The spine is a series of 24 freely movable vertebrae and houses and protects your spinal cord which is the main connector of your brain and body. But let’s take a closer look at the fascinating “backbone” of your body so we can better understand just how important it really is.
First, let’s go to the dictionary definition of the SPINE:
- a series of vertebrae extending from the skull to the small of the back, enclosing the spinal cord and providing support for the thorax and abdomen; the backbone.
Simply put, the spine is the body’s foundational support structure and acts as the “fastener” of all the linked parts of the skeleton as well as the brain, spinal cord, and nervous system. The boney parts, your head, shoulders, chest, ribs, arms, hands, fingers, pelvis, legs, feet, and toes connect via the spine. Your body can turn, bend, walk, sit, stand, play a sport, lay down, and many other things because of the spine.
So how do we keep the spine healthy and why is that so vital?
- THE ACTUAL BONES OF YOUR SPINE (vertebrae) need to be aligned! That’s why chiropractic is so integral to the health of your spine as well! Regular adjustments help keep your bones strong and healthy. A misaligned vertebrae can cause serious degeneration of the integrity of the bone. This can result in a multitude of problems such as brittle bones, chronic back and neck pain, loss of height, compression pain, neurological problems and impinged nerves.
- YOUR SPINE HAS TO MOVE which is why exercise is very important to its integrity and health. Without enough movement the spine can start to seize up and get stuck. When this happens the body goes into gear and wants to help. What does it do? It starts to form calcium on the outside the bones which then starts to fuse the vertebrae together. You never want your spine to get to this point so keep moving and get adjusted!
- BONES NEED NUTRIENTS TOO! Minerals are one of the key essential nutrients for your bones. A diet rich in dark green leafy and cruciferous vegetables, nuts and seeds, fish and shellfish, beef and lamb, unpasteurized dairy, avocados and berries all help to keep bones strong and healthy from the inside out.
- SIT UP STRAIGHT! There’s something to your mother constantly reminding you to stand tall. Think of a heavy weight on top of a long thin stick. If the stick is standing up straight, it is able to carry the weight evenly. If the stick is curved or bent over, the weight will either break the stick or make it fall over. As much as possible be mindful of your posture.
- YOU’RE TALLER IN THE MORNING! Say again? You heard it right. You’re taller in the morning after a good night’s rest. As you move about your day, gravity is at work pulling you down and your spine naturally compresses. Sleep helps your spine to regenerate, heal tissue, and expand back into its optimum configuration.
For more details on how to keep your spine healthy, be sure to ask at your next visit!
Yours in health,
Dr. Michael Pim, DC