Health Tips for Seniors

Examining the Neck for problems

The neck

The neck, the support and connection for the head to the body, is also the location of the thyroid gland and many human ills as well.

Examination of the Neck

The neck is examined in a well-lighted position before a close-up wall mirror for clear observation.

1. Note flexibility of the neck. Bend the head slowly frontward and backward, from side to side, and rotate to the right and left. Stiffness or soreness noted in these actions may denote arthritis, irritation of the neck muscles and ligaments, or an infection in the neck.

Fig. 30. The neck contains the body’s important connections for the head and senses. There are many great blood vessels, glands, nerves, breathing tubes, muscles and other structures in this small space. It also may figure prominently as a thing of beauty.

2. Feel for enlarged neck glands. Bend the head back and feel along the sides of the neck muscles, stretching from the breastbone to the mastoid bone. Enlarged glands in this region can be rolled under the fingers, and usually are painful to touch.

3. Feel the region of the thyroid gland. With the thumb and forefinger, press gently on the sides of the windpipe just above the collarbone. Swallow and feel the thyroid gland rise and fall along with the windpipe.

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