Spinal Column Articles

Anatomical Components of the Vertebral Column
The vertebral column, or the spine, is composed of 33 vertebrae stacked in a curved formation along the length of the neck and back. In addition to skeletal support, the vertebral column provides protection for the spinal cord as it travels from the brain to the rest of the body. The spinal anatomy also...

What Degenerative Spine Conditions Might Require Surgery?
Degenerative spine conditions caused by aging are often a source of chronic pain and other symptoms that can severely interfere with your life. While conservative treatments like medication and physical therapy can be effective in many cases, they don’t work for everyone. Your doctor may ask you to...

Information for Spinal Column Problems
Neck or back pain can be very difficult to live with and it can affect nearly every part of your life, from time with your family to getting a good night’s sleep. There are a number of spinal column problems that can potentially be the underlying cause, bulging or herniated discs, bone spurs or others,...

Spinal Column Overview | Laser Spine Institute
You may have heard the term “spinal column” and wondered about its definition. The answer is quite simple — your spinal column is made up of a collection of vertebrae that are stacked on top of each other and extend from your skull to your pelvis. To get a more in-depth look at the segments of...

Narrow Spinal Column | Causes, Symptoms and Treatments
You can develop a narrow spinal column over time. Due to years of wear, your joints, bones, ligaments, and discs can deteriorate to the point that they cramp the space in your spinal column through which spinal nerves travel. To learn about the causes and symptoms of this issue as well as methods to...

What are the Different Parts of the Spinal Column?
Your spinal column is made up of 33 bones, known as vertebrae, stacked on top of one another. Extending from your skull to your pelvis, your spine is responsible for allowing many of the twisting, bending and flexing movements you perform on a daily basis. Read on to learn how these spinal bones separate...

How Many Bones are in the Spinal Column?
Your spine, also known as the vertebral column, stretches all the way from your skull down to your pelvis and contains 33 bones, known as vertebrae. These vertebrae are instrumental to the strength, support and flexibility that your spine provides. Cushioned by spongy discs in the spine and connected...

The Spinal Column | Function and Elements
The spinal column is responsible for performing a number of tasks, each of which is made possible thanks to the different parts that make up the spine. One of these elements includes the vertebrae, which are a stack of bone segments that protect the spinal cord and support the body. Almost all of our...

Spinal Column Injuries | Causes and Treatments
Spinal column injuries can result from a number of causes, including high-impact sports like football, traumatic injury like car accidents and a variety of other activities that involve heavy impact. Since the spinal column is responsible for protecting the spinal cord and spinal nerves, it is an integral...

Lateral Curvature of the Spinal Column
Lateral curvature of the spinal column, also called scoliosis, affects approximately six to nine million people in the United States. This condition is the most commonly diagnosed abnormal curvature of the spine and is present in about two to three percent of the population. Scoliosis occurs when a portion...

What Is the Most Important Function of the Spinal Column?
The spinal column serves many important functions, making it difficult to identify its single most important role. The spine is responsible for allowing us to bend, twist and lean and is vital in supporting the weight of the body. Although these are important roles, perhaps the most important function...

What are the Functions of the Spinal Column?
In order to understand the role the spinal column plays in the body, it is important to have some general knowledge of the anatomical components of the spine. The spinal column typically consists of 33 vertebrae, 24 of which articulate and nine that are fused. This complex bone structure houses the spinal...

What Are the Regions of the Human Spinal Column?
The human spinal column is responsible for protecting the spinal cord, which carries nerve signals throughout the body. Various parts of the spine are responsible for providing protection, including the vertebrae (the bone structures in the neck and back), spinal discs (small cushions that act as shock...

Narrowing of the Spinal Column
The spinal canal is the cavity through which the spinal cord runs and exits out to the body through small openings called foramina. When these already tight spaces in the spinal column become compressed by a condition, such as a bulging or herniated disc, narrowing can occur. While not always painful,...

Bones of the Spinal Column
The spinal column is made up of relatively small bone segments called vertebrae. Supporting the upper body while still being flexible enough for movement, these bones are some of the most complex in the skeletal system. In additional to providing skeletal support, the vertebrae are also critical in protecting...

A Guide to Bones in the Spinal Column
The bones in the spinal column support the upper body and allow a wide range of movement. In most people, there are 24 individual vertebrae from the base of the skull to the lower back and nine additional vertebrae that make up the sacrum and coccyx at the base of the spine and tailbone. Individual...

Anatomy of the Spinal Column
The spinal column is a complex part of the body, composed of 33 stacked vertebrae. Vertebrae, which are small bones separated by soft gel-like discs, protect the spinal cord and support the body. To learn more about the anatomy of the spinal column and the problems that may develop over time, read the...

Spinal Column Fracture | Symptoms and Treatments
A spinal column fracture occurs when one or more vertebrae (the bones that form your spine) break or shatter. This typically occurs in the thoracic (mid-back) or lumbar (lower back) regions. A common cause of a spinal column fracture is a sudden impact. Motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, falls...

What Is Spinal Column Stenosis?
Stenosis of the spinal column refers to narrowing in the spine that can interfere with the tightly packed nerves that run through it. The spinal column is a vertical stack of bone segments, called vertebrae, which help support the upper body and protect the spinal cord. The vertebrae form nerve pathways,...

