The Backbone, medically termed as the Vertebral Column or the Spine is a framework of little bones known as the vertebrae. These vertebrae are inter-connected to each other and fused to form this network of the spine. The function of the vertebral column is to support the body. It provides stability, movement and housing to the spinal cord and spinal nerves situated just below the brain on the posterior side of the body.
As the vertebral column is comprised of many bones and we know that bone is a living tissue. Therefore, the vertebral column is subjected to have many infections and diseases like any other tissue tends to have. Vertebral column gives the articulation point to the main network of nerves that is the spinal cord. Hence defect in nerves can also cause disturbance in the vertebral column.
Next region that comes is the Thoracic Region and the vertebrae present here are the “Thoracic Vertebrae”. Twelve bones after the cervical vertebrae are situated in this region. These bones make up the Rib Cage and are larger in size rather than the cervical vertebrae. The size of the thoracic vertebrae increases from top to bottom.
There are many diseases that can be caused in the vertebral column. Some of them are Osteoporosis, Osteosarcoma, Spondylolisthesis, and Osteoarthritis. Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bones become fragile due to decrease in the density of bone. This disease actually leads to a porous bone which is soft and compressible. Osteosarcoma is also known as the cancer of bones. This happens in the tissue of the bone due to a cancerous tumor that destroys the normal tissue. It arises from the osteoid tissue of the bone.
Spondylolisthesis is defined as the frontward or the rearward movement of the vertebrae in the column. This occurs due to the slippage of the pars articularis discs present between the vertebrae. The backbone loses its original shape and the patient suffers from chronic pains. Osteoarthritis is a disease caused due to the defect in the joints between the bones. Synovium is a membrane in the joints which secretes a fluid to lubricate the joints otherwise friction might be caused which can lead to Osteoarthritis. If the secretion is reduced, the person is more likely to have the disease.