Bones of the Spinal Column
Updated: May 28
As practitioners of holistic medicine, we at Natural Care Chiropractic in Lindenhurst want our patients to feel well-informed enough to discuss their treatment plans. To understand options for treating back pain, patients need to feel comfortable talking about the back’s various parts, which is why we put together this brief overview of the vertebrae.
Vertebrae are bones that make up the spinal column. Most of them have flat bodies that are separated by spongy discs and hollow arches in back through which the spinal cord and its protective tissue run. Vertebrae also have nubs called processes that muscles and ligaments attach to. At the top of the spine is the atlas vertebra, which is considered the first of seven cervical vertebrae. The cervical vertebrae make up the neck bones and atlas is the connecting point for muscles that allow the skull to move up and down. Below it is the axis vertebra, which allows the head to rotate side-to-side.
Below the cervical vertebrae are the twelve thoracic vertebrae, which make up the upper back. They have facets that connect them to rib bones. Below them are the five lumbar vertebrae that make up the upper back. They are large so they can support a lot of weight and wear affecting their connecting tissues is often the cause of lower back pain. There are two additional bony structures of the spine in the pelvic region: the sacrum and the coccyx. Both of them are made up of fused vertebrae and help to anchor pelvic tissues.
Dr. Mark Freund and Dr. Nicole Gopaul run Natural Care Chiropractic at 2118 East Grand Avenue, Lindenhurst, Illinois, 60046. To schedule an appointment, visit our request an appointment page or call 847-265-0600.