Nearly every flexible or movable level of the spine (with the exception of the very top vertebra) is comprised of the same elements, including: Vertebral body, the bony building blocks of the spine Facet joint, small stabilizing joints located between and behind adjacent vertebrae Intervertebral disc, which provides a cushion between each of the vertebral bodies and binds them together Other than supporting the organs of the entire body, the axial (midline) skeleton's discs allow rhythmic motions required by humans to walk, run, swim, and perform other regular movements. Additionally, the spine (so named from the bony plates that extend backwards from the vertebrae) provides a bony protection for the spinal cord and emerging nerves.
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