In human anatomy, the vertebral column (backbone or spine) is a column usually consisting of 24 vertebrae, the sacrum, intervertebral discs, and the coccyx situated in the dorsal aspect of the torso, separated by spinal discs. It houses the spinal cord in its spinal canal.
Names of individual vertebrae
Individual vertebrae named according to region and position, from superior to inferior
Cervical – 7 vertebrae (C1-C7)
- C1 is known as "atlas" and supports the head, C2 is known as "axis"
- Possesses bifid spinous processes, which is absent in C7
Thoracic – 12 vertebrae (T1-T12)
- Distinguished by the presence of costal facets for the articulation of the heads of ribs
- Body is intermediate in size between the cervical and lumbar vertebrae
Lumbar – 5 vertebrae (L1-L5)
- Has a large body
- Does not have costal facets nor transverse process foramina
Sacral – 5 (fused) vertebrae (S1-S5) Coccygeal – 4 (3-5) (fused) vertebrae (Tailbone)