Your spinal cord is protected by vertebrae, which are in turn protected by a series of padded discs, called intervertebral discs. However, you may not be aware that the spine is actually comprised of more than just vertebrae and discs, or that it serves a variety of functions.
For instance, aside from protecting the spinal cord, vertebrae also help to protect nerve roots, which means that both the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system are dependent on the vertebrae. The vertebrae also serve as a point of attachment for important muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Other purposes of the vertebrae column include:
- The spine vertebrae lend structural support to the head, neck, shoulders, and chest. The thoracic vertebrae also create the posterior base for the rib cage.
- By helping to connect the upper and lower body, the back vertebrae also help us to maintain balance and stability. In fact, the enormous responsibility of the lumbar spine vertebrae to join the two halves of the body and to help us maintain balance as we move are the reasons the lower back is especially susceptible to injury.
- Although the vertebrae themselves are solid bony segments, in conjunction with the softer intervertebral discs, the spine can facilitate a variety of complex and simple movements, like forward bending, backward bending, side to side bending, and left and right rotation.
Now that you know how important the vertebrae are to the spinal cord and to the body as a whole, you can better understand how damage to any part of the spine can produce debilitating and life-altering effects.
If you think you might have a condition involving the vertebrae or intervertebral discs, contact Laser Spine Institute (LSI) today. We specialize in outpatient endoscopic procedures that provide highly successful pain relief results, without the risks of traditional surgeries. Our minimally invasive procedures also allow for expedited recovery periods. Let us review your MRI or CT scan, completely free of charge, so that we can begin to discuss your pain relief options.