Investigating the Head and Cranial Nerves | CPD at Sports Physio UK

August 20, 2023

What bones, muscles and nerves do we have in the head?

This is what our Team were answering during this weeks CPD session. The 2 hour session led by Senior Physiotherapist Rick Livesey and Senior Sports Therapist and First Responder, Scott Woodhead wanted to help others investigate what bones, muscles and nerves make up our head and cranial nerves, and what effect this can have on the rest of the body.

"In the world of Pre-Hospital Care, assessing 12 Cranial nerves for damage can mean the difference between life and death" says Scott Woodhead.

Bone and Muscles in the Head

During the session, Rick took a lead on discussing and identifying the bones and muscles that make up the neck and head. Did you know you have 29 bones all coming together to create your head?Rick helped the group identify each bone and looked at the function and movement of each linking it to the muscles and tendons and facia.As a group, we all identified the muscle muscles and connective tissues that hold it all together and even learnt how our faces can make the small complex movements observed through emotion.

"26 muscles in the face to help us smile. Not the original 17 that people think."

Our therapists learnt how all the muscle recruits to move each bone in the head and the importance of understanding these when it comes to things like headaches/migraines and head pains.Rick was able to link these muscles to specific conditions (migraines and headaches)Patients have suffered with and explained the uses of trigger point therapy and acupuncture on these muscles to alleviate symptoms with great results, instead of just taking basic pain killers to mask the issue.

12 Cranial Nerve Assessment

When people think of the nerves, they generally think of the main body getting tingles or pins and needles, not thinking of the 12 nerves that help us control the face in a motor or sensory point of view.Scott Woodhead also works with North West Ambulance Service and other Private

Ambulance companies as a First Responder and is trained in Pre-Hospital Care Medicine governed by the Royal College of Surgeon's Faculty of Pre-Hospital Care and is slowly building his experience when it comes to assessing patients in emergency situations. This meant Scott was able to help with talking about the assessments carried out when it comes to head injury.A 12 point cranial Nerve Assessments is the specific set of tests carried out to determine the function and capability of each individual cranial nerve.We investigated each nerve, the function/role it plays and even watch a 'Dummies Guide To Video' to help us understand it. we will be visiting the topic again in coming months after we all get our heads around it (pardon the pun). Next time the Team will be completing an assessment on each other.

How to Attend our CPD

Our CPD sessions are open to all therapists working for Sports Physio UK. We provide a weekly CPD programme to ensure they are developing their knowledge and keeping up to date with advancing their clinical skills.

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