Anatomy of the back
Our spinal cord runs from the brain to our coccyx like a tube, protected by a bony housing, consisting of 24 vertebrae. Nerves extend from the spinal cord to the arms at the cervical vertebrae and the legs at the lumbar vertebrae.
Thanks to intervertebral discs and small joints behind them (facet joints) the spinal column is not a stiff, bony tube, but 24 links that can move in all directions. The spinal column is also formed at each level by the vertebral arches, which are attached to the vertebral bodies, and that end at the back in a projection (the spinous process), which can be felt in the centre of the back (the spine). The vertebral arches are also connected by elastic bands, the yellow ligaments, which cover the spinal column from the inside.
There are seven cervical vertebrae that are connected by intervertebral discs and band structures.
The lower part of the back consists of five lumbar vertebrae that are connected by intervertebral discs and band structures.
Video: Anatomy of the cervical spinal column
This content was written by : Dr. Arne Decramer, Dr. Yves Devlies, Dr. Lieven Missinne, Dr. Jan Van Oost, Dr. Karel Willems