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How Many Spine Bones Are in the Human Body?

By Cristiana , in General , at March 17, 2023

Did you ever wonder how many spine bones are in the human body? Truth is, there aren’t all that many.

When counting distinct vertebrae, people have even fewer. Certain vertebrae like the sacral vertebrae and the coccyx are made up of more than one bone, so they get counted separately.

The spinal column is the body’s main structure for supporting the body and providing structural integrity. It’s found running alongside the spinal cord.

Keep reading to learn more about the human spine and how many spine bones there are.

What is the Spine?

These bones are stacked one on top of another in such a way that it allows us to have the flexibility and stability we need to move and hold us upright. In addition to the vertebrae, the spine is supported by numerous small muscles and ligaments, a network of nerves, as well as tendons, discs, and bones.

The human spine is divided into four regions which are cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral. Each of these regions has a different number of bones; for instance, the cervical spine has seven vertebrae, the thoracic spine has twelve, the lumbar spine has five, and the sacral spine has five.

In total, we can say that our spine is made up of 33 bones. This number varies depending on anatomical variations and anomalies or sometimes due to injuries or surgical processes.

Parts of the Spine

These vertebrae are divided into four distinct regions – 7 cervical bones in the neck, 12 thoracic bones in the upper back, 5 lumbar bones in the lower back, and 9 sacral bones in the pelvis. These bones all connect to muscles and ligaments to form the spinal column and provide support and flexibility to the body. In addition, the kidneys and abdominal organs are also supported by the vertebrae.

Each vertebra has a distinct structure and function, making it essential for the preservation of the spine’s health and mobility. The intervertebral discs, which are found between each vertebra, also aid in cushioning and absorbing pressure whilst providing stability to the spine. All of these elements together make up the spine and provide it with the capacity to move and support the body.

Spine Segments

There are 33 bones in the spine, or vertebral column, in the human body. It consists of seven cervical vertebrae, 12 thoracic vertebrae, five lumbar vertebrae, and nine fused sacral vertebrae. The fusion of the vertebral segments provides stability for the spine but also allows for the flexibility needed to twist, bend and turn.

The segments of the vertebral column are divided further into the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spines. Each segment helps to provide stability to the spine, shock absorption, and flexibility for different movements of the body. One of the most important components is the cervical spine as it supports the head and provides communication between the brain and the rest of the body.

The thoracic vertebral column provides stability and breathing support, while the lumbar vertebra helps to support the weight of the torso and is the most movable of all vertebrae. Each vertebra of the spine plays an important role in keeping the whole system functioning correctly.

Conditions And Disorders That Affect the Spine

Several health conditions or disorders can affect the spine including spondylolisthesis, which is a condition that occurs when a vertebra slips from its normal position, scoliosis which is an abnormal curvature of the spine, spinal stenosis which is the narrowing of the spinal canal due to bone overgrowth and osteoporosis which is a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle.

Additionally, herniated discs and various types of cancer can affect the spinal bones. Along with these conditions, arthritis, joint inflammation, and trauma can cause pain, stiffness, and physical limitations of the spine as well. Physical therapy, medications, and/or surgery may be used to treat these conditions and disorders.

Treatment modalities depend on the type, severity, and etiology of the disorder but frequently may include rest, physical therapy, medication, chiropractic adjustments, and in some cases, surgery.

How Can I Keep My Spine Healthy?

Most people are unaware of the importance of keeping their spine healthy and strong. But the spine supports muscles and protects the organs, so keeping it healthy is essential for a pain-free life. To keep your spine healthy, make sure you get regular exercise, including exercises specifically designed to stretch and strengthen the spine.

Also, maintaining a healthy weight makes it easier for your muscles and ligaments to support your spine. Good posture both while sitting and standing, is important for avoiding pain and misalignment in the spine.

Lastly, make sure you avoid activities that put undue stress on your spine, such as heavy lifting, contact sports, and certain types of exercise. Take care of your spine by taking regular breaks to perform breathing exercises from

When to Call The Doctor

It is an essential part of the body. It helps protect the spinal cord, supports body weight, and helps us move. When the spine is injured or strained, it can cause pain and discomfort. Most of the time, the pain can be managed through stretching, rest, and other conservative therapies.

However, if the pain is severe, worsening, and lasting more than two weeks, you should call the doctor. It could be a symptom of a serious medical condition and should not be ignored. Seeking medical advice can help determine the cause of the pain so that appropriate treatment can be started.

Understanding How Many Spine Bones We Have

In conclusion, the human body has 33 vertebrae, of which 24 are moveable while the 9 located in the pelvis are fused together. Together, all the spine bones form the spinal column, a major part of the body’s support system. We should never take our spine for granted – learning about our anatomy can help us take better care of our bodies.

Visit your doctor or physical therapist for healthy and safe tips on preserving spine health.

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