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Posted on 01-15-2017
Here at Lexington Chiropractic, we know that the better you understand your body, the better you will be able to take care of it. So, on this blog we will be offering you a series of short anatomy lessons.
Let's start with a brief overview of the amazing spine. The human spine is a complex structure consisting of bones, nerves, a rich blood supply, ligaments and cushions. The bones of the spine are called vertebrae (vertebra is singular).
Each of the vertebrae has a large foramen (opening) for the spinal cord to pass through. There are also openings between each pair of vertebrae on the left and the right. These openings allow spinal nerves to branch off to send and receive messages from throughout the body.
The spine is divided into three large sections.
- The cervical spine, or neck, consists of the first seven vertebrae. They are referred to as C1 through C7, with C1 being the top vertebra. C1 is also called atlas and C2 is referred to as axis.
- The next twelve vertebrae are the thoracic vertebrae, T1 to T12. Each of the thoracic vertebrae articulates (has a joint with) with a pair of ribs.
- The final large section of the spine is called the lumbar spine, and normally contains five lumbar vertebrae. This can vary from four to six vertebrae.
- Below the lumbar spine are the sacrum (S1 through S5) and coccyx (tailbone). Each of these bones consists of several fused vertebrae. The number of lumbar vertebrae can vary because sometimes L5 becomes fused to the sacrum, or S1 doesn't fuse and can be called L6. The fused vertebrae of the sacrum and coccyx do not contain foramina (plural of foramen) for the spinal cord.
Hopefully, this brief description of the basic set-up of the human spine will be useful to you. To find out how a healthier spine can improve your life, please contact us. We'd love to hear from you.
Remember, you don't have to live with the pain!
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