General Spinal Anatomy Lesson 

Looking to brush up on spinal anatomy? We could all use a refresher on general spinal anatomy.

Made up of small bones known as vertebrae, the spine is one of the most important parts of the human body that supports the body and lets us stand upright. According to Cedars Sinai, “the spine supports about half the weight of the body.” It’s no surprise that spinal anatomy is a crucial foundation for other critical functions in our body.

Important Sections of the Spine

The spine consists of three main sections that are made out of vertebrae, or individual bones. The vertebrae serve an important purpose by protecting the spinal cord.

  • cervical spine – the upper section of the spine consisting of seven vertebrae
  • thoracic spine – the middle section of the spine consisting of 12 vertebrae
  • lumbar spine – the lower section of the spine consisting of 5 vertebrae

This makes up what is known as a spinal column, which consists of everything from bones to ligaments to nerves. However, when these regions of the body are inflamed or affected, you’ll feel spinal pain. It’s important to check in with a chiropractor for an alignment or spinal assessment to help you get back on track and figure out your pain points and chronic pain.

From Bones to Spinal Nerves: A Glossary

Here are some other parts of the body that are important for literally holding us together:

  • Bones: According to Johns Hopkins, a bone consists of tissue that comprises the body’s skeleton. There are three types of bone tissue within the bone such as subchondral tissue, cancellous tissue and compact tissue, along with bone marrow. In a nutshell, bones help protect certain organs and support the body.
  • Ligaments: Think of ligaments as fibrous bands or elastic tissue that wraps around your joints and connect to other bones. They are responsible for providing joint support, among other functions. Tearing of the ligaments and other injuries can signal the need for physical therapy or chiropractic care. When it comes to spinal anatomy, there are three ligaments in the spine: Ligamentum Flavum, Anterior Longitudinal Ligament, and the Posterior Longitudinal Ligament all of which help protect the spinal cord, according to this article.
  • Spinal Nerves: These “mixed nerves” are part of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) that are responsible for sending motor, sensors, and autonomic signals between both the spinal cord and the rest of the body, according to lumen learning. In general, humans have 31 pairs of spinal nerves in the body.
  • Discs: Think of discs as cushion support between the vertebrae. A slipped disc can cause injury and affect both the lower back or neck, according to this article.

We hope this brief overview of spinal anatomy was informative and helpful. To book a consultation or discuss your health and wellness needs with a chiropractor, feel free to contact us at Flintridge Family Chiropractic at (818) 952-0172. We’re here to help with alignment and achieving optimal health and wellness for the entire family.