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The structure of the spine

The spine runs from the base of the skull to the pelvis. It serves as a pillar to support the body’s weight and to protect the spinal cord. There are three natural curves in the spine that give it an “S” shape when viewed from the side (your spine is not straight) These curves help the spine withstand great amounts of stress by providing a more even distribution of body weight.

The spine is made up of a series of bones that are stacked like blocks on top of each other with cushions called discs in between to help absorb shock/load.

The spine is divided into three regions: 

Cervical Spine — The cervical spine is the uppermost part of the spine. There are seven vertebrae within the cervical spine, numbered C1 to C7 from top to bottom. The first spinal curve is located at the cervical spine. It bends slightly inward, resembling a “C.” This inward curve is called a lordotic curve. 

Thoracic spine — There are 12 vertebrae (T1 to T12) in the chest section, called the thoracic spine. The ribs attach to the spine on the thoracic vertebrae. The curve of the thoracic spine bends outward like a backward “C” and is called a kyphotic curve. 

Lumbar spine — The lumbar spine usually consists of five vertebrae numbered L1 to L5. The lumbar spine, which connects the thoracic spine and the pelvis, bears the bulk of the body’s weight and are the largest vertebrae. The curve of the lumbar spine also bends inward (lordotic curve). 

Below the lumbar spine is a large bone called the sacrum. The sacrum consists of several vertebrae (generally 5) that fuse together during a baby’s development in the womb. The sacrum forms the base of the spine and the back of the pelvis. Below the sacrum is a small bone called the coccyx (or tailbone), which is another specialised bone created by the fusion of several smaller bones during development.

The Discs stay nice and thick through intubation, which is the process of fluids coming into and around the spine, the discs then absorb the fluids to keep themselves springy. Movement is the key to soft, supple, fluid discs.

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