The spine, or backbone, is uniquely designed for support, flexible movement, and protection for the fragile spinal cord. Bony segments known as vertebrae and fibrous tissue called intervertebral discs are the spine’s building blocks.
These vertebrae and discs form a long column, from the head to the pelvis, forming the spine. This structure allows the spine to give the body symmetry and support. Since the spine spans throughout the entire human torso, it is usually classified into 4 distinct sections.
The topmost section is the cervical region, consisting of 7 small vertebrae to create the neck. Going lower, the second section is called the thoracic region or the mid back. The mid back is made up of 12 vertebrae, which are also connected to the ribs. Below this is the lumbar region, which contains the largest of the movable vertebra. These 5 vertebrae are large enough to support ⅔ of the entire body weight. The bottommost parts of the spine are the sacrum and coccyx. The sacrum is actually 5 vertebral segments fused together and shaped like a triangle. The 4 coccyxes are the spinal end points.