Structure of the spine
The important functions performed by the spine
Vertebrology – 2008
Our spine is made up of 32-33 vertebrae. At the same time they are five divisions:
- Cervical – 7 vertebrae
- Thoracic – 12 vertebrae
- Lumbar – 5 vertebrae
- Sacral segment – 5 vertebrae
- Coccygeal department – to 3 vertebrae
The spine has two important functions:
- First, it is a framework for the whole organism. Vertebrae are attached to the back muscles and abdominal wall. Without a backbone man could not walk or even stand.
- Second, it is the seat of the spinal cord – one of the central nervous system. As the skull protects the brain from external factors, and the spine protects the spinal cord.
Each vertebra consists of a body, handles and processes. Vertebral arch, together with their bodies and form the spinal canal, which houses the spinal cord. By the processes of the vertebrae are attached numerous muscles of the back, abdomen and joints.
Between the vertebrae are intervertebral discs, which are composed of dense fibrous tissue. In the center there is a so-called nucleus pulposus, which resembles a gelatinous substance.
After completion of the spine (at the age of 24 – 26 years) in the intervertebral disc atrophy the blood vessels that provide their food. Over time, they lose their elasticity and less efficiently cope with the shock-absorbing role. These changes may lead to violations of the most moving parts of the spine: the cervical and lumbar segments.
The function of the intervertebral disc nucleus – depreciation. Thus, the CD "extinguishes" the load that inevitably occur during physical activity. Discs are also used to connect the vertebral bodies to each other.
In addition mezhpozonochnogo disc, the vertebrae are connected with each other through various ligaments and joints. These joints also provide mobility vertebra relative to each other and, in general, of the spine.
It is worth noting that the sacrum, although we were told that it consists of five vertebrae, is actually "welded" together into one bone of the vertebrae.
The spinal cord – a department of the central nervous system (CNS), which consists of many nerve pathways. For these paths are transmitted impulses from the brain and spinal cord to muscles and organs, and from them – to the CNS.
Departs from the spinal cord 31 pairs of nerve roots. Going through the intervertebral foramen, these roots form the spinal nerves. Intervertebral foramen formed legs and articular processes of adjacent vertebrae. Note the fact that the very roots of the spinal canal do not go and leave this spinal nerves.
Normally, the spine is never straight and without bends. Conversely, if you look at him sideways, then the spine has an S-shaped. Here is the deviation of the lumbar anterior (kyphosis), and chest – posteriorly (lordosis). This form provides additional shock absorbing function of the spine.
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