What a great way to make use of your plastic spine models that you likely have in your chiropractic office. This image of a human occipital bone, first cervical vertebrae, and second cervical vertebrae, was made by placing a plastic spine model on a solid color surface (blue or green works well) and converting the surrounding colors to black to produce the image shown here.

From top to bottom (viewing from the posterior) is the occipital bone, atlas vertebra (commonly referred to as C1), and the axis (commonly referred to as C2). Three sets of nerves exiting between the bones are also shown.

occipital bone atlas 2nd cervical vertebrae

occipital bone – atlas cervical vertebrae – C2 – spinal nerves

Images like the ones shown here can come in real handy for use on a chiropractic, orthopedic, or neurological website or blog. There are many image editing programs where you can easily add arrows, annotations, and other information. It makes it easier in explaining bone structure, nerve function or whatever it is you’re trying to get across. Plus you won’t have to rely on those 15th-century images scanned from an anatomy textbook. As an example I have posted this one I created in about a few minutes.

atlas lateral mass axis spinous process

Atlas Lateral Mass – Axis Spinous Process

It’s real easy to add arrows like the ones shown above so that you can label different parts of the spinal anatomy. I’m reminded of when we were in chiropractic college and had to memorize every individual bump and ridge on every bone of the human body. You can’t see the dens (an important structure) of the second cervical vertebra (C2) on this image, but the lateral masses of the atlas vertebra (C1) appear very nicely.

Nearly every chiropractor knows the atlanto-occipital area features predominately in symptoms of tension like headaches, often a result of prolonged inappropriate posture, like sitting all day at your computer. There are no ligaments shown in the above images but the model being used showing bone and nerve should be enough to get educational material across. Unnecessary pressure on those nerves is not a good thing.

If you think you’d like to use images like this on your blog or website let me know, I may post an entire set with and without labeling.