4 May 2021

In the Spine, the Vertebral column or the Spinal Column stretching down the midline of the trunk from the base of the skull to the coccyx are 26 vertebrae. 24 are separate vertebrae that are interspaced with cartilage, and additionally, the sacrum and the coccyx.

Each vertebra is named after the letter of their reign and a number to indicate the position it is situated along the inferior axis. 

There are 5 major regions of the spine:

  • Cervical 

The 7 vertebrae in the neck form the cervical region of the spine. They offer the most amount of movement of all the vertebrae and are the thinnest and most delicate. C1 is the first vertebra that supports the skull. It is also named “atlas” after the greek titan that held the world on his shoulders. C2, the second cervical vertebra, is also known as the “axis” as it facilitates rotational left and right movement for the skull and atlas. C3 is at the same level as the Hyoid bone. 

  • Thoracic

The 12 vertebrae in the chest region form joints with a pair of ribs in the spine’s thoracic region. They are larger and stronger than the Cervical vertebra but offer less mobility. 

Can rest on the lungs 

  • Lumbar 

The 5 vertebrae in the lower back form the lumbar region of the spine. They are larger than the thoracic vertebra but offer more mobility as they are not connected to any ribs.

Can rest on the small intestine 

  • Sacral

Contains the Sacrum, a single bone in an adult skeleton that is formed by the suture of 5 smaller vertebrae during adolescence. The sacrum is a flattish, triangular bone found in the lower back, which connects through a strong joint called the sacroiliac joint or the SI joint (SIJ) to the ilium bones of the pelvis.

  • Coccygeal 

Contains only the coccyx, a single bone that is formed of the fusion of 4 tiny vertebrae during adolescence. Often referred to or know as the tailbone as this region is homologous to the tail of animals that have tails. In sitting the coccus bone bears our body weight. It is the attachment point for many muscles of the pelvic and gluteal region. 

Related to the crown of the skull through alignment and points of location 

skeletal system