The spinal vertebrae are the attachment sites for the major postural muscles that we train to optimal health and condition as Pilates teachers.

The spine comprises of 33 vertebrae which sit one upon the next like building blocks. 

Each vertebra differs in size and shape at the various levels, with the largest vertebrae in the lumbar region. There are 7 cervical vertebra, 12 thoracic and 5 lumbar. The sacrum is made up of 5 fused vertebra and the coccyx is made up of 3-4 fused vertebra. At the sacrum the weight is distributed through the pelvis.
INTERVERTEBRAL DISCS - Between the unfused vertebra (C1-L5) there are 24 cartilaginous intervertebral discs which act as shock-absorbers as we move and walk. These are the discs referred to if there is a disc herniation. These discs also vary is size and shape depending on their location and it follows that the largest of the discs are also in the lumbar area. This lumbar area supports most of body’s weight.
A herniated or prolapsed disc (sometimes referred to as a slipped disc) is a condition where a bulging disc breaks through the annulus fibrosus and the nucleus pulposus escapes and protrudes through and compresses the nerve root. This results in loss of sensation to the dermatome area innervated by that nerve root. This is important information when devising a personally tailored Pilates rehabilitation programme.