Vertebral column

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The vertebral column (spine, spinal column) is the column of bones running down the back of the body formed by the vertebrae. In addition to forming one of the main support structures of the body, the vertebral column surrounds and protects the spinal cord, which relays information between the body and the brain.


The vertebral column begins in the neck with the first seven vertebrae, the cervical vertebrae. The next twelve vertebrae, the thoracic vertebrae, form the rib cage. The low back is formed by the five lumbar vertebrae, which are the vertebrae between the ribs and the sacrum bone in the pelvis. The sacrum bone and the coccyx form the lowest section, contained within the pelvis.

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