Table of contents:
Spine has an important role in supporting the human body. By recognizing the structure of the spine, you can understand its function more closely and anticipate possible disturbances
The spine functions as a support for the head, shoulders, and the human body to be able to stand straight, sit, walk, and move flexibly. Not only that, the structure of the spine plays a major role in protecting the spinal cord from injury.
Spine Structure and Functions
The spine is made up of three natural curvatures that are shaped like the letter S, when viewed from the side. These three arches include the cervical spine (cervical), the middle spine (thoracic), and the lower back (lumbar).
The curvature of the spine is important for providing balance to the body and helping us stand straight. Combined, the three arches have 33 overlapping vertebrae. These bones are then divided into several parts with the following explanation:
1. cervical spine
The first seven vertebrae from above are called cervical. These bones are at the back of the neck, just below the brain. Not only to support the head and neck, the top of the C-shaped spine also supports your ability to rotate, tilt, and nod your head.
2. Middle spine
Below the cervical spine there are 12 thoracic bones starting from the upper chest to the middle back. Your ribs attach to these bones. The normal mid-backbone structure bends slightly to form an inverted C-like shape.
3. Lower spine
Furthermore, under the middle (thoracic) spine, there are 5 bones that make up the structure of the lower spine. These bones bend inward so that they look like they form the letter C.
The lower (lumbar) spine supports the top of the spine and is connected to the pelvis. These bones bear most of the weight and pressure when you lift or carry things. Therefore, many spinal problems occur in the lower spine.
The sacrum is made up of 5 vertebrae that are joined together like a triangle. This bone is connected to the hip and forms a ring called the pelvis.
Under the sacrum, there is the coccyx which is the base of the spine. The coccyx consists of 4 vertebrae that are fused to form 1 small bone. This bone plays a role in supporting the load and being a good center of gravity.
So when you pick up a heavy backpack, your lumbar spine, sacrum and tailbone help give you the strength to lift it. When you dance, jump, and walk, these bone parts also help you stay balanced.
Between the parts of the spine, there are several networks that are connected to each other, namely:
- Facet joints, to connect each part of the spine and provide flexibility and stability to the body
- Intervertebral discs, which are small discs made of cartilage to prevent the spinal structures from rubbing against each other and provide a cushion for the spine
- Opens where the branches of the nervous tissue exit, to convey messages between the brain and muscles
- Soft tissue consisting of ligaments (to hold each part of the spine), muscles (to support the back and help the body move), and tendons (to connect muscles to bone movement)
Disorders in the Spine Structure to Watch Out for
Some of the conditions that can affect the he alth of the spinal structure are as follows:
- Back pain and sprain
- Spine curvature disorders, such as scoliosis and kyphosis
- Neuromuscular diseases, such as a myotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- nerve injury
- Spinal cord injuries, including spinal fractures
- Tumor and cancer of the spine
- Spine infections, such as meningitis
- Birth defects, such as spina bifida
To prevent back problems and protect the spinal structure to keep it normal and he althy, one of the most important ways is to strengthen the back muscles. You can do specific back muscle strengthening exercises on a regular basis or at least 2 times a week.
If you experience back pain accompanied by fever, pain from your back to your feet, and pain that gets worse and worse, causing nausea and interfering with your daily activities, don't hesitate to consult a doctor for proper treatment.