The spine runs from the skull to the pelvis. It is divided into five regions or sections.
What are the five regions of the spine?
- The cervical spine – in the neck
- The thoracic spine – corresponding to where the ribs arise
- The lumber spine – in the lower back
- The sacrum- at the base of the spine between the two halves of the pelvis
- The coccyx – which hangs off the end of the sacrum
What makes up the spinal column?
The spinal column is made of vertebrae which are individual bones stacked one on top of the other. The vertebrae are joined by ligaments, muscles and cartilage – the intervertebral disc.
Between each pair of vertebrae is a spinal nerve – also known as the nerve root which exits from the spinal column.
How many vertebrae are there in the spine?
The number of vertebrae can vary, but is normally as follows:
- The cervical spine usually has seven vertebrae
- The thoracic has twelve
- The lumbar has five
- The sacrum has fused so the original five bones are now one complete bone
- The coccyx can have between three to five bones