SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Healthy spine. Coloured X-ray of a front view of the healthy lower (lumbar) spine of an adult man. Rib bones (at top) articulate with the thoracic region of the spine, while the hip bones (pelvis) are at bottom. The spinal column is made up of vertebrae, block-like bones that protect the spinal cord and support the upper body. The projections on either side of the spine are the attachment sites of muscles in the back. The spaces between the blocks of the vertebrae hold intervertebral discs which cushion the spine against shock and allow a degree of flexibility. This part of the spine is subject to lower back pain.
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