The basis of the human skeleton is the spinal column. In anatomy lessons, we were told how many vertebras a person has. Is this number always the same? Let's refresh the school knowledge a little.
How many vertebrae in the spine of a person?
Each of us knows perfectly well that the spine is a strong support and the foundation of our body. That is why it is so important to monitor its condition. The integrity of the spine, articular and cartilage tissues is the key to the full functioning of all systems and organs.
It is the vertebral base that performs several important functions in the body, in particular:
- protects nerve endings from injuries of various types;
- prevents bone damage and concussion when walking or running;
- performs the function of supporting the human body.
The spinal column is divided into 5 main segments:
In total, there are 34 vertebral elements in the human body, but this number may differ. Scientists to this day argue fervently about the number of vertebral discs. The fact is that their number may vary due to the accretion of individual elements into one. So, with the accretion of coccygeal vertebrae into a single bone, a person will have 30 of them.
We consider the vertebrae in the thoracic spine
The thoracic vertebral segment is connected to the ribs, resulting in a powerful and strong frame. It is he who protects the internal organs from the effects of external factors and possible damage to the mechanical type. This vertebral part has 12 segments, and in each of them there are corresponding indentations. These "grooves" and includes our ribs.
On each thoracic vertebral segment there are bone processes, due to which other bones and articular tissues are connected with the skeletal column. It is the thoracic region that is most often subjected to the development of pathologies and injuries. This is primarily due to its inactivity, the course of aging processes. By the way, a long-term feeling of discomfort or being in an extremely uncomfortable position can provoke the development of pathology of the thoracic vertebral segment.
And what about the cervical?
Remember the common expression - where will the neck turn, head there and look? The cervical vertebral part is the movable part of the skeletal column. It is in this segment that there are 7 vertebral elements.
The cervical vertebral segment differs in its physiological structure from the rest of the skeletal column. The peculiarity of the cervical vertebrae lies in the first two discs. In practice, they are called atlas and epistrophy. Thanks to the first one, the spine is connected with the head, more precisely, with the occipital foramen. The second provides the connection with the ring of the neural type by means of ligaments.
Due to the constant mobility of this part of the spinal column, various pathologies may develop under the influence of various factors, in particular:
- lordosis, etc.
Anatomical features of the lumbar spine
The lumbar segment plays a huge role in maintaining the integrity of the skeletal column. It consists of five vertebral elements, and each of them is characterized by physiological features and size.
Thanks to the lumbar segment of the skeletal column, the human body is able to withstand excessive loads. Due to the pressure on the lumbar vertebral discs, we can lift weights. Under the influence of a number of factors, this vertebral section is no less susceptible to deformation and the development of pathologies. In the lumbar segment such illnesses can develop:
- hernia of various shapes;
- protrusion, etc.
This area is inextricably interconnected with a number of vital organs - the male reproductive system, bladder, appendix, intestine, hip joint tissue.
Sacral segment of the skeletal column
The sacrum includes five relatively small vertebral discs. They form a single bone tissue that has a triangular shape. This vertebral segment is located in the pelvic region. The last disk is connected to the coccyx bone.
When forming the skeletal column in children, the sacrum is presented in the form of separate vertebral discs. With age, they grow together into a single bone tissue. This is one of the main reasons why the total number of vertebral segments in a child and an adult is different. Any physiological abnormalities in this area can trigger the development of serious pathologies, in particular, hemorrhoids, spontaneous defecation, bouts of severe pain.
The final link in the skeletal column is the coccygeal segment. By its parameters, this department is the smallest. If you carefully examine it in the picture, you can make sure that it has a pyramidal shape. Despite the relatively small parameters, it is the coccyx segment that plays the main role - it distributes the load and pressure correctly. It includes from 3 to 5 discs.
The connection with the sacrum occurs due to the existing coccygeal processes. This part of the tailbone resembles a horn. Due to this physiological structure, mobility of the coccygeal segment is ensured, which is more pronounced in the fair sex than in men.
Does a person always have the same number of vertebrae?
Full strengthening and ossification of the human skeletal column occurs closer to 25 years of age. After the birth of the vertebral base crumbs consists of three parts. Gradually, they begin to grow together, forming the so-called epiphyses.
As already mentioned, to determine the exact number of vertebral discs in humans is impossible. Their total number always varies from 32 to 34. It depends on the accretion of certain vertebral elements. If the number of individual vertebrae becomes more than the anatomical norm or, conversely, catastrophically decreases, then we are talking about the development of abnormal pathology or serious illness. Disruption of the development of scapular and sacral bones can provoke an abnormal formation of the skeletal column.
The number of vertebral elements may change as a result of lumbalization or sacralization. In the first case, there is an increase in the number of vertebral segments in the lower back, and in the second, a decrease in the number (accretion) of the coccyx and sacrum vertebrae. By the way, treating specialists consider sacralization the reason for the development of such an illness as scoliosis. In case of pathological fusion of vertebral elements, it is necessary to undergo a complex treatment. The development of this disease is most often manifested at the age of 20.
The skeleton pillar is the strongest support and support of all life support organs. We have refreshed how many vertebral segments our skeleton numbers. The health of the spine should be monitored carefully, as well-being in general depends on its condition. Be healthy!