The vertebral column is the scientific, anatomical word for the spine or backbone. It is a column of vertebrae in the back part of the torso (upper body). There is a canal that runs through the length of the backbone. Inside this canal is the spinal cord.
The vertebral column is divided by doctors into 5 sections called regions. These 5 regions from top to bottom are:
- Cervical - Shown in red, this region supports the head. It is made up of 7 vertebrae.
- Thoracic - Shown in blue, this region supports the ribs. It is made up of 12 vertebrae.
- Lumbar - Shown in yellow, this region is located in the lower back. It is made up of 5 vertebrae.
- Sacral - Shown in green. It is made up of 5 vertebrae that are together.
- Coccygeal - Shown in purple. It is made up of 3 to 5 vertebrae.
- Gray's Anatomy: The Vertebral Column - The 1917 Gray's Anatomy is available via the Bartleby project. It is available with full colour diagrams, and provides an excellent starting point in anatomy, as well as a relatively complete source for gross anatomy. The initial version of this article was copied and pasted from the 1917 Gray's anatomy, which is in the public domain.