Spinal Anatomy

This is an overview of low back spinal anatomy.The human spine consists of 24 vertebra

(not including nine fused vertebra in the sacrum and the coccyx).

This is an example of a low back disc.Each vertebral level joins to the next with a disc, and two small posterior facet joints. Inside the spine, the spinal cord can be found. This carries information to and from the brain. The role of nerves in the spine is to control and coordinate functions in the body. As a generalisation, each nerve root controls a patch of skin, a muscle or muscle group, and controls organ functions.

Individual nerve roots exit through holes in the spine at every level.

Unfortunately these nerve roots exit very close to the vertebral discs and the joints in the spine. This can result in the nerves getting trapped, particularly in the low back, causing severe low back pain, sciatica, referred leg pain, pins and needles, and/or numbness.