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There are 24 vertebrae in three upper segments of the spinal column. These three segments create natural curves of the back: the curves of the neck area (cervical), chest area (thoracic), and lower back (lumbar). The lower segments of the spine (sacrum and coccyx) are made up of a series of vertebrae that are fused together and are within the pelvic region.

Anatomy of the spine

Cervical

The cervical, or neck section of the spine, consists of seven vertebrae known as C1 to C7. The top cervical vertebrae is connected to the base of the skull.

Thoracic

The thoracic section of the spine is located at chest level, between the cervical and lumbar vertebrae. The twelve thoracic vertebrae, known as T1 to T12, also serve as attachments for the rib cage.

Lumbar

The Lumbar section of the spine is located between the thoracic vertebrae and the sacrum. The five lumbar vertebrae, known as levels L1 to L5, are the main weight bearing section of the spinal column.

Sacrum

The sacrum section of the spine is located near the base of the spine. The sacrum consists of five fused vertebrae known as levels S1 to S5. It does not have discs separating the bones. The pelvis is connected to the spinal column at the sacrum section.

Coccyx

The coccyx, also called the tailbone, is at the base of the spinal column. It has 4 small vertebrae that are fused together.

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