Vertebrae articles

The spinal column is made up of over two dozen vertebrae, which provide the neck and back with stability and strength. Beginning in the cervical spine at the base of the skull and concluding at the coccyx in the tailbone, the individual segments of the spine vary in size and function.

When working normally, discs cushion the spine while facet joints provide stability. However, these moving parts also make the spine prone to deterioration — particularly in the cervical and lumbar spine segments — which can lead to nerve compression and many painful symptoms.

The spine’s structure

The S-shaped spine is divided into five segments — the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral and coccygeal spine segments. As the spinal vertebrae are responsible for supporting the skull, rib cage and most of the body’s weight, these bones bear a significant amount of stress at each segment.

In addition to managing this weight burden, the vertebrae also must allow for the flexibility, pivoting ability and range of motion that we require in the neck and back.

Spinal degeneration

Over time, we are all susceptible to a degree of vertebral deterioration as a side effect of the natural aging process. Spinal discs tend to wear out, facet joints may break down and osteoarthritis becomes a stronger possibility.

Spine degeneration may also occur earlier in life as a result of injury, disease or other causes, which means most people may experience some degree of neck or back pain at some point in their lives.

Vertebrae articles

To help you better understand the spinal anatomy, the specific functions of the vertebrae and the problems that may arise, we have compiled the following articles for your review:

At Laser Spine Institute, our orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons treat various forms of spine degeneration with minimally invasive, outpatient spine surgery.

These advanced decompression and stabilization procedures help relieve neck and back pain by decompressing the pinched nerve near the spine. Because these procedures are minimally invasive, our patients can avoid the higher risks and longer recovery times^ associated with traditional open spine surgery.

Contact us to find out if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive procedures. We can provide a no-cost MRI review* and help you take the next step toward wellness.