Your Spine is critical for your overall health.
It is critical to understand some fundamental principles in order to determine whether chiropractic is right for you and how we may be able to assist you.
Let’s start with the basics: YOUR SPINE IS IMPORTANT!
You might be thinking, “Of course I know that my spine is important.”
However, if you truly understand the WHY behind this concept, it can drastically change your perspective on health and deeply inform your healthcare choices and habits.
Consider your spine to have two primary functions or important jobs.
1. Structural Strength and Stability
Your spine, like the pillars that support your house, provides the strength and rigidity to support your body. Your spine is the core structure to which your skull and other important body parts are attached because it is located in the center of your body.
Your pelvis is linked to your lower spinal region, which is linked to your legs, knees, and feet. Your shoulders, arms, and hands make contact with the upper (thoracic) region of your spine. The spinal column is a critical central pillar that connects your entire body structurally.
All of the forces, stresses, traumas, impacts, and movements you encounter throughout your life are reflected in your spinal column. This means that these stresses and forces are directed toward, and can end at, your spinal column.
To withstand the stresses of life, your spine must be strong.
In order to have maximum strength, your spine must be in a specific position or alignment.
From the back, your spine should be straight from top to bottom, and your pelvis should be level.
Your spine should be curved when viewed from the side. A forward curve in your neck (cervical spine), a backward curve in your mid back (thoracic spine), and another forward curve in your lower back are all desirable (lumbar spine).
This is the best position for good spinal health.
You have a problem if your spine is not in this position. And it’s a bigger issue than just having a skewed spine. It’s more than just a cosmetic issue.
Another way to think about this is to imagine your spine as a series of blocks stacked on top of each other. These blocks are highly mobile and represent the individual bones of your spine. They must move quickly.
Related blog: Your Headaches and Your Spine, how are they related?
Yes, your spine must be strong, rigid, and durable like a support pillar, as well as flexible so that you can move freely in your daily life. These may appear to be opposing functions (strong and flexible), but that is why the human spine is such an engineering marvel.
Your spine has been designed to be rigid and flexible by being made up of a series of bones that connect to each other in a specific way.
This brings us to the SECOND and most important job of your spine.
2. Protection for Your Nervous System
Aside from providing support for your life, your spine’s most important function is to house and protect your nervous system.
Consider your spine to be a malleable (hopefully) container for your master POWER system – your nervous system.
Have You Heard About Your Nervous System?
You may be aware of the importance of your nervous system, but understanding how it works is essential for understanding how chiropractic can improve your life. Your nervous system is a complex communication network made up of:
- Your brain, which functions as the boss of your body or a supercomputer, gathers, integrates, and transmits a million messages per second to your body parts.
- Your spinal cord, which runs down the center of your back and serves as your body’s vital lifeline.
- Your spinal nerves, which function as wires, transmit and receive vital information from your brain to your body parts.
The POWER that flows through your cells, tissues, and organs to animate your life is transmitted via this vast communication network or wiring system – your nervous system. All of your body functions are coordinated and controlled by your brain via your peripheral nerve system.
Everything you can think of:
- Your heart beating
- Lung function
- Muscle movement
- Balance and coordination
- Digestive function
- Kidney health
- Immune system coordination
- Liver function
- Your posture
- Growth and development in children
- Your ability to deal with stress,
- All of the healing that goes on inside of you
Your brain controls all bodily functions via your nervous system.
At the same time, your nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and nerves) is extremely delicate and easily damaged if not properly protected. A very small amount of pressure or stress, for example, can severely damage a nerve.
Consider your spine to be a series of highly mobile blocks that house your delicate (but intricate and interconnected) master communication network.
These two jobs complement each other: nervous system protection and structural support for your life.
3. Your Spine Can Be Damaged
So, why is this significant? Because of the nature of your spine, it is relatively easy to injure it. Spine injuries can be caused by large traumas such as slips and falls, carrying heavy objects, car accidents, and sports injuries. However, even minor stresses over time can cause your spine to misalign and damage your nervous system. We’ll go over this in more detail in future blog posts.
But, for the time being, what I want you to remember is that spinal injuries, particularly spinal misalignment conditions, are extremely serious because your spine is so closely linked to your nervous system. Spinal injuries are also very common.
And the issue here is that spine problems can harm your nervous system. This damage can slowly accumulate over time, robbing you of your health and vitality and eventually leading to significant pain and dysfunction, as well as limitations in your life.
4. Your spine is the most important part of your health.
Finally, your spine is critical.
Your spine is the structural core of your body, and it protects your vital nervous system. For your nervous system to be healthy, your spine must be strong, flexible, and in proper alignment.