The vertebral column (columna vertebralis) forms the lower infracranial part of the axial skeleton. It provides a strong and flexible support of the trunk and also transmits and protects the spinal cord and the roots, stems and branches of the spinal nerves.
The vertebral column extends from the base of the skull, through the neck, trunk, and it ends at the level of the floor of the pelvis. The vertebral column is composed of 33 to 34 vertebrae, which can be subdivided into five regions.
In the articulated vertebral column in the adult body four normal curvatures located in midsagittal plane can be seen.
The pathological, abnormal lateral curvature of the vertebral column is called scoliosis.Structure of a typical vertebra.