Definition of Vertebra, first cervical
Vertebra, first cervical: The first cervical (neck) vertebra is called the atlas. It supports the head.
The atlas bone is named for the Greek god Atlas who was condemned to support the earth and its heavens on his shoulders. (Because the god Atlas often adorned maps, a compilation of maps came to be known as an atlas).Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012
Medical Dictionary Definitions A - Z
Search Medical Dictionary
Chronic Pain/Back Pain
Find tips and advances in treatment.