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The neck is a highly mobile part that moves in all planes of motion. The neck is part of the vertebral column, consisting of seven cervical vertebra (C1-C7). The neck connects the head to the upper body and carries the weight of the head. Forces from the body are transferred to the head and forces acting on the head are transmited to the body via the neck. The neck also contains and protects the spinal cord, important blood vessels to the brain, and contains a nectwork of nerves.
RISKS TO THE NECK:
Extreme hyperextension, flexion and/or rotation of the neck can be catastrophic by causing death or paralysis from spinal cord injury. These type of injuries are caused by crashes, falls, diving accidents and football collisions.
Neck muscles tend to get tight under psychological stress. People tend to get a habit when they are thinking or concentrating, they pull their head forward. Visual problems can also cause the head to be improperly positioned by the neck.
Neck muscles often compensate for pain in the shoulder by causing excess elevation of the shoulder blade (scapula) in order to minimize pain that is generated from motion at the glenohumeral joint.
Avoid sports practices that put the neck at risk. Learn proper blocking and tackling techniques in football. Fully understand water depth and underwater obstacles before diving or swimming in water.
Avoid neck rolls that put the neck in hyperextension.
Avoid Yoga positions that put excessive stress on the neck or that occlude neck region blood vessels.