Movements of the head
This animation demonstrates how muscles and vertebrae move the head.
head, nodding, sternocleidomastoid muscle, atlas, rotating, skull, spine, muscle, vertebra, moving, human, biology
The first and the second cervical vertebrae play a key role in moving the head. The topmost vertebra, known as atlas, serves to support the skull. The atlanto-occipital joint allows the head to nod up and down.
The second vertebra is called the axis. Its odontoid process forms a pivot upon which the atlas rotates and thereby allows for the rotation of the head.
The sternocleidomastoid muscles also play an important role in moving the head. The muscle’s origins are located on the sternum and the clavicle, while its insertion is on the skull. When both of these muscles contract, the head is tilted backwards. When only one of the muscles contract, the head rotates. The movements of the head are also influenced by other muscles in the neck, therefore the head can also be rotated horizontally.
The two main parts of the central nervous system, the brain and the spinal cord are protected by the skull and the spinal column.
Human bones are joined together by cartilaginous or synovial joints, sutures or they can fuse together.
Synovial joints can be categorised by the direction of movement they allow.
Bones of the lower limbs are connected to the trunk by the pelvis.
Bones of the upper limbs form the pectoral girdle and the arms.
Our body´s internal support structure to which skeletal muscles are attached.
The knee joint is made up by the femur, the tibia and the kneecap.
The ribs, the sternum and the spinal column form the skeleton of the chest.
The arms are moved by flexor and extensor muscles.