The healthy human spine (or backbone) is a marvelous structure, comprised of 33 vertebral bones, the spinal cord, nerves, and intervertebral discs which help provide shock absorption and flexibility. Divided into five sections (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum and coccyx), the spine supports your upper body, protects your spinal cord, and enables you to move and bend in many directions. Taking care of your spine is critical to having a healthy life, so it’s important to stay active, stretch, watch your weight, practice good posture, stay hydrated and get enough sleep.
Your neck — or cervical spine — is a critical part of your anatomy. It supports your skull and enables you the flexibility to smoothly move your head in multiple directions (backward and forward, up and down, side to side, and rotate right and left). The seven cervical vertebrae and shock-absorbing cervical discs provide a protective pathway for your spinal cord and nerves that carry signals to and from the brain, shoulders, arms, chest and legs.