Human spine. Computer artwork of the human spine. The cervical (neck) spine is yellow, the thoracic (upper) spine is red and the lumbar (lower) spine is maroon. The spinal column is made up of vertebrae, block-like bones that protect the spinal cord and support the upper body. The first two vertebrae, the atlas and axis, form the joint with the skull. The projections from the vertebrae are the attachment sites for muscles. The spaces between the blocks of the vertebrae hold intervertebral discs (white), which cushion the spine against shock and allow a degree of flexibility.
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