Get to Know the Four Segments of Your Spine
To understand why you’re experiencing back or neck pain, it’s essential to know the anatomy of your spine. Each of the four major parts of the spine play a role in providing stability, balance, and shock absorption. They also play a major part in your central nervous system and protect vital organs by allowing nerves to send signals unimpeded.
The expert team at Symmetry Health Center in Alameda, Oakland, and Berkeley, CA understands how to treat and resolve spinal health problems. We provide invaluable assistance to our patients to help them live healthier lives, along with important spinal information to help you better comprehend just how important the spine is to your every facet of life.
Let’s take a look at all of the major sections of the spine, why they’re important, and what they’re responsible for.
Cervical spine (neck)
This upper section of the spine performs several major functions:
- Protecting the brain stem;
- Protecting the spinal cord;
- Allowing for movement of the head.
This includes vertebrae C1 to C7. Two of the vertebrae in the cervical spine – the Atlas and the Axis – enable the head to move from side to side. Issues with the cervical spine can result in neck pain and pain that extends down the arms to the fingers.
Thoracic spine (upper and mid back)
This includes vertebrae T1 to T12. The thoracic spine is connected to the rib cage and the sternum, thereby protecting many vital organs. This area of the back is less prone to problems with motion because of the stability the rib cage and sternum provide.
Lumbar spine (lower back)
The five vertebrae in this section play a big role by supporting most of your body weight. Unfortunately, because the lumbar spine has a wide range of motion, it’s also prone to a variety of problems. This can include pain that extends all the way from your hips to your feet. Generally, when people experience classic low back pain, this is where they’re referring to.
Sacral region (end of the spine)
This section includes five segments that make up the triangular shape at the end of your spine. The sacral region also connects the spine to the pelvis. The area where the lumbar and sacral sections meet is often a source of problems for those with intermittent back pain and other seemingly sporadic conditions. The four small bones at the end of the sacral are referred to as the coccyx, or the tailbone.
The spine is a delicate but important instrument in maintaining general health. Many factors can cause spinal issues, from a sedentary lifestyle to a car accident. These factors lead to a variety of conditions, the most common being back and neck pain, but also fibromyalgia, sciatic pain, plantar fasciitis, and other conditions. In assessing and treating these conditions, it’s important to know the different parts of the spine first and foremost.
If you want to learn more about the crucial role the spine plays in your overall health, contact the experts at Symmetry Health Center in Oakland, Berkeley, and Alameda, CA. We use Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP), a scientific program designed to create treatment plans that fit every patient’s needs. Using CBP, we can pinpoint the areas of your spine that need adjustment, and can work to set them right to help you find new levels of wellness. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Chiropractic BioPhysics, or CBP, is one of the most scientific, researched, and results-oriented corrective care techniques. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health, eliminating nerve interference and addressing the source of pain, fatigue, and disease. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is gentle, painless, and non-invasive.