What is the Thoracic Spine? The thoracic spine is an area in the upper middle of the spine that contains 12 vertebrae known as the thoracic vertebrae. These vertebrae are referred to with the initial “T” and a number reflecting their position in the spine, with T-1 being the highest thoracic vertebra and T-12 being the lowest.
A unique feature of the thoracic vertebrae is that each one forms joints with a pair of ribs to form the sturdy rib cage that protects the organs of the chest. Lumbar: The 5 vertebrae in the lower back form the lumbar region of the spine.
Connecting with the cervical spine above and the lumbar spine below, the thoracic spine runs from the base of the neck down to the abdomen. It is the only spinal region attached to the rib cage. See Cervical Spine Anatomy and Lumbar Spine Anatomy and Pain. Save. The thoracic spine is one of the four major regions of the spine.