The anatomy of the human cervical colum permits extensive motion in flexion. extension, rotation, and lateral bending because of its material properties and geometry. A comprehensive method of obtaining detailed kinematic and strength data for the human head-neck complex is presented. Head-to-T2 specimens were rigidly mounted at the proximal and distal ends. Retro-reflective targets at each vertebral level recorded the local kinematics, and two 6-axis load cells at the proximal and distal ends recorded strength data. Plane radiographs, 2-D CT, and 3-D CT reconstructions were completed for each specimen. Preparations were axially loaded until failure and were frozen in the compressed state; cryomicrotome sections were obtained for each specimen. Correlation of the kinematics with the strength data and pathology information quantifies the injury mechanisms that occur under axial compressive loading.