How The Spine Affects Your Entire Body
The spine is one of the most important parts of the body. Most of us think of the spine just as a network of bones, muscles, and tendons that span from our necks down to our tailbone. We know that without our spines, most of us wouldn’t be able to move our bodies in ways that we have become accustomed to, such as standing upright or bending over.
While the unique anatomy of the human spine allows us to move in ways that most other living things can’t, it also plays a critical role in maintaining the health of our other bodily functions as well. However our spinal health is something that many of us overlook, or simply just don’t understand enough. In many cases, poor spinal health can be attributed to ailments of the body that are not even related to the areas surrounding the neck or back.
Even conditions like poor mental health, which aren’t physical in nature, can be traced back to poor spinal health. By having a better understanding of what the spine is and how it functions, we might in turn achieve more positive overall health outcomes for ourselves.
What Exactly Is The Spine?
Your spine might not be something that you think about a lot, but it is actually one of the most important parts of your body. It is made up of 33 bones, 120 muscles, 100 joints, and about 220 ligaments. Those 33 small bones within the spine are called vertebrae, and they are stacked on top of each other creating three major curves or segments along the spine.
Between each vertebra is a soft, gel-like cushion called a disc that helps absorb pressure and keeps the bones from rubbing against each other. The spine gives your body structure and support. Under healthy conditions, it allows you to move freely and with much flexibility. While the spine plays a crucial role in bodily movement, it is also designed to protect the spinal cord, which is just as important. The spinal cord is a column of nerves that connects your brain with the rest of the body.
This large collection of nerve tissues carries messages from your brain and delivers them throughout the body, allowing you to actually control the movements that you want your body to make. Each vertebra has a hole in the center, so when they stack on top of each other they form a hollow tube that holds and protects the entire spinal cord and its nerve roots. Needless to say, it’s a very complex system, which is one of the main reasons why many of us don’t fully comprehend its functions and its influences on overall health.
The Importance of Spinal Health
Due to the complex nature of its operating parts, the spine is more vulnerable to developing problems over time that can negatively impact your overall health. One of the more well-known issues that can arise from poor spinal health is back pain. According to the American Chiropractic Association, up to 80% of Americans will deal with back pain at some point in their lives. When dealing with back pain you may be lacking the certain flexibility and mobility required to carry out certain tasks. Everyday bodily movements such as getting in and out of bed, going to work, or spending time playing with your kids can become much harder to manage when dealing with back pain.
Additionally, since the spine plays a part in your central nervous system, it also plays an important role in your mental health. Certain misalignments of the spine can trigger responses leading to hormonal imbalances, migraines, and headaches. In turn this can cause mood changes, lowered emotions, and a decrease in energy which could affect things like sleep quality and how one responds to stress.
Given the spine’s central role in both the central nervous system and musculoskeletal structure, it is essential that we treat and manage it with care. Having a healthy spine allows your brain and spinal cord to work together in order to carry out all of your bodily functions. No matter your age, having a healthy spine is crucial when it comes to living a more healthy and productive life.
Chiropractic care can be one of the most beneficial tools for individuals looking to maintain proper spinal health. One of the primary things that chiropractors look for when treating patients are misalignments – or subluxations – of the spine. The spine is a very complex and sensitive area of the body, and even small misalignments of the spine can create problems that span all over different areas of the body.
The good news is that with the proper care and treatment, a chiropractor can help keep your spine in alignment, which in turn can keep you healthier and happier. Our Duluth Chiropractor Dr. Robert Torgrimson has over 30 years of experience treating patients with various ailments related to the spine. If you have issues related to spinal health, or are interested in learning more about how chiropractic care could benefit you, then we highly encourage you to reach out to us. You can contact Associated Chiropractic Physicians at (218) 728-3686, we look forward to helping you!