Human back is an amazing example of biological engineering. It provides the basic framework on which the skull, Ribs, Pelvis,& shoulder bones are attached. Can we imagine the human shape without backbone? We would have looked like a gunny bag filled with some putty like material & would have had no shape of our own. It would have been impossible to lift or carry any object from one place to another.
When we speak of back, we usually mean spinal column which is extending from the back of skull to pelvis in a graceful yet extremely strong double S shaped curve.This natural architectural masterpiece of human skeleton consists of 33 blocks of bones called vertebra. They are given different names according to the region of spine they belong to.
- In the neck they are called cervical vertebra.
- In the upper back (Chest) they are called Dorsal vertebra.
- In the lower back they are called Lumbar vertebra.
- In the tail bone they are called Coccyx
The vertebrae are hollow structures. The hollow of all vertebrae put together make a long tunnel through which the tail of the brain (spinal cord) runs. The width of spinal canal is almost equal to the thickness of a finger.
Vertebra resembles a house in shape & functions.
As a house protects its residents, so does the vertebra protects the spinal cord.