The vertebral column has 32-33 vertebrae, one on top of the other. These vertebrae are arranged in regions. The vertebrae of each region have a characteristic shape. The regions are as follows: (a) Cervical (neck) region, with seven cervical vertebrae. (b) Thoracic (chest) region, with 12 thoracic vertebrae. (c) Lumbar (low back) region with five lumbar vertebrae. (d) The sacrum, which is a bony fusion of five sacral vertebrae. (e) The coccyx (pronounced COCK-sicks, “tail”), with 3-4 coccygeal vertebrae together. (3) The vertebrae are held together in two ways: (a) The intervertebral disc holds the bodies of adjacent vertebrae together. The intervertebral disc is a fibrous ring with a soft center. This disc allows the vertebral bodies to move on one another. This joint between the vertebral bodies is a plane-type joint. (b) The various parts of adjacent vertebrae are held together by ligaments. A ligament is a dense FCT structure which extends from bone to bone. These ligaments extend along the vertebral
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