Illustration of the spine

Illustration of the spine

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Credit: ALFRED PASIEKA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Illustration of the human spine, the column of bones and cartilage that extends from the base of the skull to the pelvis, enclosing and protecting the spinal cord and supporting the trunk and head. The spine is made up of 33 roughly cylindrical vertebrae. Each pair of adjacent vertebrae is connected by a joint, called a facet joint, which both stabilizes the vertebral column and allows movement in it. Between each pair of vertebrae lies a disc-shaped pad of tough fibrous cartilage with a jelly-like core (the nucleus pulposus) called an intervertebral disc (highlighted here). These discs cushion the vertebrae during movements such as running or jumping.

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Keywords: anatomy, central, cns, human body, intervertebral disc, nervous system, spinal cord, spine and nervous system

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