Inside The Neck: A Look A The Anatomical Labrynth
By Tyler Woodward
The neck is one of the most complex parts of the human body. The neck houses many important structures that are crucial to the survival of the organism such as the thyroid gland, spinal cord, and passage to the lungs and stomach.
- General Function Of The Neck
- Structure Of The Inside Of The Neck
- Common Challenges Of The Inside Of The Neck
- Ways To Support The Neck
General Function Of The Neck:
Technically, the neck is the area that lies above the collar bone and below the lower jaw. Starting from the outside going inward we have the skin. The skin has nerve endings that originate from the 2nd-4th cervical nerves.
Beneath the skin is a layer of subcutaneous fat and connective tissue that is known as the superficial fascia. This is the layer in which many blood vessels pass through, like the external jugular vein and tributaries. The veins are responsible for getting blood from the face, scalp, and neck back to the heart and lungs to off load byproducts and get more oxygen.
Next to the external jugular vein are the superficial lymph nodes. These lymph nodes are mostly responsible for helping to keep the body free of infection. Lymph nodes mainly act as a filter for lymph fluid which contains white blood cells known as lymphocytes. Also found in this subcutaneous layer is the platysma muscle that helps to depress the lower jaw.
Structure Of The Inside Of The Neck:
The neck, being one of the most complex parts of the human anatomical system, is made up of various muscles, bones, passageways, and connective tissues. The main parts of the neck that are worth noting are:
- Infrahyoid Muscles - These muscles are involved in swallowing, talking, and moving the larynx.
- Platysma Muscle - Muscle at the front of the neck that plays a part in facial expressions
- Sternocleidomastoid - Side muscle of the neck that plays a part in the rotation of the head and flexion of the neck.
- Trapezius Muscle - Muscle of the back of the neck and upper back that shrugs the shoulders.
- Deep Cervical Muscles - Extend the Head
- Trachea - Known as the windpipe
- Thyroid Gland - Endocrine gland that modulates metabolism and growth through the production of various hormones.
- Oesophagus - Passage that leads to the stomach
- Spinal Cord - Part of the nervous system that carries information to and from the brain
- Vagus Nerve - The tenth cranial nerve that communicates with the heart, viscera, and blood vessels in the body.
- Cervical Vertebra - Seven vertebra that are located in the neck.
- Carotid Artery - Main blood supplier of head and neck
- Internal Jugular Vein - Pathway for most of the drainage of blood from the head and neck.
Common Challenges Of The Inside Of The Neck:
Some of the most common challenges that are involved with the inside of the neck are trauma, pr infection. Many times infection of the mouth can get back into the more susceptible tissues of the inside of the neck and cause a more rapid spread of the infection. If you have suspicion of an infection or have had any trauma to your neck, make sure to consult with your doctor for next steps.
Ways To Support The Neck:
Generally, walking and sitting with good posture, versus being slumped over, is going to make a massive impact on your cervical health. Keeping good oral hygiene is going to ensure that you mitigate the possibility of infections. Some good exercises that you can do to strengthen the muscles in your neck are:
- Neck Retractions
- Neck Bridges
- Weighted Neck Extensions
These are just a few of the many different exercises for the neck. If you are interested in more exercises and examples of neck training I highly suggest checking out Jeff Nippards youtube channel for more information.
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Overall, the neck plays a crucial role in the functioning of the human organism. It is one of the most complex anatomical structures of the human body, and houses many important structures. Knowing the anatomy of the inside of the neck and how it works will help you keep your neck healthy for the rest of your life so you can live happy and healthy forever.