Spine

Spine

The human vertebral column is the backbone or spine, consisting of twenty-four articulating vertebrae, and nine fused vertebrae in the sacrum and the coccyx. The vertebrae in the column are separated from each other by intervertebral discs. It houses and protects the spinal cord in its spinal canal. There are normally thirty-three vertebrae; the upper twenty-four are articulating and separated from each other by intervertebral discs, and the lower nine are fused, five in the sacrum and four in the coccyx or tailbone. The articulating vertebrae are named according to their region of the spine. There are seven cervical vertebrae, twelve thoracic vertebrae and five lumbar vertebrae. The number of vertebrae in a region can vary but overall the number remains the same. The number of those in the cervical region however is only rarely changed.

Vocabulary

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