Chap 2, Divisions of the Back (Spinal Column) Flashcards Preview

Medical Terminology, LOM > Chap 2, Divisions of the Back (Spinal Column) > Flashcards

Flashcards in Chap 2, Divisions of the Back (Spinal Column) Deck (11)

Cervical (C)

Neck region. There are seven cervical vertebrae (C1 to C7).


Thoracic (T)

Chest region. There are 12 thoracic vertebrae (T1 to T12). Each bone is joined to a rib.


Lumbar (L)

Loin (waist) or flank region (between the ribs and the hipbone). There are five lumbar vertebrae (L1 to L5).


Sacral (S)

Five bones (S1 to S5) are fused to form one bone, the sacrum.



The coccyx (tailbone) is a small bone composed of four fused pieces.


Divisions of the back (Spinal Column)

The spinal column is composed of a series of bones that extend from the neck to the tailbone. Each bone is a vertebra (plural: vertebrae).


Note: Spinal column vs spinal cord

Do not confuse the spinal column (back bones or vertebrae) with the spinal cord (nerves surrounded by the column). The column is bone tissue, whereas the cord is nervous tissue.


Note: Intervertebral spaces, i.e.: L5-S1

the spaces between the vertebrae (intervertebral spaces) are identified according to the two vertebrae between which they occur - for example, the L5-S1 space is between the fifth lumbar vertebra and the first sacral vertebra;



is between the second and third thoracic vertebrae.



within the space and between vertebrae is a small pad called a disc. The disc, composed of water and cartilage, is a shock absorber.


herniated disc or slipped disc

occasionally, a disk may move out of place (herniate) and put pressure on a nerve. This can cause pain in an area of the body affected by the nerve.

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