Know your spine??????

Anatomy of the Spine image020

  The anatomy of the spine is usually described by dividing up the spine into three major sections: the cervical, the thoracic, and the lumbar spine. (Below the lumbar spine is a bone called the sacrum, which is part of the pelvis). Each section is made up of individual bones, called vertebrae. There are 7 cervical vertebrae, 12 thoracic vertebrae, and 5 lumbar vertebrae.

  An individual vertebra is made up of several parts.

  The body of the vertebra is the primary area of weight bearing and provides a resting place for the fibrous discs which separate each of the vertebrae.

  The lamina covers the vertebral foramen, which is the large hole in the center of the vertebra through which the spinal cord passes.

  The spinous process is the bone you can feel when running your hands down your back.

  The paired transverse processes are oriented 90 degrees to the spinous process and provide attachment for back muscles.

  There are four facet joints associated with each vertebra.

  A pair that face upward and another pair that face downward.

  Intervertebral Foramen:

Space where spinal nerve roots exit the vertebral column.

  These interlock with the adjacent vertebrae and provide stability to the spine.

  The vertebrae are separated by intervertebral discs, which act as cushions between the bones.

  Each disc is made up of two parts. The hard, tough outer layer, called the annulus, surrounds a mushy, moist center, called the nucleus. When a disc herniates or ruptures, the soft nucleus spurts out through a tear in the annulus and can compress a nerve root. The nucleus can squirt out on either side of the disc, or in some cases, both sides.

  The amount of pain associated with a disc rupture often depends upon the amount of nucleus that breaks through the annulus and whether it compresses a nerve or spinal cord.


Muscles, Tendons and Ligaments

There are 18 cervical muscles, 5 thoracic and 8 lumbar.

  Strong abdominal muscle, back muscle and core muscles helps in relieving pain and decreased force on spinal column.

  The function of a tendon is to connect muscle to bone, as there are many muscles included in the spinal structures, so too are there numerous tendons.

  Ligaments connect bone to bone and provide structural stability to the spine. The human spine possesses two sets of ligaments; the intersegmental and the intrasegmental; each has its own function.

Functions of spine

Base for Attachment

Structural Support

  • Head, shoulders, chest
  • Connects upper and lower body
  • Balance and weight distribution

Flexibility and Mobility

  • Flexion (forward bending)
  • Extension (backward bending)
  • Side bending (left and right)
  • Rotation (left and right)
  • Combination of above