Sunday, February 10 2019
The human back has both the flexibility and strength we need to perform complex and precise movements. In spite of this, many people suffer from recurrent back pain, which is the result of misuse or neglect owing to our busy lifestyles. The spine consists of 33 individual bones called vertebrae. As a whole, the spine allows enough flexibility to twist and bend, and also contains and protects the spinal cord, which connects the nerves that go to the brain to the nerves that serve the rest of the body. Facet joints prevent the vertebrae from slipping off each other, creating a body chain that is strong yet flexible.
The spine allows a surprising range of movement, but it can be constricted unless regularly stretched or exercised. If disks and joints are overstressed, they can protrude from the joint margins causing prolapse and pressure on nearby nerves. One deep muscle of particular importance for the back is the psoas. The psoas flexes the hips and thighs which helps control lower back posture. Those who spend a significant amount of time sitting often suffer from shortened psoas muscles, which can contribute to poor posture unless regularly stretched.
The bony structure of the spine holds your skeleton together and provides a vital protective channel for the spinal cord which is the communication superhighway between the brain and the rest of the body. The spinal cord houses cerebrospinal fluid which also surrounds the brain. The location of a damaged spinal nerve can be pinpointed based on the location of the symptoms. The root cause of back issues are more often than not a disruption in the normal biomechanical system as a result of genetics, dis-ease, aging and movement.
Daily activities place pressure on the spine's supportive structures. When these structures are distorted by poor posture, conditions such as osteoarthritis can occur. Fortunately, a number of studies show that neutral zone exercises such as maintaining the normal lumbar curve in the lower spine and pelvis during movement can help build the capacity to withstand these stresses, preventing back injuries and pain. Ask us about our spinal care class where we discuss how you can prevent back injuries and help keep your spine in its optimal condition.
The following are some of the leading causes of muscle-related back problems that can be corrected through adjustments, acupuncture, physical therapy, massage and other bodywork modalities: