The vertebral column is divided into the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar region. It provides structural support for the trunk and surrounds and protects the spinal cord. The vertebral column also provides attachment points for the muscles of the back and ribs.
Review Date: 2/7/2011 Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Family Physician, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.