What Is a Spinal Structure?


Quick Answer

A spinal structure is a series of vertebrae that consists of oval-shaped bones that are attached to the bone structure. It is a T-shaped network of bones and is responsible for the upright posture of human beings. A spinal structure consists of the cervical spine, the thoracic spine, the lumbar spine or lower back, the lumbar segments, the sacral spine and the coccyx or tailbone.

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Full Answer

The cervical spine has seven vertebrae, including the neck area. The thoracic spine contains 12 vertebrae, while the lumbar spine has five vertebrae. The thoracic spine experiences little motion compared to the cervical and lumbar regions. It is located in the region near the ribcage. The lumbar spine is in the area around the lower back. The vertebral disks are located in between the vertebrae. They protect the spine against external shocks.

The spine has nerves that exit out of the sides of the vertebrae at most levels through the spinal canal. These nerves are in control of the sensations and movements of various body parts. The spinal structure also has ligaments and tendons that link muscles to bones and support the back to withstand the external forces of gravity and activity exerted on the skeleton.

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