Back to Basics: Spine

The spine is a VERY complex part of the body. Here we try to simplify what it is and what can go wrong. 

What is it?

The spine consists of 4 sections: the cervical spine (the neck), the thoracic spine (the upper back), the lumbar spine (lower back) and the sacrum (tailbone). The cervical and lumbar spine both curve forwards (lordosis) while the thoracic spine and sacrum curve backwards (kyphosis). It is also normal to have a small amount of lateral (sideways) curvature of the spine, and each person’s spine will curve slightly differently. Different areas of the spine allow different levels of mobility. For example, there is a lot of mobility in the neck, less in the thoracic spine and then more in the lumbar spine, with very minimal mobility in the sacrum. When people have pain, it is usually in the transitions between these areas (for example between the lower lumbar spine and the sacrum which is the most common area for lower back pain). 

What can go wrong?

Some conditions of the spine include: 

  • Osteoarthritis 
  • Acute or chronic non-specific low back pain 
  • Radicular pain or radiculopathy 
  • Compression fracture 
  • Wry neck

If you are experiencing any back pain, don’t hesitate to contact the clinic to book an assessment. 

A: Each vertebrae is numbered. C1- C7 is the Cervical spine (neck), T1-T12 is the Thoracic Spine (mid back), L1-L5 is the Lumbar Spine (lower back), the Sacrum is a section of fused bones making up the back section of your pelvis.

B – A cross section view and side of view of the vertebrae and spinal cord