Cervical Vertebrae: Everything You Need To Know About It!

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cervical vertebrae

Are you looking for information about Cervical Vertebrae? Guess what, you have ended up in the right place!

When you think of cervical vertebrae, the first thing that comes to your mind must be where it is located in your body; after that comes which animal has cervical vertebrae and which does not. Like that, many more questions can come up. Such as functions, pain, et cetera.

Cervical vertebrates are definitely present in animals or humans, known as the vertebrates. It is made of bones. So, any animal without bone does not have cervical vertebrae. Animals without bones are known as invertebrates. Here, we are going to discuss the cervical vertebrates present in the vertebrate animals. Let’s begin!

The cervical vertebrae are a set of seven bones that runs between the skull and just above the shoulders. They are singularly known as vertebrae and, when combined, are known as vertebrae. It is a very vital area of bone for the human body. The cervical vertebrae help in the movement of the neck and the shoulders simultaneously. It is flexible and can carry a lot of pressure, thus helping in providing support to the shoulders as well. It also helps in protecting the nerves and blood vessels that run through the body as well as the spinal cord.

Even among the cervical vertebrae, the 7 bones are grouped into two different groups. They are:

  • Atypical Vertebrae
  • Typical Vertebrae

Let’s discuss these two in more detail.

cervical vertebrae

1. Atypical Vertebrae

The Atypical Vertebrae are made up of the first two cervical vertebrae. The first vertebra is called the atlas, and the second vertebra is called the axis. Both are essential to be present in your body.

The atlas is known to be at the top and connected to the skull. It provides smooth and efficient movement of the skull; whatever movement that you are able to do relating to your head is all due to the flexibility and the extending of the skull and the atlas.

Next comes the axis, which is the second vertebra from the top. The axis is joined with the atlas with the help of a circular structural present in between the axis and the atlas. It is also called the odontoid process or the dens. The axis helps to maximize the movement and the flexibility of the atlas.

Both of them are equally important body parts. As the atlas keeps up the mass of the skull, the axis helps in rotation and flexibility. Both together make up a pair which we come to know as the Atypical Vertebrae.

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2. Typical Vertebrae

The typical vertebrae consist of the rest of the vertebra, leaving the other two. From the third to the sixth vertebra, all of them have common similarities as well as functions. You can consider this section of the typical Vertebrae to be very vital as it together carries all the load and pressure of the skull as well as the spinal cord.

The vertebrae are joined together with the help of pedicles and laminae two. The Typical Vertebrae stand together, helping in the formation of the spinal cord. When touched, you can feel a curve in the back. This is due to the stacking of the vertebra over each other.

About the seventh cervical vertebrae, it can be called the joint that joins the cervical vertebrae to the thoracic vertebrae. To understand where the vertebra is, you can try bending your neck. And then see that a bond is coming out which you can feel easily. The figure that is bending out is the seventh cervical vertebrae.

cervical vertebrae

Functions of Cervical Vertebrae

As an essential part of the body, the cervical vertebrae have their own sets of functions. Without performing those functions, the human body will be at its weakest. Let us first go through the important and vital functions of the cervical vertebrae. They are as follows:

  • Most importantly, it helps in the flexible and elastic movement of the head in every direction.
  • Cervical Vertebrae help to provide protection to the long protruding spinal cord, which helps you in different body movements and in standing as well.
  • It also helps to support the skull and hold on to its weight. This is done by the first two cervical vertebrae, that is, the atlas and the axis.
  • There are blood vessels that provide blood circulation to your body. That blood vessel is protected by the cervical vertebrae.
  • Cervical vertebrae also help in extending the neck and the shoulder. Any kind of extension in your body is with the help of the cervical vertebrae themselves.

Cervical Spondylosis

As human beings, we know that not everything has a long-lasting life. Slowly even body parts start to become weak as you start to age. Or in some cases, even at a young age, your body parts, due to some illness or some other reason, may not be as supportive as they are supposed to be.

Like that, even cervical vertebrae start to show signs of pain. What can this pain be? It is known as Cervical Spondylosis. In most cases, it happens when you start to grow old. Your bodily bones start to lack calcium. The constant movement of the bones leads to the tear of the ligament after a certain age. These reasons lead to cervical spondylosis.


How do you understand that you have cervical spondylosis? Well, when you have spondylosis, you will feel constant pain in your neck. Your head and shoulder movements will become stiff; that is, you will not be readily able to move like before. The back of the neck will become stiff. In some cases, the neck does not remain as flexible as before. Doctors also call this kind of condition neck pain arthritis.

Arthritis is known for any kind of pain in the bones. Since this neck pain is due to cervical vertebrae, which consist of seven bones in number, it is suitable to call it one of the arthritic pains.

Cervical Spondylosis Causes

What can usually cause Cervical Spondylosis? Till now, it is known to happen as a natural cause, that is, due to aging. The bones start to lose calcium as the body starts to grow old. The mass of the disc also begins to lose, and the ligament that keeps holding the bones thinner down. Due to this thinning down, the bones began to come in contact with each other and start rubbing against each other. These rubbing of bones start to rub, then lose the skin of the bone. Thus, making the bones weaker. These are the causes of Cervical Spondylosis.

People who are mostly known to have Cervical Spondylosis are those who work constantly and often have to keep their heads bent. It also happens to heavy smokers. Most people in their old age develop this kind of situation, but it can also be hereditary. Besides, people who lift a lot of heavy goods or have had some kind of injury over their neck are prone to it.

Effects of Cervical Spondylosis can lead to sore neck, cramps, feeling dizzy, and the neck becoming stiff.

cervical vertebrae

Final thoughts

With this, we have come to the end of our blog! In this blog, we tried to cover almost everything about cervical vertebrae. Any kind of movement by your head and shoulders is due to the help of cervical vertebrae. But in the later stages, to avoid neck pain and stiffness, try to avoid any kind of stress or strain over your neck. These pains can become severe in the later stages. So, as soon as you feel any symptoms, try seeing a doctor and get a cure or remedy.

Let us know what you thought about the blog in the comments! Also, we hope you share it with those who are looking for information about cervical vertebrae.