The Spine - Number of Vertebrae, Curves, Joint Type and Actions

Color coated illustration of the spine, with vertebrae labeled from sacrum to cervical spine.

General Anatomy of the Spine - By Henry Vandyke Carter - Henry Gray (1918) Anatomy of the Human Body, invalid ID (See "Book" section below) Gray's Anatomy, Plate 111altered by User:Uwe Gille, Public Domain,

The Spine

  • Cervical Vertebrae – The 7 vertebrae of the neck.
    • Lordotic Curvature
  • Thoracic Vertebrae – The 12 vertebrae with bony attachments to the 12 pair of ribs.
    • Kyphotic Curvature
  • Lumbar Vertebrae – The 5 vertebrae of the low back
    • Lordotic Curvature

Teaching Cues:

  • Letter Association
    • Low back, Lumbar Spine, Lordotic Curve
  • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • 7am, 12noon & 5pm (7 cervical, 12 thoracic, and 5 lumbar vertebrae)

The facet (zygapophysial) joints: of the spine are "gliding joints", allowing a small amount of motion in various directions. The large amount of movement we see from the spine is actually the summation of small amounts of motion at dozens of little joints. See the activity below for more on what joint actions the spine can perform.

Trunk Muscles

Study Guide - Quick Reference - Trunk Muscles

Note: If you intend to do the activities below do not open the "Study Guide" - all the answers are already