D. ROBERTS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY D. ROBERTS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Spine. Coloured X-ray showing a healthy human spine seen from the front. The spine is made of a column of 33 cylindrical bones called vertebrae which support the trunk and head and protect the spinal cord. Between the vertebrae are flexible joints that both stabilise the spine and allow movement. Each vertebra has bony projections (on the left and right sides of the vertebrae) which provide attachment sites for the muscles and ligaments that hold the spine together. Running through the spine is the spinal cord (not seen), a bundle of nerves from the brain.
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