Happy World Spine Day!

Happy World Spine Day!

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Let's celebrate World Spine Day by learning just a few fun spine facts!


The bones in the spine, including the sacrum and coccyx! 

The bones in the spine, including the sacrum and coccyx! 

What does the spine do?

  1. The spine protects the spinal cord, the part of the central nervous system that extends from the brainstem into the rest of the body. 
  2. The spine serves as the primary support system for the skeleton.
  3. The spine facilitates normal movement, (bending, twisting, lifting, sitting, standing, and lying down), in the axial skeleton (main trunk, not arms and legs).
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How many bones are the spine?

  1. The spine is broken down into three regions: cervical (neck), thoracic (upper and mid back) and lumbar (low back).
  2. There are seven bones/vertebrae in the cervical spine, twelve bones/vertebrae in the thoracic spine, and five bones/vertebrae in the lumbar spine, meaning there are twenty-four total bones in the spine. (26 if you count the sacrum and the coccyx at the base of the spine!)   
  3. Between each vertebra there is a disc. This disc acts as a shock absorber and defense against gravity.
A map of how the nerves get from the spine to the rest of the body.

A map of how the nerves get from the spine to the rest of the body.

What about the spinal cord?

  1. The entire body is innervated by the nerves that come off the spinal cord, (except for 12 sets of nerves that come directly from the brain).
  2. Between each vertebra are a pair of spinal nerves, there are 31 pair! Eight in the cervicals, twelve in the thoracic, five in the lumbars, five in the sacrum and one in the coccyx! (Yes, the neck has an extra pair!)
  3. The formal spinal cord actually ends around L2, or the second lumbar vertebra, but nerves continue to exit the spinal column all the way to the tip of the coccyx! 
An illustration showing how the nerves come off the spine

An illustration showing how the nerves come off the spine


I hope you learned a little something in today's blog post!

The last thing I'll leave you with is that when an organ like the spine and spinal cord is this complex, why are you sitting at home popping your own neck while reading this?! Go ahead and schedule your appointment to come and let me adjust you today.

Yours in health, 

Dr. William