01 Feb Your Spine Anatomy
The vertebral column or spinal column consists of a series of bones called vertebrae stacked upon each other in three natural curves. Between each vertebra is an intervertebral disc that serves as a shock absorber/cushion and is connected at the vertebral endplates, guiding movement between the vertebrae.
The disc is made of tough outer fibrous tissue called the “annulus fibrosus” and a gel-like center called the nucleus pulposus. Facet joints link the vertebra together posteriorly and allow normal motion at each segment. The foramen is an opening between vertebrae, through which nerves exit.
Strong, flexible muscles and ligaments attach to the spinal column to provide additional support. Strong abdominal, hip, lower and upper extremity muscles can lessen spinal loading forces.