What is the spine?The spine (aka backbone) is a linked column of bones running from the head down to the lower back. Bone segments form the column. One bone segment is a vertebra, and multiple bone segments are vertebrae. Ligaments and muscles connect these vertebrae, and a disc separates most of the vertebrae and acts like a cushion to absorb shock along the spine. Each vertebra is numbered and grouped into 5 regions. Diagram.
- There are 7 cervical vertebrae in the cervical region.
- There are 12 thoracic vertebrae in the thoracic region.
- There are 5 lumbar vertebrae in the lumbar region.
- There are 5 sacral vertebrae, which are fused as one bone and known as the sacrum, in the sacral region.
- There are 3 to 5 coccygeal vertebrae, which are fused as one bone and known as the coccyx (commonly known as the tailbone), in the coccygeal region.
Understanding Spinal Cord Injury: Part 1 - The Body Before and After Injury (PDF)
This fact sheet is intended to be a starting point for understanding the normal functions of the spinal cord and how those functions might change after spinal cord injury. This and other InfoSheets are provided by the University of Alabama at Birmingham Spinal Cord Injury Model System (UAB-SCIMS).
Understanding Spinal Cord Injury: Part 2 - Recovery and Rehabilitation (PDF)
Recovery and Rehabilitation is important to returning to functioning back to normal. There is no cure for SCI but you can learn the potential areas for improvement. This and other InfoSheets are provided by the University of Alabama at Birmingham Spinal Cord Injury Model System (UAB-SCIMS).
Understanding Spinal Cord Injury: What you should know about spinal cord injury and recovery
This video uses simple language and images of real people who have sustained a spinal cord injury, as well as medical experts and advocates. Produced by Shepherd Center and KPKinteractive in collaboration with the American Trauma Society, the National Spinal Cord Injury Association and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.
Spinal Anatomy Center
Feature Articles and Video and Animation Directory from SpineUniverse provides patient and healthcare professional education, providing clear, straightforward information on conditions related to the spine, including degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and scoliosis.
Overview of the Nervous System
University of Texas Medical School at Houston developed this electronic course in neuroscience that features such as interactive graphics, animations, hyperlinks, computer-assisted interactive laboratories and interactive exam reviews. The material is designed for first-year medical students, but would also be appropriate for graduate students as well as advanced undergraduates. It has also been optimized to be accessible to individuals with various backgrounds in the neurosciences and different learning styles. Ideally, readers should have had college-level courses in physics, chemistry and biochemistry, and biology.