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Human backbone. Illustration of the spine (the backbone or spinal column), seen from an oblique inferior angle (from below), with the front of the spine at left and the vertebral processes (protrusions) at right. The spine runs from the skull to the pelvis. It is a flexible column of compact bones called vertebrae, that enclose and protect the spinal cord. The vertebrae are separated by intervertebral discs (discs of fibrocartilage). In an adult, there are 26 vertebrae. The red colour at the base of the spine may represent lumbar back pain.
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