Anatomy of the Spine

Doctor showing patient a spine model

What are the sections of the spine?

The spine is made up of vertebrae and is divided into three main sections:

  • Cervical (7 vertebrae)
  • Thoracic (12 vertebrae)
  • Lumbar (5 vertebrae)

Below the lumbar spine is the sacrum which is comprised of five fused vertebrae. At the end of the spine is the coccyx, or the tailbone.

sections of spine

Back spine

The vertebrae bear the weight of the upper body and provide points of attachment for muscles and ligaments. It also protects the spinal canal and provides exit points for spinal nerves.

The individual vertebrae are separated by intervertebral discs, which act as cushions or shock absorbers between the vertebral bodies.

Spine Anatomy

Is my spine causing my neck and arm or low back and leg pain?

Age, genetics, injury, and everyday wear and tear caused by routine activities can contribute to damage and deterioration of the disc(s) in your neck and back.

Read more about your symptoms in the following pages:

Doctor and patient discussing spinal x-ray

The material on this website is intended to be an educational resource only and is not meant to be a warranty or to replace a conversation between a patient and their physician or member of their health care team. Please consult a physician for a complete list of indications, contraindications, precautions, warnings, clinical results and other important medical information that pertains to this procedure. The decision to receive medical treatment is individualized to the patient and the patient’s symptoms. The information presented on this site may not apply to your condition, treatment or its outcome, as surgical techniques vary and complications can occur. It is important to discuss the viability of any surgical procedure with a physician to decide the right treatment option.