CERVICAL SPINE (NECK)
Look over here and see where it all starts.
Whenever you move your head, your cervical spine is making it possible. Also known as the neck, the first section of your spine is very flexible and protects your spinal cord while stabilizing your head.
The small, thin structures that make the neck flexible also make it vulnerable to injury and other damage, putting its muscles, soft tissues, and even the spinal cord at risk.
THORACIC SPINE (UPPER & MID BACK)
Best actor in a supporting role.
Supporting your rib cage and vital organs as well as keeping you upright, your thoracic spine is built for stability. This is the longest section of your spine, composing your upper and middle back.
Because of its protective role, the thoracic spine has less movement than the neck and lower back and is more rigid. Most upper and middle back pain is muscular or caused by significant trauma, but sometimes, the structures can degenerate over time.
LUMBAR SPINE (LOWER BACK & SPINE)
There’s a twist.
Turning, bending, and twisting your body over and around takes place mostly in your lumbar spine, or lower back. Most of the weight-bearing in your spine is also in your lower back.
With all the movement and weight that the lumbar spine takes on with everyday living and normal tasks and activities, pain and injuries in the lower back are extremely common.
Once more with feeling.
Running through your spine is the spinal cord, which extends from the brain. This long tube of nerve tissue branches out with spinal nerve roots and nerves that stretch through your limbs, forming a map of nerve tissue throughout your body.
This map serves as a nerve highway, sending signals to and from your brain so you can move and feel. When something is wrong, you receive pain signals, or the signals get disrupted or cut off.