The Human Spine
- The human spine has 33 bones
- this allows twisting, bending, and rotation
- And it protects the spinal cord.
The spine has 5 regions:
- Cervical spine: C1-C7
- Thoracic spine: T1-T12
- Lumbar spine: L1-L5
- Sacral spine: S1-S5
The spine is an “S” curve:
- the neck is concave, and the middle is convex, and the lumbar is concave again.
The spines shape is a natural shock absorber, it is strengthened and protected by muscles and ligaments.
Anatomy and Biomechanics:
Each vertebra consists of;
- A vertebral body,
- an arch, which creates the spinal canal,
- and a disc between each segment (Benzel, 2015).
The largest and strongest segments are at the bottom and the smallest and most mobile at the top. Correlating with the functional and anatomical strength and the ability of load-bearing (Benzel, 2015).
Cervical Spine (the neck)
- blood vessels,
- spinal cord
- and the respiratory tract (Benzel, 2014).
Each of the vertebrae is unique with the most prominent being, C1 (atlas), C2 (axis) and C7, which most of us can feel sticking out at the base of the neck.
Thoracic Spine (mid back)
The thoracic spine attaches to the rib cage (12 costal segments) and creates the thorax. Creating a cage that encases the heart and lungs. It is less mobile than cervical and lumbar spine areas (Wise, 2015).
Lumbar Spine (Lower back)
The highest mobility out of the 5 lumbar segments is at L5/S1, the lowest at L1/L2 (Muriuki et al., 2016)
The spinal canal is built by the sequential spinal vertebrae and forms a rounded triangular canal for the spinal cord (Benzel, 2014).
Posture affects muscle activation; neck and head posture have been found to have a significant influence on the posture of the lower spine especially during activities such as lifting with an extended/upward gaze or a flexed/downward gaze (Hlavenka et al., 2017). Good muscle activation and movement patterns are one important factor to lower the risk of spine pain and injuries (Hlavenka et al., 2017).
The spine is an amazing structure, both strong and mobile. It enjoys movement. At Movement Perfected we teach you how to create balance in your daily movement patterns and give you strategies to look after your amazing spine.