Welcome to our educational Vertebrae of the week. Here each week, we will feature a vertebrae of the week and explain the areas of the body that are controlled by these nerves and possible effects when these vertebras are misaligned in the spine.
This week we are featuring C1. The atlas is one of the two upper cervical vertebrae, also known as C1, which is the topmost vertebra of the spinal column. It is the vertebra that is in contact with the occipital bone, a flat bone located at the back portion of the head. This first cervical bone is named from the mythical Greek god who carried the world on his shoulders, as its function is to support the globe of the head. Together with the second vertebra, the axis, it is responsible for the wide range of motion of the head. The atlas does not look like a typical vertebra, with its ring-like structure and the absence of a body, which is actually fused to the axis.
The areas controlled by nerves associated with C1 are: blood supply to the head, pituitary gland, scalp, bones of the face, brain, inner and middle ear, and sympathetic nervous system. Possible effects that one may experience with malfunction of C1 include- headaches, nervousness, insomnia, head colds, high blood pressure, migraine headaches, nervous breakdowns, amnesia, chronic tiredness and dizziness.
It is our hope that you gain a better understanding of how misalignments of spinal vertebras and discs may cause irritation of the nervous system and affect the structures, organs, and functions which may result in conditions that are listed in association with these vertebras. Please consult with your doctor if you are experiencing any of these ailments.