The Role Of The Spine
Structure, Protection & Flexibility
The spine is an amazing set of bones called vertebrae. Your spine is designed to provide three vital functions for your body; support, protection, and flexibility.
First, it provides the basic structure that muscles and other parts of your body, such as your shoulders and pelvis, are attached to. The spinal muscles attach to the spine and both hold you in an upright posture when standing and move your spine through its full range of motion. Your spine also supports your head, which usually weighs between ten and twelve pounds, about the weight of a bowling ball.
Second, the vertebrae house and protect your spinal cord, which at any given time carries millions of vital messages between your brain and body. Nerves branch off from the spinal cord and exit from the openings between each vertebra to communicate with specific organs and parts of your body. For this reason alone, your spine is a vitally important part of your body. If you are experiencing nerve irritation from spinal misalignment then over time you are likely to feel the stress elsewhere as dysfunction. Suffering symptoms like heartburn, insomnia, lowered immune function, or sciatica doesn’t automatically mean you need chiropractic care but it can, and should be ruled out.
Third, the unique interlocking joint structure of the spinal facet joints along with flexible discs between the vertebrae provide your body with great flexibility and mobility while protecting the integrity of the delicate spinal cord.
While the entire length of your spine is important for all these functions, the head/neck junction with its close proximity to the brainstem is particularly unique. It is, in fact, why upper-cervical chiropractors focus their attention here.