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Food Doctor Fairbanks - The 33 separate bones which make up the human spinal column are called vertebrae. "Vertebrates" is the word for all the animals with backbones.

The spinal column serves a lot of important functions. One function is to attach the brain to the rest of the nervous system. The individual vertebrae surround and protect the vulnerable spinal cord and serve as attachment points for other bones and muscles. The unique function of the vertebrae allows for flexible motion in various directions. In human beings and apes, the vertebrae allow us to walk on two legs. In human fetuses, the spinal structure starts to form during the third week of gestation.

The various kinds of vertebrae offer different functioning and are classified in accordance to their backbone positioning. The cervical vertebrae sit atop the backbone connecting the spinal column to the skull. The first two cervical vertebrae called the axis and atlas or likewise called C1 and C2, connect the spine to the skull. The thoracic vertebrae have the distinctive function of connecting the ribcage to the spinal column. The lumbar spine has the biggest vertebrae responsible for supporting a great deal of the body's weight. The caudal and sacral vertebrae form the lower part of the spinal column, and in human beings, these bones are fused structures called the tailbone and sacrum.

Each of the spinal regions has a big area referred to as a centrum. The centrum of the backbone provides points for the muscles to attach and create a hollow space for the spine. The spinous process is what produces the bumps which could be felt at the back of the spinal column. Each of the vertebrae is designed to move in relation to the bones surrounding it, ensuring freedom of motion while protecting the spinal cord.

Between the vertebrae are discs made of spongy material. Discs are a kind of shock absorber protecting the spinal structure from pressure. If these discs become worn and compressed sooner or later, they can restrict mobility and result in back pain. Compression of the spine is a condition in which damaged discs bulge out and put pressure on the spinal canal, causing severe neurological disorders. Some other issues could impair the functions of the backbone; for instance, fractures are a severe problem particularly in situations where the spine is damaged.

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Phone: (907) 451-7246
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