical neck is the area located between the surgical neck and the clavicle. This area is called the anatomical neck because it is where the major muscles, nerves, and blood vessels of the neck are located.
Neck anatomy levels
The neck can be divided into four different levels: the suboccipital level, the upper cervical level, the mid-cervical level, and the lower cervical level. The suboccipital level is located at the base of the skull and includes the occipital bone and the atlas (C1) and axis (C2) vertebrae. The upper cervical level is located above the suboccipital level and includes the third and fourth cervical vertebrae (C3 and C4). The mid-cervical level is located in the middle of the neck and includes the fifth and sixth cervical vertebrae (C5 and C6). The lower cervical level is located at the base of the neck and includes the seventh cervical vertebra (C7).
Is neck anatomy symmetrical?
The neck is largely symmetrical, with the exception of the larynx and thyroid gland, which are located on the front of the neck. The back of the neck is often called the nape or the nucha, and it is where the spinal cord exits the skull and enters the neck. The neck is connected to the shoulders by the clavicles and the trapezius muscle, which runs from the back of the neck to the shoulders.
The muscles of the neck are responsible for a variety of movements and functions. The sternocleidomastoid muscle, for example, runs from the sternum to the base of the skull and helps to turn the head and flex the neck. The trapezius muscle, which runs from the base of the skull to the middle of the back, helps to move the shoulders and arms. The levator scapulae muscle runs from the upper cervical spine to the scapula and is responsible for lifting the scapula and rotating the head.
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Which neck muscles turn the head?
Finally, the splenius capitis and cervicis muscles are responsible for extending and rotating the head. The splenius capitis muscle runs from the upper thoracic spine to the base of the skull and is responsible for extending the head, while the splenius cervicis muscle runs from the upper thoracic spine to the cervical spine and is responsible for rotating the head.