Your spine is comprised of 24 vertebrae that run from the base of your head to your tailbone. These 24 bones create the vertebral column, stacking on top of one another with intervertebral discs in between them. Every other bone in your body is connected to the spinal column in some way. Your spine also has 31 pairs of spinal nerves that exit at some point from your spinal column. If these nerves become irritated or inflammed, it causes your spine to function improperly. Your nerve flow to the vital organs can be impaired throughout your body.
If you're listening to your body, it will typically warn you when your spine is not functioning properly. Pain, discomfort, stiffness, or lack of function in your spine or extremities are common signals from your body. Instead of correcting the root of the issue, some individuals will utilize pain killers, medications or injections. Others will simply ignore the pain until they adapt to the discomfort. The body causes the spine to spasm to protect the delicate nerves and allow the inflammatory process to subside. If you remove the pain through the pain killers or relievers, it often creates more issues because the body's natural protective mechanism is no longer present. Think of it like a "check engine" light on your vehicle. You can pull out the wire, but the problem still exists and will get worse even if the light isn't visible.
How can you maintain excellent spinal health?
Chiropractic Care- Many years ago, dentists convinced everyone that the best time to go to the dentist is before your teeth hurt - that routine dental care will help your teeth remain healthy for a long time. It is important to remember that, just like your teeth, your spine experiences normal wear and tear - you walk, drive, sit, lift, sleep and bend. Regular chiropractic care can help you feel better, move with more freedom, and stay healthier throughout your lifetime. Although you can enjoy the benefits of chiropractic care even if you are only treated for a short time, the real benefits come into play when you make chiropractic care a part of your lifestyle.
Nutrition- Eating a balanced diet that includes the right amount and variety of vitamins and nutrients will reduce back problems by nourishing the bones, muscles, discs and other structures in the spine. As most patients are well aware, good nutrition and a balanced diet are important components of overall health. What may surprise people with back problems is that diet, nutrition and maintaining a healthy weight also play a major role in the back - including preventing many problems and healing from injuries.
Posture- Correct posture is a simple but very important way to keep the many intricate structures in the back and spine healthy. It is much more than cosmetic - good posture and back support are critical to reducing the incidence and levels of back pain and neck pain. Back support is especially important for patients who spend many hours sitting in an office chair or standing throughout the day.