When people who haven’t been treated for chronic back pain think about their spines, they often envision one continuous structure that vertically extends from their neck to the tailbone. While it is true that the spine covers quite a bit of real estate in our body, it is definitely an intricate, amazingly complex grouping of several structures. I don’t want to bore anyone with numbers here or to provide an anatomy lesson, but I think some understanding can go a long way – especially if you’re suffering from back pain and looking for answers.
As an adult, your spine is made up of 24 vertebrae, which are bones stacked atop each other to form the entire spinal column. Vertebrae are the protective framework through which your spinal cord passes. The spinal cord itself is the “superhighway” of nerves that carry your brain signals to the rest of your body, allowing you to move your arms and legs. Separating your vertebrae are these soft, spongy “shock absorber” structures called intervertebral discs.
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