The neck contains seven bones (vertebra) these make up the Cervical Spine. The spinal cord passes through the large opening in the centre of each vertebra. It connects the brain with the nerves of the body.
Nerves branch from the spinal cord through small openings in the sides of the vertebra. Each opening is called a foramen. The nerves branch out in pairs.
Each vertebra has a bony bump at the back that you can feel on the back of the neck, this bump is called a spinous process.
Seperating the vertebra are discs. These are tough fibrocartalige pads that have a jelly like substance in the middle of them. Together with the hydraulic blood pump mechanism these discs provide a protective/shock absorbstion function and allow the neck to move safely to specific ranges of motion in conjunction with the facet joints of the vertebra, these gliding joints are the main mechanism used in movement of the neck.
A healthy neck is strong and flexible it is pain free and it keeps your head and spine in balance for good posture, If your neck is damaged it may become stiff and painful and cause headaches and arm pain.
Chiropractors treat neck pain every day and scientific studies have shown the effectiveness of Chiropractic treatment for spinal problems. Migraine and headaches are relieved with neck manipulation which has been shown to be very safe and cost effective, so much so that most major insurance companies use Chiropractors to provide spinal manipulation to their clients who have spinal injuries.
Kevin Kelly also works for the NHS Plymouth Primary Care trust providing spinal manipulation for patients referred who have spinal dysfunction.