The Spine

By AFM Staff – July 1, 2014

The same gene that causes spina bifida (a disease where the lower back vertebrae fail to close over the spinal cord) also causes Manx cats to have no tail.


Sciatica is a symptom, not a disease. Sciatica is caused when a herniated disc or bone spur pinches part of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back through the rear end and down both legs. This can cause pain, tingling, and numbness.


The number of bones that comprise the spine when we’re born is different from when we die. As babies, people have 33 separate vertebrae. As they age, the five vertebrae of the sacrum fuse together. The coccygeal vertebrae, another three to five bones (this varies from person to person) join to create the tailbone, bringing the number of vertebrae to approximately 26.


Your neck is just like a long-necked giraffe’s in that it has seven cervical vertebrae—they’re just spaced out differently.


What makes up the spinal column?
More than 120 muscles
220 ligaments
100 joints
cartilage that separates bones


Nerve cell bodies that make up the spinal chord create an image that looks like a butterfly.


It’s cartilage contraction that makes humans shrink in height  over their lifetime. 


Car accidents are the cause of most spinal trauma and injury in America.


The remains of Richard III, who died in 1485, were recently identified by osteo-archeologists through DNA samples and the scoliosis exhibited in the skeleton. Scoliosis is a condition that causes curvature of the spine.


Vertebrae look like circles with wings on the sides and back. The spinal cord runs through the center hole in each vertebra.


Cats have amazingly flexible spines, which include the bones that make up the tail; anywhere from three to 28 caudal vertebrae are located in the tail. 


According to the Paralysis Resource Center, some 1,275,000 people in America report being paralyzed due to spinal chord injuries—and 16 percent of these injuries were the result of a sporting or recreational accident.


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