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The vertebral column as seen from the side

The spine is a column of vertebrae in the back part of the torso (upper body). It is also called the backbone or vertebral column. There is a canal that runs through the length of the spine. Inside this canal is the spinal cord. Animals that have a spine are called vertebrates, and animals that don't have one are called invertebrates. Humans have a spine, so we are vertebrates. Many vertebrates, including mammals, have intervertebral discs separating the vertebrae.

Regions[change | change source]

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. The first two, called the atlas and axis, connect the spine to the skull.
  • 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 fused together.
  • Coccygeal - Shown in purple. It is made up of 3 to 5 vertebrae.

References[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Spine at Wikimedia Commons