A process is a natural growth or extension that projects from the main part of a bone. In the spine, most of the vertebrae have several processes each (1 spinous process
, 4 articular processes and 2 transverse processes
) to which muscles and other soft tissue attach. The articular processes form the facet joints as they interface with the articular processes either above or below.
The tips of the spinous processes can be seen and felt on many people as a series of knobby little bones in a vertical line that goes down the center of the back.