Plastic spines have completely replaced the real spines that we used in the last millennium. I still have my treasured elderly lady. How do I know she is a lady? Well the female pelvis is quite different to the male. Why? Well, you can guess can't you...?! I have a sense of walking on hallowed ground every time I pick her up, though the real lady herself has moved on to a higher place.
In years gone by India exported thousands upon thousands of spines to the world. Unclaimed bodies were buried in sand beds filled with microbes that soon did their work. After cleaning and assembly ... we had our spines. Macabre. Yes, I guess.
My lady has an arthritic midthoracic joint that we now know was from an old injury that caused a subluxation, or fixation. That fixation starved the joint of nutrients and she, not having access to chiropractic care, developed arthritic spurs. Those fixations cause an "inflammatory soup" that irritates the tissues causing degeneration. Probably, though not necessarily painful periodically, and perhaps irritating the nerves to the stomach that come from that region.