The spinal column consists of a cervical curve containing seven cervical vertebrae, a thoracic curve containing 12 thoracic vertebrae, a lumbar curve containing five lumbar vertebrae and a sacral curve composed of five sacral fused vertebrae. These curves are followed by a tail, or coccygeal, that contains four fused vertebrae.
At the top of the spine is the atlas, or first cervical vertebrae, followed by the axis or second vertebrae bone. Between each vertebrae from the axis to the sacrum are intervertebral discs, which provide cushion between the vertebrae and prevent them from grinding each other. The bones of the thoracic curve have tail-shaped tips that extend left and right and are called spinous processes, and there are transverse processes in the lumbar curve that point to the posterior. The spinal column ends with the fused bones of at the sacrum and the tip called the coccyx.