The spine is most commonly thought of and referred to as the backbone that lends itself to movement, functionality, and support of the human body. This is of course true, but rather than being made up of just one long sequence of vertebrae and joints, the spine is actually made up of three distinctive parts. These three parts of the spine are very important as they all support different operations and work together to protect the nerves of the spinal cord.
Cervical, Thoracic, and Lumbar Spine are medical terminology used during patient examinations and treatment. Since these three areas are so different, focusing on a specific area of the spine can help diagnosis and treatment of ailments to be more productive.
The cervical spine refers to the uppermost area of the spine, running from the top of the shoulders to the neck and head. Seven vertebrae make up the cervical spine which has a natural slightly concave curve. The main function of the cervical spine is to support the head, which is not a task taken lightly as this burden bares an average weight of 10 pounds. This part of the spine also allows for the most extended range of motion through up-down as well as left-to-right rotation.
The thoracic spine is located in the middle region of the back and starts where the cervical spine left off. It is made up of 12 vertebrae that become increasingly larger down the back and forms a slight convex shape. The thoracic spine has the main function of supporting your ribs and protecting essential organs.
Finally, at the base of the back is the lumbar spine. There are 5 large vertebrae that make up this portion of the spine and connect to the Sacrum, or hips. The lumbar spine bears a substantial amount of body weight and is often the source of many people’s back pain for this reason.
The majority of procedures at Pain Specialists of Charleston, Columbia, and Beaufort can be conducted in any of these areas of the spine.
To learn more about treatment options or to schedule an appointment give us a call!