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Spinal Column

General Information
5 regions and 31 vertebrae:
Cervical region (7 vertebrae C1-C7)
Thoracic region (12 vertebrae T1-T12)
Lumbar region (5 vertebrae L1-L5)
Sacrum (5 fused vertebrae S1-S4)
Coccyx (4 fused vertebrae)

General Structure

General Structure (cont)


Body: help provide important support for sitting, standing, walking and other
movements.
Vertebrate arch: connect with the body, processes and create vertebral
foramen.
Spinous process: attachment of vertebral musculature and ligaments.
Transverse process: function as the site of attachment for muscles and
ligaments of the spine as well as the point of articulation of the ribs (in the
thoracic spine).
Superior articular process and inferior articular process are connected to each
other to continuously to link the spine together
Vertebral foramen: spinal cord and nerve root will pass through
Intervertebral foramen: passage of the spinal nerves and intervertebral
arteries which supply the roots and spinal cord.
Intervertebral disc: separate and cushion each vertebra in the spine
, keeping the bones from rubbing together.

Spinal Shape

An adult spine has a natural


S-shaped curve. The neck
(cervical) and low back
(lumbar) regions have a
slight concave curve, and the
thoracic and sacral regions
have a gentle convex curve.
These curves help support
the head and provides
strength, flexibility and
provides super shock
absorbing abilities.

Cervical Spine

Cervical Spine

Characteristics:
Most mobilized part of the spine.
Lack of or flat vertebral body.
Appear of Atlas (C1) and Axis
(C2).
Appear of transverse foramen in
each vertebra for the vertebral
arteries that supply blood to the
brain.

Note: C1 serves as a
ring or washer that
the skull rests upon
and articulates in a
pivot joint with the
dens of C2.
Approximately 50%
of flexion extension
of the neck happens
between the occiput
and C1; 50% of the
rotation of the neck
happens between C1
and C2.

Cervical Spine

Functions and roles:

Housing and protecting the spinal cord


Supporting the head and its movement
Facilitating flow of blood to the brain
Provide attachment for the muscle and ligament.

Thoracic Spine

Thoracic Spine

Characteristics:
Unique function on the transverse process with the
appear of costal facets
Longest spine
Heart-shaped and thick vertebral body.
Limited flexibility
Thinner intervertebral discs.
Narrower spinal canal.

Thoracic Spine

Functions and Roles:

Housing and protecting the spinal cord.


Provide a stable attachment to the ribs.
Provide limited protection to body visceral organs.
Maintain posture and gait in mobility.
Provide attachment for the muscle and ligament.

Lumbar Spine

Lumbar Spine
Characteristics:
Kidney-shape, broader, thicker vertebral body.
House only little portion of spinal cord (L1),
but entire portion of cauda equina.
C-shape curve structure

Lumbar Spine

Functions and roles:

Support the weight of the entire torso.


Considerable rotation, so that the pelvis and hips may
swing when walking and running.
Provide attachment for the muscle and ligament.
Protect and support the spinal cord and spinal nerves