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Understanding Spine Anatomy - Spine Institute of Nevada

The spine is one of the most important anatomical features of the human body. A remarkable combination of bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves, the spine serves a number of important functions, not the least of which is providing mobility and strength. If you are suffering from back pain, the discomfort may be the result of a problem within the spine. To help paint a picture of the relationship between spine health and back pain, here is a look at the anatomy of your spine.

The Cervical Spine

This section of the spine has seven vertebral bones that get smaller as they get closer to the base of the skull. A majority of the rotation of the cervical spine comes from the top two segments. Acute neck pain is most often caused by a muscle, ligament, or tendon strain in the cervical spine.

The Thoracic Spine

The thoracic spine is made up of 12 vertebral bones in the upper back. Firm attachment at the rib cage at each level of the thoracic spine provides stability and structural support to the upper back. While injuries to the thoracic spine are rare, irritation of the upper back and shoulder muscles can produce noticeable back pain.

The Lumbar Spine

The lumbar spine carries all the weight of the torso, making it the most frequently injured area of the spine. The two lowest discs in the lumbar spine take the most strain and are the most likely to be injured. Herniation to these discs causes lower back pain that radiates through the LEDs and down to the feet (also known as sciatica).

The Sacral Spine

Situated below the lumbar spine is the sacrum, a triangular bone that fits between the two halves of the pelvis and connects the spine to the lower half of the body. Pain in the sacrum (sacroiliac joint dysfunction) is more common in women than men, as is tailbone pain (coccydynia).

If you are suffering from back pain, schedule a consultation with Dr. Perry at the Spine Institute of Nevada. Dr. Perry’s Spine Institute of Nevada offers the most advanced techniques to help ease back and neck pain. Visit our website to learn more about our surgical and non-surgical treatments, or call us at 702-239-3787 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Perry.