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Understanding Your Spinal Anatomy

Last updated 6 years ago

The spine is an amazing structure that is responsible for providing support, mobility, strength, and protection. Without it, our bodies would not be able to achieve the great amount of flexibility that they are intrinsically capable of. Because of its complex nature and vital role in movement and support, however, the spine can be easily injured or damaged. By learning more about your spinal anatomy, you may be able to better prevent some forms of injury and maintain excellent spine health. Read on for more information about the four main sections of the spine.

Cervical Spine

Located at the highest point in the spinal column, the vertebrae of the cervical spine serve a very important function, protecting the nerves that come from the brain and connect it to the rest of the body. These seven neck bones are also responsible for supporting the weight and movement of the head.

Thoracic Spine

After the seven cervical vertebrae come the 12 bones of the upper back, or thoracic vertebrae. These vertebrae provide essential attachment points to the bones of the ribcage and contribute to the protection of the vital organs of the chest, including the heart and lungs. Because these vertebrae were designed more for protection and stability than for movement, they are rarely injured unless affected by muscle strain in the back.

Lumbar Spine

Also known as the lower back, the lumbar area of the spinal column works to support the entire weight of the torso. Built for movement, support, and stability, this area of the spine is one of the most common points for injury.


The sacrum lies at the very bottom of the spinal column and forms the back portion of the pelvis. Below the fused bones of the sacrum is the coccyx, or the tailbone. These bones provide stability for the spine.

If you are suffering from back pain or if you would like to learn more about your spinal health, let SpineOne of Denver be your resource. Call our staff of spine care experts today at (303) 367-2225 to learn more!


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