The spine

Our spine fulfils a central task in the skeleton: it supports the head, shoulders, arms and chest and transfers their weight to the pelvis and legs. So that the spine can fulfil this important static function and still remain sufficiently flexible, it consists of more than 30 different bone segments, the vertebral bodies.

The first 24 vertebrae are flexible (seven cervical vertebrae, twelve thoracic vertebrae, five lumbar vertebrae) and following these are five fused vertebrae in the sacrum. At the lower end, there are another three to five fused, partially flexible vertebrae in the coccyx.