While you may not often think about it, your spine is truly one of the most important parts of your body. Running throughout the top half of your body, the spine provides structure, support, flexibility, and protects your spinal cord. But in addition to all these vital roles, there are also some fun and interesting spine facts you’re probably not aware of.
To help you learn more about your spinal column, we’ve assembled some fun and interesting facts that may make you rethink everything you thought you knew about this part of the body. Here, we’re looking at the purpose of your spine and what a chiropractor can do in the event of a spinal injury. Read on to learn more about your spine.
What Is the Purpose of Your Spine?
Without a doubt, your spine is one of the most important parts of your body. Composed of 33 bones (known as vertebrae), the spine provides structure and support for your body. Without it, you simply couldn’t do much. But aside from keeping your head up, what exactly is the purpose of your spine?
Your spine is divided into five parts: the cervical, the thoracic, the lumbar, the sacrum, and finally the coccyx. Each of these sections is composed of a number of vertebrae that connect and enable you to perform certain functions, like moving your head and neck or sitting up straight. Essentially, you can break down the purpose of the spine into three primary roles, each of which is essential to a happy and active life.
Here are the three primary tasks of your spine:
- Provide structural support and balance for your body to move and maintain an upright posture.
- Allow for flexible motion throughout the body.
- Provide protection for your spinal cord, nerve cells, and many of your internal organs.
As you can see, it’s not a stretch to say that your spine is one of the most important parts of your body. However, your spine is also vulnerable to injuries. Whether from a fall, auto accident, or sports injury, there are many ways that someone could cause damage to their spine or the muscles in your back. This is why protecting your spine, and if needed, working with a chiropractor or physician is so important.
Facts About Your Spine
Unless you’re experiencing some type of back pain or discomfort, most of us rarely even stop to think about our spines. But you really should give more thought to this series of bones.
1. Your spine is extremely flexible
Have you ever gone to a yoga class and seen someone twist themselves up like a pretzel? If so, you’ve seen firsthand just how flexible our spines can really be. The spine can bend to form roughly two-thirds of a complete circle at its most extreme. Most of us, of course, can’t quite reach this level of flexibility. However, with proper stretching and exercise, you can improve your spinal flexibility.
2. Your spine is very lightweight
Protecting your spinal cord. Enabling movement and flexibility. Safeguarding your vital organs and nerve cells. For doing so much, it’s amazing that your spine only weighs about 35 grams in total. Talk about getting some bang for your buck here.
3. Just like a giraffe
Giraffes are notorious for their long necks, but did you know that you have just as many vertebrae as a giraffe? While the vertebrae in a giraffe’s neck are certainly larger, we still have the same number of unique vertebrae bones. This, in part, accounts for why we have such flexibility in our necks.
4. We lose some of our vertebrae
While we’re all born with 33 distinct vertebrae, most of us don’t maintain this number as we grow older. In fact, most people end up with only 26 vertebrae. How is this possible? Over time, some of our vertebrae actually fuse together.
5. Your spine can function independently
While the brain is the control room for your body, the spine isn’t entirely reliant on the brain to function. In some cases, such as a muscle spasm, the spinal cord communicates directly with your muscles.
Common Spine Conditions
Back and spinal cord injuries are relatively common. In fact, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), roughly 80 percent of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives. While this pain can be minor and temporary in many cases, it can greatly affect the quality of your life in other cases.
Here are some of the most common spine conditions:
- Herniated disc.
- Spinal stenosis.
- Spinal infections.
- Spinal tumors.
- General spinal cord injuries.
If you’ve experienced any of these spine conditions, it’s important to consult a doctor or chiropractor to explore your treatment options.
What Can a Chiropractor Do for You?
If you’re suffering from back pain or a spinal injury, you may want to look into visiting a chiropractor. These specialists focus on spine and back problems and can help you gain relief from persistent back pain. Not only can these professionals relieve your pain, but they can also improve your overall body functioning by adjusting your spine and realigning your vertebrae in certain cases.
Conclusion – Facts About The Spine
Not only is your spine one of the most important parts of your body, but it’s also one of the most interesting. Composed of 33 vertebrae bones, your spine provides structure and support for your body, allows you flexibility, and protects your spinal cord and many of your vital organs. Simply enough, without a healthy spine, just being able to move would become overwhelmingly difficult if not impossible.
If you’re experiencing a spine condition or back pain, there are several alternatives to back surgery that you should take into account. For many patients, working with a chiropractor is an extremely effective way to find relief from back pain and improve the condition of your spine. Not only can they treat current health issues, but they can also help you maintain a healthy and active lifestyle for years to come.