The spine has three major regions: the cervical, the thoracic, and the lumbar spine. Below the lumbar region are the sacrum and coccyx bones, which are in the pelvic area. Each region of the spine has a unique, gradual curvature, and the overall S-curvature of the spine is specifically designed to maintain proper alignment of the body, allow for flexibility and movement, and provide protection for the spinal cord.
The spine is comprised of 33 vertebrae. Twenty-four separate vertebrae are located in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar region, and nine vertebrae are fused together to form the sacrum and the coccyx. The vertebrae take slightly different forms and appearances along the length of the spine, but all have the same basic structures. Cushion-like discs separate the first 24 vertebrae bones, giving the spine the ability to flex and bend.
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