Tag Archives: spine

Human Spine

Human skeleton side view (S curve)

Normal spine has an S shape

The spinal column is separated into 5 sections. Seen from the side, a human’s healthy spine has two curves resembling the shape of the letter “S”.

Pivot point of the head on the neck

The head rests on top of the spine at the atlanto occipital joint.

The cervical (neck) (red color) / C 1-7 has an inward curve. Arteries that carry blood to the brain pass through openings in the side of the cervical vertebrae. The flexible neck supports the head, which is like a bowling ball. The head balances on the first cervical vertebra called the atlas and pivots on the second vertebra called the axis.

A head neck joint has two joints. The atlanto-occipital joint and the atlanto-axial joint.

Atlas (C1), and Axis (C2) vertebrae

Knowing how the cervical vertebrae function is important to understand how your head and neck moves and stays in proper alignment.

This site provides an exercise to help you find the pivot point of your head on your spine. http://www.alexandertechniqueinoxford.com/critical-for-the-alexander-technique-finding-the-top-of-the-spine/

The thoracic (chest) (blue color) / T 1 – 12 has an outward curve. This area of the spine is very stable. The vertebrae are  attached firmly to the ribs and sternum (breast bone).

Lumbar (abdominal & lower back) (yellow color) / L 1 – 5   has an inward curve. These vertebrae are able to move and flex. Sometimes people are born with a sixth vertebra in the lumbar region

Sacral (buttocks) (green color) / S1-5 fused into one  has an outward curve. They are at the base of the spine and form part of the pelvic area.

Coccyx (tail bone) (purple color) / fused


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Filed under Anatomy and Physiology, Health, Human health