HEALTH [Understanding Your Body] Spine 2024.07.09

Watch: [Understanding Your Body] Spine

⭐English subtitles available⭐



The bodies of humans and other animals

consist of numerous bones firmly connected to muscles,

forming the external appearance.


So, how many bones are there in the human body?


From head to toe, over 200 bones support the human body.


Among these, there are particularly important bones

that maintain the human skeletal structure.

The spine.


The spine, which keeps the body upright and centered,

can be considered the pillar of our body.


Composed of intervertebral discs, or disks, and bones stacked layer by layer like bricks,

the spine is divided into five major sections.


The cervical vertebrae support the approximately 4-kg head.

Thoracic vertebrae, the backbone, maintain the body’s balance.

The lumbar vertebrae, lower back bones, are prone to disc problems.

Below them are the sacrum and coccyx, also known as, tailbone.

These are the five sections of the spine.


Depending on its location, each vertebra has a slightly different

length, function, and number of bones.


In particular, the sacrum and coccyx have relatively limited mobility,

gradually fusing together into a single structure

known as the pelvic bone as one matures into adulthood.


The shape of the spine generally forms a gentle curvature

resembling the English letter 'S'.


Upon closer inspection, it becomes evident

that most bones share a similar structure.


Let’s examine the typical structure of the spine.


Most spines consist of

a vertebral body, pedicle, intervertebral disc, and articular processes.


Surrounding the rounded vertebral body, which forms the basic framework,

is the spinal canal through which the spinal cord, a bundle of nerve fibers, passes.


Also, there are articular processes that connect muscles and ligaments.


In particular, between the cervical and lumbar vertebrae are jelly-like intervertebral discs,

playing a crucial role in absorbing shock during body movement.


Around the spine, numerous ligaments attach to support and protect the vertebrae,

helping to maintain balance.

The spine, the body's central axis, also protects the spinal nerves.


Originating from the brain and passing through the spine,

the spinal nerves transmit commands from the brain to the body's tissues

and also deliver sensory information from areas like fingertips and toes back to the brain.


Therefore, when the spine that protects spinal nerves is damaged,

multiple nerves can be compromised,

leading to various symptoms such as paralysis, tremors, and tingling.


Representative examples of spinal disorders include scoliosis and disc diseases.


Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the lumbar vertebrae,

which can affect the respiratory and circulatory systems in severe cases.


Disc diseases involve discs protruding between the vertebrae, pressing on nerves,

which can cause pain, numbness, or even paralysis in the arms or legs.


To strengthen the spine, it is important to build abdominal and lower back muscles,

along with exercises that promote balance.


Lying completely flat or kneeling and alternating leg lifts,

sitting on a chair and lifting both knees while holding,

standing with eyes closed and feet together, and more

These exercises can greatly assist in aligning the spine.