Junctions are transitional sites between different areas of the spine. The two most important are called the CT junction & TL junction. These are known as our (cervico-thoracic) & (thoraco-lumbar) junctions.
Here is more information regarding the CT junction. This is provided by Spine Health.
We rely heavily on these parts of the body to help with motion and stability. These junctions can resist large amounts of compression forces. However, due to their uniqueness, both areas are commonly injured following car accidents or high-impact sports injuries!
CT Junction & TL Junction Fun Facts
CT junction (cervicothoracic aka CTJ): Transitional point for our last cervical vertebrae (C7) & the 1st thoracic vertebral body (T1)
70% of the time C7 is the largest & most palpable vertebrae of the cervical spine.
Spinal nerve endings found at T1 can also be found within the brachial plexus. If you need a quick refreshment on the brachial plexus, check that out here.
Our 1st rib is attached to the 1st thoracic vertebrae.
TL junction (thoraco-lumbar aka TLJ): Transition site between the last thoracic vertebrae (T12) & our 1st vertebral body of the lumbar spine (L1)
This is a common region of the spine for scoliosis to develop
The thoracolumbar region contains many nerve fibers for our sympathetic nervous system which is responsible for our “fight or flight” & involuntary nerve supply to vital organs.
The TL junction maintains a larger portion of our body weight when standing upright.
Did you Know?
Many of the nerves in these regions may produce pain in the shoulders, hips, & even the groin.
These junctions are more prone to injury compared to other regions of the spine. The susceptibility arises as a result of separating highly mobile vertebrae above from less mobile ones below & vice versa.