Learn about spinal anatomy and how various conditions can cause pain and discomfort.
There are 6 intervertebral discs in the cervical spine.

Cervical Disc Anatomy Animation

There are 6 intervertebral discs in the cervical spine. These cervical discs are located between the adjacent vertebrae. They enable the highly mobile cervical spine to move in all directions while supporting the neck and head above.
Cervical Muscles

Cervical Muscle Anatomy Animation

Neck muscles work together with tendons and ligaments to support and move the neck and head. Tendons are connective tissue that attach muscle to bone, whereas ligaments attach bones to other bones.
There are 8 cervical nerves in the cervical spine, labeled c1 through c8.

Cervical Nerve Anatomy Animation

There are 8 pairs of spinal nerves in the cervical spine, labeled C1 to C8. Each one is named after the vertebra beneath it, except the C8 nerves, which are above the T1 vertebra. These nerves play important roles in sending messages to and from the spinal cord, enabling the brain to communicate with parts of the upper body.
Cervical Spinal Cord

Cervical Spinal Cord Anatomy Animation

The spinal cord is a critical bundle of nerve cells that carry electrical signals to and from the brain. One of the cervical spine’s important roles is to protect the spinal cord as nerve cells communicate with each other throughout the body.
Cervical Spine Anatomy Video

Cervical Spine Anatomy Video

The cervical region of the spine (neck) consists of seven vertebrae. Learn how the spinal discs function and how various conditions can cause neck pain and/or radiating pain.
Cervical Anatomy Verteebrae

Cervical Vertebrae Anatomy Animation

The neck has 7 cervical vertebrae, labeled C1 through C7. They form a natural inward curvature, sometimes called a lordotic curve. The upper cervical vertebrae are smaller and more mobile, while the lower ones are bigger to handle heavier loads from the neck and head.
Lumbar Spine Anatomy Video

Lumbar Spine Anatomy Video

Learn how the lumbar spinal discs function and how lower back conditions can cause back pain and/or radiating pain.
Illustration highlighting the c1 c2 vertebrae in the cervical spine.

Spinal Motion Segment: C1-C2 (Atlantoaxial Joint) Animation

The C1 C2 spinal motion segment, also called the atlantoaxial joint, is located in the upper portion of the cervical spine. It consists of the C1 and C2 vertebrae, and the anatomical structures connecting them. This segment provides rotational motion, supports the head, and protects the spinal cord and nerve pathways.
Illustration showing the head, neck and shoulders of a skeleton, with highlights on the c2, c3, c4, and c5 vertebrae

Spinal Motion Segment: C2-C5 Animation

The C2-through-C5 spinal motion segments are located in the middle portion of the cervical spine. They include 3 separate spinal motion segments: C2 C3, C3 C4, and C4 C5. Each segment consists of 2 adjacent vertebrae and the anatomical structures connecting them. These segments are less likely to experience degeneration and pain compared to segments lower in the cervical spine.
Illustration of the c5-c6 spinal motion segment of the cervical spine

Spinal Motion Segment: C5-C6 Video

The C5 C6 spinal motion segment is located in the lower portion of the cervical spine. This segment helps provide neck flexibility, supports the upper cervical spine and head, and protects the spinal cord and nerve pathways.
Illustration of the head, neck and shoulders of a skeleton, with the c6 and c7 vertebrae highlighted

Spinal Motion Segment: C6-C7 Animation

The C6 C7 spinal motion segment is located in the lower part of the cervical spine and consists of the C6 and C7 vertebrae, and the anatomical structures connecting them. This segment helps provide neck flexibility, supports the cervical spine and head, and protects the spinal cord and nerve pathways.
Illustration of the head, neck and shoulders of a skeleton, with highlights on the C7 and T1 vertebrae.

Spinal Motion Segment: C7-T1 (Cervicothoracic Junction) Animation

The C7 T1 spinal motion segment, also called the cervicothoracic junction, is located where the cervical spine and thoracic spine connect. It consists of the C7 and T1 vertebrae, and the anatomical structures connecting them. This segment provides minimal flexibility, supports the neck and head above, and protects the spinal cord and nerve pathways.
Spine Anatomy Video

Spine Anatomy Overview Video

See illustrations of spinal anatomy and learn about components of the spine to help you better understand various sources of back pain and other back problems.