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  Home  ->  Classes  ->  Meditation  ->  The Vertebral Column
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Meditation - The Vertebral Column

The Vertebral Column

  • The adult vertebral (spinal) column consists of 26 bones that are grouped as follows:
    • 7 cervical vertebrae in the neck
    • 12 thoracic vertebrae that articulate with the 12 pairs of ribs
    • 5 lumbar vertebrae of the lower back
    • 1 sacrum which is actually a fusion of 5 sacral vertebrae (fusion occurs from late teens to early 20's)
    • 1 coccyx or "tailbone" which is a fusion of 4 coccygeal vertebrae
  • Intervertebral discs are located between adjacent vertebrae. These fibrocartilage discs form strong joints and absorb spinal compression shock.
  • Spinal disorders include:
    • Herniated (slipped) disc - protrusion or rupture of an intervertebral disc
    • Scoliosis - exaggerated lateral bending of spinal column
    • Kyphosis - "hunchback" exaggerated thoracic curvature
    • Lordosis - "swayback" exaggerated lumbar curvature
    • Spina bifida - congenital defect with incomplete closure of the vertebral column
  • Epidural anesthesia, often used in obstetrics, is injected into the sacrum at the sacral hiatus.
  • Lumbar puncture (spinal tap) spinal fluid is removed using a long needle inserted between L3-L4 or L4-L5.


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