Know Your Back: Back Structures – an Overview (contd.)

Welcome back to the Spinalogy blog!

The spine is a reverse S-shaped structure divided into various regions curved opposite to each other. The regions are curved to mirror each other to maintain a symmetry that results into an almost straight column. The curves serve many purposes – increasing load bearing capacity, better flexibility and movement range and providing a shock absorbing effect.

The regions of the spine are:

  1. The cervical – or the neck region
  2. The thoracic – upper back and chest
  3. The lumbar – the lower back region
  4. The sacral – the seat region
  5. The coccyx – the tailbone

The cervical and lumbar regions have a convex curve and this is called as the lordosis. The thoracic and to certain extent the sacral have a reverse curve called the kyphosis. Within normal limits the curves align themselves, to maintain a normal posture and bearing of the spine. A misalignment of these curves can lead to back pain and hence assessment of these curves form an important part of the back pain evaluation. 

The spine is composed of bones called the vertebrae. The structure of the bones follows a general guideline, but differs in other things as per the region of the spine.

The structure of the vertebra would be explained in detail in the next blog update so keep following us!

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