Quick Spinal Anatomy

Updated: Apr 11, 2019



Our spine is an essential part of our bodies. It allows us to stand upright; it protects our spinal cord and the 24 vertebrae that make up the spine enable us to move around! I may be biased since I'm a chiropractor, but the spine is my favorite region of the body :).


The three main regions of the spine are the Cervical Spine (Neck), Thoracic Spine (mid back), Lumbar spine (Low back). It has an S shape from top to bottom. There are so many interesting and cool features of the spine, and here are some highlights. The 24 vertebrae that make up the spine are interconnected with ligaments (attach bone to bone) and tendons (attach muscles to bone). In between the vertebrae, we also have soft gel-like inter-vertebral discs they act as shock absorbers. Looking at the spinal column from the side you will see openings behind the discs, and in between the vertebrae, this is where our nerves exit the spinal canal.


The neck or cervical spine is divided up into seven vertebrae, and it has the most motion of any spinal region. It looks like a backward C shape or specifically a lordosis. The next region is the thoracic spine, and it is made up of 12 vertebrae that connect to the 12 ribs. The connection of the ribs and vertebrae are what make our rib cage; our rib cage is our "boney armor" that protects our lungs and heart. The shape of the thoracic spine is a regular C shape or a kyphosis. The bottom of our spine is called or lumbar spine. It has five strong vertebrae and is the bottom of our spine. It sits upon our sacrum the triangle-shaped bone which connects the pelvis to the spinal column. It has the backward C lordosis, like the neck.


It is essential for our health that we move and Chiropractic adjustments help us to keep our joint mobility. Adjustments help to improve restricted motion, and we get restricted movement in our spine for many reasons. The decreased motion could be due to a trauma such as a fall, repetitive motions such as favoring our dominate handed side or sustained loads such as how we sit or stand. These restrictions limit our movement. Chiropractic adjustments help to establish improved motion by adjusting those restricted areas. The adjustment will spread the stresses of life over more of an area and help you feel better. Movement is medicine, so let's keep your body and joints moving and keep you healthy!


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