Structures in the spine include the vertebrae, intervertebral disks, spinal cord, ligaments and facet joints. The stacked vertebrae are aligned by ligaments and muscles and separated by intervertebral disks, according to the Mayfield Clinic. The spinal cord runs through a spinal canal created by the anatomy of the vertebrae.
Each vertebra has a body, an arch and several vertebral processes. Vertebral bodies create the backbone of the spine. Vertebral arches comprise the spinal canal, in which the spinal cord, ligaments, nerves and blood vessels are contained. Muscles and ligaments connect to the vertebral processes, allowing for flexion and extension of the back, and keep the spine aligned properly, explains the Mayfield Clinic. Each vertebra makes a facet joint with the vertebra above and below it, allowing for complete range of motion of the spine.