Anatomy of the Spine
The spine consists of 33 vertebrae. Vertebrae in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine articulate with each other to allow movement within the spine. The vertebrae in the sacrum and coccyx are fused and do not allow movement. Neither the sacrum nor coccyx has intervertebral discs between the vertebrae.
The cervical spine consists of seven vertebrae known as C1 to C7.
The thoracic spine consists of twelve vertebrae known as T1 to T12 that serve as attachment for the rib cage.
The lumbar spine consists of five vertebrae known as L1 to L5.
Sacrum or Sacral Spine
The sacrum consists of five fused vertebrae known as S1 to S5.
The coccyx consists of four small, fused vertebrae.
The forward rounding of the spine.
The backward rounding of the spine.
The cylinder shaped vertebral body is the weight-bearing structure of the vertebra.
The flat plates of the lamina create the back wall of the vertebral canal and help protect the spinal cord.
The facet is a joint that attaches the rear section of the vertebra to those above and below.
Pedicles connect the lamina to the vertebral body.
Transverse processes extend from the sides of each vertebra. Muscles and ligaments that move and stabilize the vertebrae attach to the transverse processes.
The spinous process protrudes from the back of each vertebra. The spinous processes are the bumps that one can see or feel down the middle of one's back. Muscles and ligaments that move and stabilize the vertebrae attach to the spinous processes.
The spinal cord sits in this channel formed by the lamina and the vertebral body.
The intervertebral discs act as shock absorbers and are found between the vertebrae. A disc is made of the NUCLEUS, a gelatinous center, which is surrounded by the ANNULUS, a tough fibrous outer ring.
The spinal cord is protected by the spine and gives rise to nerve roots that carry signals, such as pain, from the arms, legs, and organs to the brain.
Nerve roots are used to transmit information between the spinal cord and other parts of the body, such as arms, legs and organs.
An opening through bone, which allows passage of nerve roots or blood vessels.
The sacroiliac joint attaches the spine to the pelvis.
A large nerve fiber that begins in the lower back and runs through the buttock and down the lower limb. It is the largest nerve in the body.