The concept of column refers to the vertical support that is used to support the weight of something. Vertebral, on the other hand, is that associated with vertebrae (the short bones that are articulated and that make up the spine of vertebrates).
The skeletal axis of beings with vertebrae, formed by this series of small bones, is known as the vertebral column. This axis is located along the so-called dorsal midline of the body.
Also known as the spine or rachis, the spinal column is a highly resistant, articulated system that extends from the head to the pelvis and is divided into five regions: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral and coccygeal.
The cervical region has seven vertebrae, the dorsal with twelve, the lumbar with five, the sacral with five and the coccyx with four. This means that the spinal column has 33 vertebrae.
Among the functions of the spinal column, its participation as a support stands out (it helps to preserve the body’s center of gravity) and as a protector of the spinal cord. Thanks to the spinal cord, precisely, the human being can walk on his two legs and not fall.
Among the most frequent diseases or pathologies that affect the aforementioned column are, for example, herniated discs. These are characterized because, as their name suggests, they affect the soft discs that are located between the vertebrae of the spine, giving rise to forceful pains.
But in addition, this injury can bring with it another series of symptoms in the patient such as weakness, muscle spasms, tingling or numbness. A long recovery period is the one that will be faced by those who must carry out a treatment that is based on the intake of the relevant anti-inflammatory drugs, physiotherapy sessions and even, if required, undergo surgery.
Scoliosis is also another of the most common diseases that affect the spine. Specifically, it occurs as a result of a curvature of which can be permanent or temporary. In most cases this is congenital and will lead to the person in question having to go through an operating room or use orthopedic devices that, to some extent, can correct said deviation.
The curvatures that can be found in the spinal column are precisely due to the shape of the vertebrae and intervertebral discs. In people, the main types of curvatures are lateral and anteroposterior.
According to DigoPaul, the spinal column can suffer from various kinds of malformations, such as spina bifida (a congenital malformation caused by a lack of folic acid).
However, and finally, we cannot ignore the fact that, in a colloquial way, the term spinal column is also used to refer to an element or a fact being the most important thing about something. Thus, an example of this use would be the following: “The backbone of Maria’s life is her daughter Sara.”