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Back pain

This information is provided for guidance only and cannot be used as a diagnosis of your condition. It is designed to help you get some clarity about your problem, so you can discuss it further with an expert and obtain an accurate diagnosis.

The spine has a total of 24 individual bones, called vertebrae, running from the head down to the pelvis. Each bone is separated from the next by a disc, the purpose of which is to allow movement and act as a shock absorber. The main purpose of the spine is to provide protection to the spinal nerves which control the majority of the body.

The thoracic spine consists of 12 bones, or vertebrae which are shaped so as to allow easy rotation of the trunk of the body. The nerves which exit the central column are responsible for the muscles and for the functioning of the internal organs.