Babies are born with 33 separate vertebrae, some of which fuse over time. Despite being composed of bone, the spine or vertebral column is surprisingly flexible and resilient, as it provides a safe space for the spinal cord and control of many bodily functions we take for granted. Throughout a human life, a healthy spine's memory can help it endure many times the weight and pressure of its own body. It is a complex system whose overall objective is to protect and support.
There are five movable vertebrae in the lumbar region of the spine, at the lower back between the rib cage and the pelvis. Designated as L1 through L5, these vertebrae are wider and heavier than the others because they have to bear the weight of the upper body. They also provide protection and support for the tissue and nerves, which control communication between the brain and the legs. Spinal cord tissue only reaches L2, after which it bundles and tapers to form the conus medullairs.
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