Our spines are literally the backbone of our bodies and ensuring our spines are functioning and working at their best, we need to ensure we take good care of them as caring for your spine means caring for your entire nervous system. To ensure you know a little more about your spine so you can be armed with knowledge to take good care of it, we are sharing a quick 10 spine facts.
10 Spine Facts
- Our spine is the body guard to your spinal cord which is the information superhighway between our brain and body.
- As humans we have seven cervical vertebrae in our necks, the same number as giraffes and camels!
- Over one fourth of the spine’s total length is created from cartilage, the intervertebral discs that absorb shock and allow for freedom of movement.
- Sitting hunched over at our desk can put major pressure on our spine, particularly our lumbar spine, which is why many of us experience lower back pain, particularly those of us who spend the majority of our day in a seated position.
- Babies have more vertebrae than adults. We start at 33 vertebrae as babies and end up with 26 as adults. The 4 coccygeal segments fuse to make the coccyx and the 5 sacral segments fuse to make the sacrum
- Lower back pain is the most common type of back pain that people experience. 25% of adults will seek care within 6-month period (Kent & Keating, 2005)
- Backbones are impressively strong and can sustain the weight and pressure of hundreds of kilograms.
- Over 100 joints allow for the spinal cord to be so flexible. If it were to be separated from the body and bent, it would form two thirds of a perfect circle.
- Your spinal cord has an exceptional memory to know where it is in space (Brooks & Cullen 2014) and that’s why it’s essential to treat it right from an early age. Maintaining a proper posture and taking care of your back are both imperative to the long-term health of your spinal cord.
- 10.Over 120 muscles are contained in the spine
Now that we know a little more about our spine, we need to take care of it. Here are a few tips for things you can do on a regular basis to keep your spine at peak health.
How you can take care of your spine?
Utilising at home stretching tools, like a foam roller and fit ball allows you to stretch out the spine in the comfort of your own home.
Stretching can reverse the effects the activities of the day can have on the spine. For example if you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk all day, you are placing major pressure on your spine, reversing this at the end of the day through stretching can ensure you maintain your spinal strength in between your adjustments.
Strength & Flexibility Exercise
Yoga and Pilates are low impact exercise options that promote core strength which gives your body a strong foundation to support your spine and also spinal flexibility to maintain fluidity in your spine.
We should not discount the positive effects of resistance training, as we spend a fair amount of the day sedentary, getting out there and lifting heavy things can help to improve the strength of the muscles that support our spine and improve the strength and resilience of the bones themselves (Bemben & Bemben 2011, Beck et. al. 2017)
As explained above the spine is an incredible structure, it houses the most important communication highway in our body, our spinal cord. Our central nervous system is the master control system in our body and the spinal cord transmits messages to and from the brain and body. This is where chiropractors influence the central nervous system.
As recently demonstrated by Haavik et.al. 2017 regular chiropractic care has a positive effect on chronic neck and upper limb pain, Lelic et. al. 2016 also demonstrated that adjusting the spine can have an affect on the pre frontal cortex of the brain.
Getting adjusted can improve the way your brain communicates with your body and improve the way your body communicates with your brain.
Chiropractic care has been in many cases to help improve the way the spine functions, from relief of back pain, neck pain and headaches to improved body awareness (Haavik & Muprhy, 2011) and reduced falls risk (Holt et. al, 2016)
If you are experiencing any back or neck pain or you are concerned about your overall body function, we recommend making an appointment with a Chiropractor at The Chiropractic Works.
At your appointment, we will assess your individual body function, working with you on your key concerns and explaining measures we can take to get you to your best self.
How can you make an appointment?
To make an appointment, contact us at one of our three clinics located in Henley Beach, Normanville and Norwood.
Henley Beach: 08 8235 1922
Normanville: 08 8558 3834
Norwood: 08 8363 5773
Beck, B. R., Daly, R. M., Singh, M. A. F., & Taaffe, D. R. (2017). Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) position statement on exercise prescription for the prevention and management of osteoporosis. Journal of science and medicine in sport, 20(5), 438-445.
Bemben, D. A., & Bemben, M. G. (2011). Dose–response effect of 40 weeks of resistance training on bone mineral density in older adults. Osteoporosis international, 22(1), 179-186.
Brooks, J. X., & Cullen, K. E. (2014). Early vestibular processing does not discriminate active from passive self-motion if there is a discrepancy between predicted and actual proprioceptive feedback. Journal of neurophysiology, 111(12), 2465-2478.
Haavik, H., Niazi, I. K., Holt, K., & Murphy, B. (2017). Effects of 12 weeks of chiropractic care on central integration of dual Somatosensory input in chronic pain patients: a preliminary study. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics, 40(3), 127-138.
Haavik, H., & Murphy, B. (2011). Subclinical neck pain and the effects of cervical manipulation on elbow joint position sense. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics, 34(2), 88-97.
Holt, K. R., Haavik, H., Lee, A. C. L., Murphy, B., & Elley, C. R. (2016). Effectiveness of chiropractic care to improve sensorimotor function associated with falls risk in older people: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics, 39(4), 267-278.
Kent, P. M., & Keating, J. L. (2005). The epidemiology of low back pain in primary care. Chiropractic & osteopathy, 13(1), 13.
Lelic, D., Niazi, I. K., Holt, K., Jochumsen, M., Dremstrup, K., Yielder, P., … & Haavik, H. (2016). Manipulation of dysfunctional spinal joints affects sensorimotor integration in the prefrontal cortex: a brain source localization study. Neural plasticity, 2016.