Nine Remarkable Spine Facts

Nine Remarkable Spine Facts

Nine Remarkable Spine Facts


  1. Cartilage in your spine expands and contracts. 


-You are taller in the morning than at night, because at night you have had gravity pushing down on you all day long. 


-When astronauts return from space they are usually 1.5 or 2 inches taller than when they left.


  1. You have the same number of bones in your neck as a giraffe.


  1. Some people have spines that are extremely flexible. They can bend far enough back to make ⅔ of a circle.


  1. Babies have more spinal bones than adults. 


-You started out with 33 vertebrae but ended up with just 26. What happened to the extra bones? 


-Some of the vertebrae grew together to form the sacrum (back of the pelvis) and coccyx (tailbone).


  1. Even though the spine is often injured, it can be extremely resilient: 


-It may require a force greater than 3,000 newtons to fracture the cervical spine. 


-That’s equal to the impact created by a 500-pound car crashing into a wall at 30 miles per hour.


  1. Your spine contains over 100 joints, 220 ligaments, and more than 120 muscles.


  1. The bones of your spine keep growing until you reach your full height, but your spinal cord stops growing when you are five years old.


  1. The top bone of your spine holds up your head. It was named after Atlas, the Greek Titan who held up the world.


  1. Where do you have more nerve cells, your spinal cord or your gastrointestinal tract? 


-Your digestive tract has 500 million neurons. 


-That’s five times as many as the 100 million neurons in your spinal cord.