Common Back Terms

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Back Terms

Common Back Terms

Cervical spine: the neck region of the spine

Coccyx: tailbone A small triangular bone at the base of the spinal column consisting of several fused rudimentary vertebrae.

Disc: shock-absorbing cushions separating the vertebrae.

Facet Joints: The facet joints join adjacent vertebrae and allow the vertebrae to move on one another.


Ligaments: Fibrous tissue that tie together the vertebrae

Laminectomy: A surgical procedure to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerve root.

Mini-disc surgery: The insertion of an artificial disc to replace a prolapsed disc, done through a small incision.

Lumbar spine: lower part of the spine

Sacrum: A triangular bone made up of five fused vertebrae, both a part of the spine and forming the posterior section of the pelvis.

Sciatic nerve: The sciatic nerve branches off nerve roots off the lower end of the spinal cord. (The spinal cord ends in the lower back) A sensory and motor nerve, the sciatic nerve originates in the lumbar and sacral areas and its two branches run through the pelvis, deep into each side of the buttocks, through the hip, the backside of the upper leg down to the foot. . The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body - the diameter of a finger.

Scoliosis: Abnormal lateral (side-to-side) curvature of the spine - often congenital - with rotation of the vertebrae within the curve.

Spinal cord: Runs from the brain down through the spinal column

Thoracic spine: the area of the spine that is chest level

Vertebrae: 24 weight bearing bony segments of the spine

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