The vertebral arch is posterior, meaning it faces the back of a person. Together, these enclose the vertebral foramen, which contains the spinal cord. Because the spinal cord ends in the lumbar spine, and the sacrum and coccyx are fused, they do not contain a central foramen.
From top to bottom, the vertebrae are: Cervical spine: 7 vertebrae (C1–C7) Thoracic spine: 12 vertebrae (T1–T12) Lumbar spine: 5 vertebrae (L1–L5) Sacrum: 5 (fused) vertebrae (S1–S5) Coccyx: 4 (3–5) (fused) vertebrae (Tailbone)
Each vertebral segment is made up of two bony vertebrae with a spinal disc in between. The spinal disc is also susceptible to a number of problems and may often be a source of pain, as discussed on the next page.