The structure of the human spine: diagram, designation of the main departments. Structural features

The spine is one of the most important structures in the human body. We rely on it and move with it. The curved shape of the spine is elastic and flexible, due to which various concussions that can occur during intense exertion are softened. It allows the person to walk upright and maintains the center of gravity. In this article we will look at the structure of the human spine. Scheme, designation, function and anatomy will reveal its detailed characteristics.

structure of the human spine diagram designation


The main supporting function belongs to the spine. It is impossible to imagine life without this organ. If his work is disrupted, then the person will not only be unable to walk, but also just stand. Health in general directly depends on his condition. If you look at the structure of the human spine (diagram, designation are presented below), then it is noticeable that it appears in the form of a flexible rod. The humerus and limbs are attached to it. It is a complete foundation for the whole body because it also supports the head, ribs, collarbone and shoulder blades.

The spinal column protects the spinal cord, on the functioning of which the functioning of the most important systems and organs depends. Shocks, damage, negative environmental conditions cause great harm to health. The skeletal system under consideration protects from all these influences. Thanks to the joints between the vertebrae, movement occurs. There are almost fifty of them in the spinal column. Let's study the structure of the human spine, the diagram, the designation of which shows all its importance and significance.

the structure of the human spine diagram designation in Russian

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The spine includes five sections with the corresponding number of vertebrae. There are bends on the sagittal and frontal planes. Thanks to them, the load is evenly distributed. Bends are of several types: with a bulge forward is called lordosis, backward - kyphosis, to the side - scoliosis.

If we look at the structure of the human spine, the diagram, the designation of which illustrates this especially clearly, we will notice natural curves in it. However, they can also be excessive. Then they talk about pathological changes. The integrity of the structure is provided by joints, ligaments and intervertebral discs, which, when moving, give a shock-absorbing effect. Such a unique structure of the human spine allows us to move around painlessly.

structure of the human spine diagram designation of function

Sections of the spinal column

There are five divisions in the spinal column:

  • cervical;
  • thoracic;
  • lumbar;
  • sacrum;
  • coccyx.

The vertebral column starts from the cervical region, which is represented by a convex bend. He is the most mobile, thanks to which a person is able to tilt and turn his head, as well as move his neck. This is provided by the first two segments. They are ring-shaped and are attached by special processes to the occipital opening.

The cervical region can be called the main one. Three of the seven vertebrae have a special structure. On the first, which does not have a body, but consists of two arcs, the base of the skull rests. This vertebra is called atlas. The next bone, epistrophy, is also special. In front, it has a dentate process, which serves as an awn, due to which the atlas rotates. The cervical region is closest to the brain. It provides normal vital functions for the "gray matter". Damage here can be fatal.

The thoracic region (in medicine it is called thoracic) is curved in a C-shape. The back wall of the chest is directly connected to it due to the ribs that are attached to the vertebrae. This part of the spine is inactive, again, due to the proximity of the chest. But here, tilts are still possible. It's just that their degree is much less compared to other departments. The ribs restrict these movements, as they protect such vital organs as the lungs and the heart. The intervertebral discs are not high here, but the spinous processes are rather long.

The lumbar region (or lumbar) is represented by the largest vertebrae. It is endowed with a smooth curve connecting the sacral and thoracic regions. The entire upper body presses on him, which is why he has a serious job. It is this department, together with the chest one, that takes on the greatest loads: when walking, jumping or running, it is responsible for the amortization of the whole body. Therefore, in these parts, pathologies or injuries occur more often than others.

The two lower sections are only conventionally called vertebrae. The sacrum consists of a triangular bone consisting of five fused vertebrae. Thanks to him, the spine is connected to the pelvis. The tailbone is the lowest section of the pillar. Its appearance resembles an inverted curved pyramid. The tailbone connects the ligaments and muscles related to the genitourinary system. It transfers the load to the pelvic bones, being at the same time a fulcrum. It can be called a tail vestige, which has partially grown into the bones of the pelvis. The female skeleton differs from the male in this particular part. The bones of the tailbone are able to slightly diverge before childbirth, increasing the diameter of the birthing canal, thereby facilitating the process for both the woman in labor and the baby. Below is a complete map that describes in detail the structure of the human spine. Scheme, designation, functions are also available on it.

structure of the human spine diagram designation anatomy


The spine includes 24 vertebrae connected in series with each other. They belong to:

  • cervical spine (seven units);
  • breast (twelve);
  • lumbar (five).

Each of the vertebrae is cylindrical. And it plays an important role as a reliable element of the supporting load. It has the shape of an arc - it is a semicircle with branches emanating from it. A hole is created on the arch and vertebral body. Forming on each vertebra, they all together create a spinal canal, in which the spinal cord, nerves and blood vessels are located.

structure of the human spine diagram designation of function and anatomy

Intervertebral discs

These elements have a flat, rounded body with a special fluid inside and a disk core. The structure of the human spine (diagram, designation can also be seen in the figure below), thanks to elastic discs, provides shock absorption during vertical movement. The annulus fibrosus, which prevents the displacement of the vertebrae, surrounds the nucleus pulposus. It can weaken with diseases of the spine, and sometimes even rupture, which causes intervertebral hernias.


The spine cannot exist without joints. They connect the vertebrae. The joints are covered with a smooth shell, cartilage, due to which there is no pain when the vertebrae rub. Inside the joints is fluid that nourishes and lubricates the cartilage. Thanks to this, a person bends, turns in different directions and makes other movements of his body.


Ligaments are of two types:

  • yellow, uniting arcs;
  • posterior longitudinal, connecting the vertebrae in this part of the column.

In the presence of pathological changes, the ligaments try to compensate for the high mobility of the joints and discs. As a result, hypertrophy occurs. Look at the structure of the human spine: the diagram, designation in Russian is presented below. Thanks to the image, it is easy to understand how many vertebrae there are in total and to which department they belong.

what is the structure of the human spine


Muscle tissue surrounds the spinal column. This significantly reduces the load and the risk of mechanical damage. The back has superficial and deep muscles. The former help to work the shoulders and straighten the back. They include the broadest, trapezius, rhomboid, dentate muscles.

Internal organs

Inside the spinal column is the spinal cord, surrounded by hard, arachnoid and soft membranes. This organ originates in the brain and ends at the first and second vertebra of the lower back. Each of its departments is responsible for certain organs of the human body. This function is provided due to the work of nerve impulses that go from the spinal cord and move directly to the internal organs. There are a huge number of nerve roots and cells in the spinal cord. And the structural features of the spine sections allow them to exit through the intervertebral foramen.


Like any organ of the human body, the spine ages in old age. Bad habits have a detrimental effect on him. Due to dehydration, the cushioning properties are lost, and the ligaments and bones cease to be flexible enough and begin to thicken. Degeneration can also occur in the disc, which is why most pathologies develop.

unique structure of the human spine


When the structure of the human spine is studied, the scheme, designation, anatomy are of great importance. You involuntarily catch yourself thinking that, as always, there is nothing superfluous in this most complex organism. Each segment performs its assigned task. Being a small link, it provides, together with other structures, the work of the whole organism.

Knowing what structure the human spine has, it becomes clear how important it is to pay due attention to it. A sedentary lifestyle causes tension in the muscles in the back, some of which do not support the spine at all. This mode leads to the fact that some departments are subjected to increased stress, while others have a risk of injury even with a little fatigue.

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