Vertebral Curvature

The spine encases the spinal cord because that protection and also support.

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Key Points

The human being spine consists of 24 articulating vertebrae grouped into cervical, thoracic, and lumbar regions. Nine an ext vertebrae make up the sacrum and also coccyx. Common vertebrae consist of the anterior vertebral body and also the posterior section, which includes the vertebral foramen v which the spinal cord passes. Over there are four main curve of the spine: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and also pelvic. Facets the the vertebrae restrict selection of motion to stop shearing of the spinal cord. Blood vessels and also nerves departure the spinal shaft at intervertebral foramina. There are 4 main curves of the spine: cervical, thoracic, lumbar and also pelvic.

Key Terms

vertebrae: The skeletal that consist of the spinal column. laminae: key of bone that form the posterior wall surfaces of each vertebra. pedicle: A segment of bone connecting the lamina to the vertebral body. vertebral foramen: through the vertebral body and vertebral arch and also containing the spinal cord. vertebral column: The collection of vertebrae that protect the spinal cord; the spinal column.


Kyphosis is an exaggeration concave (kyphotic) curvature the the thoracic vertebral column; that is frequently known as “humpback.” Lordosis is an exaggeration convex (lordotic) curvature the the lumbar region; that is frequently known as “swayback.” Scoliosis is one abnormal lateral curvature the the vertebral column.

Number that Vertebrae


Vertebral Column: The sections of the vertebral column.

In person anatomy, the vertebral pillar (backbone or spine) usually is composed of 24 articulating vertebrae and nine unify vertebrae in the sacrum and also the coccyx. Situated in the dorsal aspect of the torso and also separated through intervertebral discs, it houses and protects the spinal cord in the spinal canal. Over there are generally 33 vertebrae in humans, consisting of the 5 that are fused to form the sacrum, the 4 coccygeal skeleton that form the tailbone, and the others separated by intervertebral discs. The upper three regions comprise the remaining 24, and are grouped together cervical (seven vertebrae), thoracic (12 vertebrae) and lumbar (five vertebrae).

Vertebral Shape

A usual vertebra consists of the vertebral body and vertebral arch. These parts together enclose the vertebral foramen that has the spinal cord. The vertebral arch is by a pair of pedicles and also a pair of laminae. Two transverse processes and one spinous procedure are posterior come (behind) the vertebral body. The spinous process projects towards the posterior direction, when one transverse procedure projects come the left and the other to the right. The spinous procedures of the cervical and also lumbar regions can be felt through the skin. Page joints space located over and below each vertebra. These restrict the range of movement. In between each pair of vertebrae room two tiny openings called intervertebral foramina with which the spinal nerves exit.


Vertebrae: Oblique check out of cervical vertebrae.

Vertebral Curvature

When perceived laterally, the vertebral shaft presents several curves matching to the different regions that the column: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and pelvic.

Cervical and Thoracic Curves

The cervical curve convexes forward and also begins at the apex that the odontoid (tooth-like) process. It ends at the middle of the 2nd thoracic vertebra. The thoracic curve convexes dorsally, starts at the middle of the second thoracic vertebra, and ends in ~ the middle of the 12th thoracic vertebra.

Lumbar and also Pelvic Curves

The lumbar curve, which is much more pronounced in women than in men, begins at the middle of the last thoracic vertebra and ends at the sacrovertebral angle. That is convex anteriorly v the lower three vertebrae much much more convex than the upper two. This curve is explained as a lordotic curve. The pelvic curve begins at the sacrovertebral articulation and ends in ~ the suggest of the coccyx; its concavity is command downward and also forward.

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Primary and secondary Curves

The thoracic and also sacral curvatures space main curves since they are present in the fetus and remain the exact same in the adult. As the boy grows, elevator the head, and begins to assume an upright position, the secondary curves (cervical and lumbar) develop. The cervical curve develops when the infant is maybe to host up his or she head (at 3 or 4 months) and sit upright (at nine months). The lumbar curve forms between twelve to eighteen months when the child begins to walk.