The spine goes from the bottom of the skull to the pelvis. It has a column of 26 bones, called vertebrae. These bones are stacked one on top of the other.
There are three parts to the spine:
- Neck: Cervical spine.
- Chest: Thoracic spine.
- Lower back: Lumbar spine.
Muscles, tendons, and ligaments hold the spine bones together:
- Muscles are tissue that helps you move and powers up your body. (Tissue is the material that helps support your body.)
- Tendons are tough but flexible cords of tissue that connect muscle to bone.
- Ligaments are tough bands of tissue that connect bones or cartilage. They support and strengthen joints.
Discs, rubbery cushions between the bones in the spine, absorb shock when you walk or run. They’re made of soft, jelly-like cartilage in the center surrounded by a layer of tough cartilage.
Cartilage is a type of tissue that cushions and protects joints, and prevents them from rubbing against each other.