What movement does the atlas and axis allow?

The atlas and axis are specialized to allow a greater range of motion than normal vertebrae. They are responsible for the nodding and rotation movements of the head. The atlanto-occipital joint allows the head to nod up and down on the vertebral column.

What movements does the atlas allow?

The atlas and the occipital bone form the atlanto-occipital joint, which allows neck flexion. When you nod your head as if to say “yes,” that is neck flexion. The atlas and axis form the atlanto-axial joint, which allows head rotation. If you shake your head as if to say “no,” that is head rotation.

What type of movement is the atlas and axis?


The primary movement of the atlantoaxial joint complex is rotation. In rotation the atlas together with the head, rotate around the dens of axis. This movement allows us to turn our head to look towards the left or towards the right.

What type of movement does the axis allow?


Introduction. The Axis (C2 vertebra) also known as epistropheus forms the pivot upon which the first cervical vertebra (the Atlas), which carries the head, rotates. The axis is composed of a vertebral body, heavy pedicles, laminae, and transverse processes, which serve as attachment points for muscles.

What does the atlas and axis do?

The atlas and axis support the head on the lower cervical spine while providing for considerable mobility in flexion, extension, rotation and lateral bending. The first two vertebrae also function as conduits for the cervical cord and vertebral arteries.

How do the axis and atlas articulate?

Superiorly the atlas articulates with the occiput to form the Atlanto-occipital joint which allows the head to nod up and down on the vertebral column. Inferiorly the atlas articulates with the dens which acts as a pivot that allows the atlas and attached head to rotate on the axis. This is the Atlanto-axial joint.

What movement does C1 allow and why?

The cervical vertebrae C1 is attached directly to the skull, which allows for any nodding lateral motions.

Does the atlas move?

The ring-shaped atlas rotates around the dens, which is the peg-like bony projection of the axis. Articular cartilage enables the smooth movements around the dens and within the facets, while muscles, tendons, and ligaments help hold the vertebrae together.

What does the atlas articulate with which allows you to nod yes?

The atlas (C1) lacks a body and spinous process, and its superior articulating processes (facets) articulate with the occipital condyles of the skull, permitting the head movement used in nodding “yes”.

What makes axis and atlas unique?

The main difference between atlas and axis vertebrae is that atlas is the first cervical vertebra, which supports the skull whereas axis is the second cervical vertebra, which forms the pivot upon the atlas. Furthermore, atlas help to hold the head upright while axis allows the head to turn side to side.

What is the difference between the atlas and the axis?

The key difference between atlas and axis vertebrae is that the atlas vertebra is the topmost vertebra which holds the skull while axis vertebra is the second topmost vertebra which provides an axis to rotate the skull and atlas vertebra when the head moves side to side.

Is the atlas and axis a pivot joint?

The pivot joint is exemplified by the joint between the atlas and the axis (first and second cervical vertebrae), directly under the skull, which allows for turning of the head from side to side.