The vertebral column is made up of 26 bones that provide axial support to the trunk. The vertebral column provides protection to the spinal cord, which runs through its central cavity. Between each vertebra is an intervertebral disk, which acts as a shock absorber.
Review Date: 1/25/2013
Reviewed By: Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Senior Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital.