The vertebrae are a group of small, irregular-shaped bones that together make up the backbone. Together these vertebrae make up your vertebral column. There are 7 vertebrae in your neck. They are called cervical vertebrae. There are 12 vertebrae in your upper back that attach to the ribs and are called thoracic vertebrae The 5 vertebrae in your lower back are called lumbar vertebrae. They are followed by the sacrum and end with the coccyx or tailbone.