Spine Facts
Spine Facts

27 Spine Facts that You May Not Know | Fact Retriever

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published April 15, 2020
  • The human spine is very flexible because it has over 120 muscles attached to it.[3]
  • Poor spinal posture while sitting on the toilet can lead to constipation. Hunching over with the feet lower than the hips can close the anus and make it more difficult for abdominal muscles to move feces out.[1]
  • Because slouching puts pressure on the bladder, poor posture can lead to urinary incontinence when one sneezes or coughs.[1]
  • The average human spine has about 220 ligaments, 100 joints, 120 muscles, and 33 vertebrae. However, the vertebrae in the sacrum and coccyx have fused.[3]
  • Giraffes have seven cervical vertebrae in their necks. Humans have seven cervical vertebrae, too.[3]
  • Cervical Spine Fact
    The atlas is the first cervical vertebra of the spine
  • Cervical vertebrae are sometimes called Atlas vertebrae, in reference to the Greek mythological figure who was burdened with carrying the world on his shoulders.[4]
  • The average spinal cord weighs around 35 grams.[4]
  • An average person loses as much as 1/3 of an inch in height every ten years.[4]
  • Over 25% of a spine's strength is due to cartilage.[3]
  • A human spinal cord is just .4 to .6 inches thick.[2]
  • A human spinal cord stops growing at the age of five. After that, your body grows around the spinal cord.[2]
  • Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide.[4]
  • Americans spend approximately $50 billion annually on treating back pain. 
  • You are the age of your spine. You are as flexible as your spine. That transfers to other areas of your life.

    - Diane Lane

  • The spine is very flexible. If it were separated from the body and bent, it would form 2/3 of a circle.[3]
  • Smoking is bad for lungs and other organs and especially the spine. It reduces bond strength and blood flow that the spine needs to stay strong. Smoking also tends to make people less physically active, which is essential to back strength.[3]
  • Unlike nearly every other mammal that has 7 vertebrae in the neck, sloths have up to 10. The extra bones are actually rib cage vertebrae masquerading as neck vertebrae. This allows them to move their necks up to 270 degrees in either direction.[3]
  • Sloth Spine Fact
    Unlike almost every other mammal that has 7 vertebrae, sloths can have up to 10

  • October 16th is National (or World) Spine Day.[4]
  • There are 13.5 million neurons in the spinal cord.[3]
  • Sitting hunched over puts 200 pounds of pressure on the lumbar spine.[3]
  • Humans have about 33 vertebrae and 24 ribs. Snakes have between 200–400 vertebrae, with as many ribs attached.[7]
  • In turtles, some vertebrae may be fused to the shell.[7]
  • An estimated 50,000 animal species have a vertebral column. However, 90% of all animals do not have one.[6]
  • Spine anatomy facts
    Your amazing spine also has 220 individual ligaments and 100 joints
  • The spinal cord can function independently of the brain and can send messages directly to muscles.[3]
  • The word "spine" is from the Proto-Indo-European root *spei-, meaning "sharp point," and is related to the word "spike."[8]
  • Relative to body size, the spine of a Thor's hero shrew is stronger than that of any other vertebrate's spine. Its unique corrugated spine can withstand the weight of a full-grown man, which is the equivalent of a human supporting the weight of a space shuttle.[5]
  • The vertebral column evolved about 500 million years ago, during the Cambrian explosion. This is when the Earth's oceans filled with a vast array of new life.[6]
  • Less than 5% of known animal species are vertebrates (animals that have a backbone or spinal column).[6]

Suggested for you


Trending Now

Load More