Many of us take our spine for granted when it is healthy. Once we feel pain however, we begin to understand how our spine affects our lives much more than we initially thought.
Your spine, also referred to as the backbone, is made up of 24 vertebrae that form a column. This column spans your entire torso, from the base of your skull, all the way down to your pelvis. Discs made of a gel like substance contained in fibrous tissue are found in between each vertebra. These discs absorb shock and allow for motion along the spine. Through the centre of the column is the spinal cord, encased by the vertebrae for support and protection. The spinal cord is connected directly to the brain by way of the brain stem. Nerves branch off from the spinal cord to connect all areas of the body to the brain.
The main functions of your spine are:
- To protect your spinal cord and related essential nerves
- To give structure and connection for our hips, legs, shoulders and arms
- To serve as an attachment to muscles that enable movement
- To provide framework and support for skull and ribs
Because the spine is so inter-connected with other body systems, it is important to consider proper spine care and injury prevention. To ensure the health of your spine it is important to:
- Be Active (and smart about your activity)
- Eat Well
- Reduce Stress
Chiropractors can provide additional recommendations and advice specific to your own individual needs and capabilities.