The Spinal Column and the Role of Spinal Discs
The spinal column consists of discs, vertebrae, muscles, ligaments, nerves and joints. Degeneration that accompanies the aging process can take a toll on every aspect of the spine, but the cartilaginous discs are especially susceptible. As these discs weaken, anatomical abnormalities can develop, including...

The Role of Vertebrae in the Spinal Column
Vertebrae form the spinal column, which protects the spinal cord and provides the spine with stability. These bony segments are separated by spongy spinal discs. Like other parts of the body, the components of the spinal column can deteriorate over time, which makes them susceptible to the development...

Understanding Spinal Column Disorders
While any disorder that affects your health can cause stress, pain and other debilitating symptoms, spinal column disorders can be among the most disruptive and uncomfortable. Because the spine is crucial in supporting and moving the upper body while protecting the central nervous system, conditions...

Learn About the Lumbar Region of the Spinal Column
The lumbar region of the spinal column extends through the lower back, and consists of five vertebrae, labeled as L1 through L5. It is situated below the cervical (upper) spine and thoracic (middle) spine, but above the sacral spine, which connects the base of the spine to the pelvis. Each lumbar vertebra...

What Bone Conditions Can Affect the Spinal Column?
The spinal column supports the upper body and protects the spinal cord. Segments of bones, called vertebrae, provide the primary structure for the spine. The vertebrae are linked by facet joints and cushioned by discs that allow the spinal column to bend and flex. Like other parts of the body, the aging...

Understanding Spinal Column Diseases
While many people might not think of the spinal column as being susceptible to diseases, the neck and back are composed of a complex system of bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and other tissues that can weaken or become diseased just like any other part of the body. The spine is also a part of the body’s...

Good Posture Protects Your Spinal Column and Vertebrae
One of the best ways to keep your spinal column and vertebrae properly aligned and healthy is to practice good posture — whether you’re standing, sitting or lying down. Poor posture increases the pressure on your spinal column and can speed the onset of degenerative spine conditions and related painful...

Maintaining a Healthy Spinal Column and Nervous System
One of the best ways to avoid frustrating and potentially debilitating neck and back pain is to maintain a healthy and strong spinal column. As we grow older, the parts that make up the spinal column naturally begin to deteriorate and become less able to withstand the pressure of weight and movement....

Basic Overview of the Spinal Column
The spinal column is one of the most important structures in the body. In addition to protecting the spinal cord, the spinal column also provides mobility to the neck and back. However, the spinal column is also prone to injury and deterioration over time due to the stresses of everyday movement combined...

Could Spinal Column Tumors Be Causing My Symptoms?
Spinal column tumors are growths that develop in the spinal canal, within the vertebrae or on the spinal cord, and are a relatively rare underlying cause of neck or back pain. Tumors in the spine can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). In the case of a malignant tumor, the cancer...

Cervical Spinal Column — Overview and Conditions
The cervical spinal column is the topmost section of the spine, supporting the head while providing the range of motion necessary for basic movement. This puts a large amount of pressure on the individual parts that make up this region of the spine and is the cause of many cases of neck pain. Anatomy...

Finding Relief from Spinal Column Pain
Neck or back pain caused by a spinal column condition can be debilitating, interfering with your sleep, your job and spending quality time with the people you love. Finding relief for a return to the quality of life you deserve is possible and a great first step is to learn more about spinal anatomy,...

How to Keep Your Spinal Column Anatomy in Top Shape
As we age, our bodies naturally begin to wear down and this is especially true of the spine. The spinal column anatomy supports a tremendous amount of body weight and over the years this burden can take its toll. The flexible cervical and lumbar segments in the neck and lower back are especially prone...

What are spinal column nerves?
Spinal column nerves consist of the spinal cord that travels through the central spinal canal and nerve roots that branch off through exits in the vertebrae, called foramina. The nerve roots occur in 31 pairs of nerve roots along the length of the spine. The dorsal (upper) nerve roots are responsible...

Spinal Column Surgery
Spinal column surgery for age-related spine conditions, like arthritis or a herniated disc, is almost always considered a treatment of last resort. This is particularly true in cases of traditional open neck or back surgery, which requires several days of hospitalization, a large incision and a lengthy...

How Do I Find Treatment For a Spinal Column Injury?
The parts of the spinal column are built to withstand a great amount of stress, but they can be overwhelmed by the force of a traumatic injury. Repetitive stress injuries, sports injuries and car crashes are a few ways the vertebrae, ligaments and discs, as well as adjacent nerves, can be harmed. In...

Spinal Column Compression: Causes and Treatment
Spinal column compression refers to stresses placed on the spine that can constrict the nerve pathways contained there. This compression is usually related to the natural aging process, along with factors like posture and body weight, which can lead to degenerative spine conditions. When these conditions...

Overview of the Spinal Column
The spinal column runs vertically along the center of the back, from the base of the skull to the pelvis. The primary role of the spine is to support the weight of the upper body while protecting the spinal cord. Many disorders of the spine result because these two roles can work against each other,...

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