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Anatomy, structure and function of the vertebral column in humans

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A Few important for the normal functioning of the whole organism functions performs the spinal column. So keeping it in the health state until the end of life should be the goal of those who care not only about the number of years lived, but also about their quality.

the Spine

function of the spine

Spine of a person is a unified system consisting of vertebrae, intervertebral discs, ligaments and joints, thanks to which it performs important functions. TOOOhe First is the holding on itself the upper part of the body and head. In fulfilling this function, the spine endures tremendous stress, especially if the owner is overweight, or a lot of time is in the upright position.

The Second function provides the intervertebral discs. They set in motion the spine and allow movement across the upper part of the human body.

Another function of the spine – cover. It securely covers the bone tissue, the spinal cord, through which the brain provides movement of the limbs. Quality performance of all these functions is based on smooth operation of all components of the spinal column of man, so the knowledge of anatomy of the spine will help to avoid many health problems.

Functions of the spine

the Structure of the vertebral column

The Vertebral column consists of:

  • Vertebrae. They have the form of hollow rings, which holes form the spinal canal, a kind of protective zone for the spinal cord. Anatomy of the vertebrae all similar, with the exception of the first and second vertebrae of the cervical spine.
  • of the Intervertebral discs. They are a closed cavity connection of the vertebrae, filled with a dense liquid and is placed between the vertebrae. On the intervertebral discs account for about 5 of the entire length of the spinal column. The height of the intervertebral discs may differ in each case, and in a healthy person is always more in the morning and in the evening less.
  • Simple, complex and combined joints. These components of the spine provide the variety of movement back and comfortable functionality of the whole organism.
  • of the Ligaments. They provide the connection and strengthening the joints, protecting them from blows.
  • Muscles. At the same time they protect the spine and help it move. Muscles of the vertebral column differ in the direction of the fibers and their coupling.

In General, the spine has an S-shape (natural curves of the spine of a healthy person back provide cushioning and flexibility). Such structure and the functions of each individual component ensures the full functioning of the whole organism.

structure of the vertebra

Departments and their functions

The human Spine consists of 5 departments, which smoothly pass one in another, related, differ in the number and mobility of the vertebrae.

Cervical spine is the upper cervical vertebral column, which has the lowest degree of stress. But this Department is the most active. It consists of 7 vertebrae, which are interconnected in such a way that they ensure the movement of the head with high amplitude. This is done thanks to the structure of the first two vertebrae.

The First of them (Atlanta, GA) is not associated with all the spine and has the form of two arcs connected by lateral thickenings of the bone (lateral masses) that Misaki by attaching to the occipital division. The second (axis) is the odontoid process to the front of the spinal column. This anatomy of the cervical spine and ensures maximum mobility.

Transverse processes of the cervical vertebrae conceal the vertebral arteries. Are vessels that supply blood to the brain stem, cerebellum and occipital lobes of the cerebral hemispheres, which is very important for their proper functioning.

the Natural curves of the spine

Thoracic spine bent backwards, thus forming the physiological kyphosis. From the thoracic spine go out of ribs, so he was involved in protecting the heart and lungs from external damage. Unlike the cervical, thoracic sedentary, because the distance between the vertebrae in this part of the small, intervertebral discs and the most narrow.

The Lumbar spinal column can withstand heavy loads, so it is the most massive and fortified. His vertebrae have a larger diameter and length of the intervertebral discs. The structure of the lower back forms a smooth curve forward, which allows you to evenly distribute the load on each individual vertebra.

The Intervertebral discs in the lumbar wear out faster due to the structure of the body and the influence of external factors (overweight, physical exertion, carrying heavy loads, prolonged stay in an upright position).

The Sacral spine consists of vertebrae fused together and has a wedge-shapedthe form continues the lumbar and ends with the coccyx. Coccygeal Department has spine and is fused with the sacral division.

violations of the spine

Damage or injury

Despite the fact that the spine is fairly strong and well-coordinated design, frequently damage one or more of its components entail serious consequences, even permanent disability. Strong mechanical damage to speak of, as they are the result of accidents and severe accidents. Today I want to draw attention to the everyday protection of the spine, which can be done in-house, ensuring the health of the musculoskeletal system.

The Vertebrae are cancellous bone, they are composed of dense cortical layer and an inner spongy. They are damaged only under the influence of strong mechanical effects, but intervertebral discs are soft, so they are susceptible to any negative influence.

A herniated disc can be a result of the violation of metabolic processes in the body of the disk. The disc protrudes beyond the boundaries due to the fact that the flow of liquid in the region of its nucleus is reduced, a damping function is changed. The bulging disc is pressing on the nerve at its exit from the canal, causing inflammation. In this case the patient is experiencing severe pain in a particular part of the spine, limitation of movement. Sometimes it happens so that the disk protrudes toward the spinal cord, perelavlivaet it, which can lead to death.

Hernia of the spine

Hernia may be a consequence of a wrong lifestyle or another disease of the spine – degenerative disc disease. This disease is characterized by degeneration of cartilage's degeneration in the bone.

Ossified disk decreases in size, loses its cushioning properties, pressure on nerve endings. Early disease is difficult to detect. Often patients come to the doctor with severe pain, when the disease is progressing in full swing and degenerative processes it is difficult to stop.

Sciatica is the inflammation of the nerve roots. The cause of sciatica is osteochondrosis and hernia of the intervertebral discs, which does not respond to treatment. The inflammatory process in the diseased spine can cause stress, hypothermia, infection, trauma. To inflammation with subsequent weakness and atrophy of muscles due to loss of sensation in the affected area.

Scoliosis is the cause of many disability of the spine. Acquired in childhood, it may not be felt for many years, but in the presence of additional factors (hard work, obesity) progressing into adulthood.

Scoliosis is a persistent lateral curvature of the spine (depending on this there are right-sided and left-sided scoliosis). This disease can be congenital or acquired. Most often acquired scoliosis begins in the school years when a child spends a lot of time at a Desk.

To the curvatures of the spine include kyphosis (camber back), which too often is acquired in childhood and can affect other internal organs (heart, liver, kidneys).

Prevention healthy spine you need to start at an early age. Even the slightest deviation from the norm, you should consult a specialist, because normal functioning of organism is impossible without the full operation of the musculoskeletal system.