The human spine typically has 33 vertebrae. The top 7 vertebrae form the cervical spine, and the next 12 vertebrae make up the thoracic spine. The lumbar spine is located below the rib cage, and has 5 vertebrae. When we bend down or lift things this part of the spine is particularly affected. The vertebrae in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine are connected by flexible intervertebral discs. Near the pelvis and tailbone, several vertebrae are fused together to one bone.