Understanding your spine and how it works and moves is critical to finding the right back pain treatment when back pain or injury creeps in. People don’t really think about their spines until back pain rears its ugly head. The spine is not one continuous structure that extends from the neck to the tailbone. It is an intricate, complex group of several structures. Understanding the spine can help individuals make informed decisions before getting involved in activities that can cause a spinal injury.
The spine is made up of 24 vertebrae; these are the bones stacked on top of each other and form the spinal column.
The spinal cord passes through the vertebrae, which act as a protective frame. The spinal column surrounds the spinal cord like an electrical cord. It protects the nerves that run from the brain, through the spinal column, and out to the rest of the body. The spinal cord is the highway of nerves that carry the brain’s signals to the rest of the body, allowing the ability to move the arms and legs, etc. The intervertebral discs are the soft, spongy shock absorbers between the vertebrae.
They keep the vertebrae separated so smooth function, and movement is possible. Because the spine is such a complicated network of bones, discs, muscles, nerves, and ligaments, getting to the bottom of exactly what’s wrong when back pain sets in can be a complicated process. This is where having some knowledge of your spine can help a doctor or chiropractor figure out what’s going on and then develop the best treatment plan possible.
Dealing with time can be a tricky issue when suffering from back pain. When only soreness, stiffness, and muscle stress occur every so often, then time can be the best medicine, as rest is all that is needed for the swelling to go down. But when the pain does not go away with rest and worsens, waiting for evaluation is not an option. Imagine all those complex spine structures as dominos in a row. If one domino/disc falls or slips, pressure is placed on all the other domino/discs to work harder to support the failing structure. But they can only do this for so long until the other discs or other body areas begin to fail. Left untreated will eventually cause the failure of other structures of the body.
It was designed to support the entire body combined with our additional weight. It deserves care and respect. Unfortunately, it is not made of titanium and is susceptible to injury.
Spinal Nerve Compression
When a spinal nerve gets compressed, entrapped, or pinched, it becomes inflamed, and pain sets in. In the illustration of a neck spine segment, many different disorders are causing the nerve compression in this instance:
- Herniated disc
- Thickened ligament
- Bone spurs called osteophytes
Making sure to pay close attention to your spine will safeguard it. So spend some time to understand how your spine operates. Looking at some basic yoga for back poses can be a great start to understanding how your spine functions.
What is Yoga?
In its purest form, it is an ascetic and spiritual discipline that comes from Hindu culture. It involves simple meditation, breath control, and performing body postures. While an ancient practice long used for spiritual and emotional healing and physical wellness, yoga has been adopted in western culture and widely accepted as a form of fitness and a therapeutic practice used for relaxation and overall good health. It focuses on inward healing with outward results.
- More centered
- Handle stress better
- More flexible
- Have better mobility
- Have stronger, leaner bodies
Reduce Pain with Foot Orthotics
Kent S. Greenawalt, President and CEO of Foot Levelers, discusses how custom foot orthotics can help reduce back pain, low back pain, and sciatica. In a recent research study published by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM), researchers demonstrated that Foot Levelers custom foot orthotics help considerably reduce back pain and several of its associated health issues.
The research study also demonstrated that Foot Levelers’ custom foot orthotics and chiropractic care help tremendously reduce low back pain and sciatica. Foot Levelers’ custom foot orthotics and chiropractic care helped improve the patient’s overall health and wellness. Dr. Jimenez is a chiropractor in El Paso, TX, who can help provide these benefits through the utilization of chiropractic care and Foot Levelers custom foot orthotics, among other treatments.
The spine is a complex structure. Understand that the spine is also surrounded by fibrous and muscular supporting structures, intervertebral discs, the spinal cord and nerve roots, and blood vessels. Injuries such as a back sprain or strain caused by improperly lifting and twisting simultaneously can often cause back pain. Chiropractic care is a well-known, alternative treatment option utilized to prevent, diagnose and treat various injuries and conditions associated with the spine, primarily subluxations or spinal misalignments.
The information herein on "Get to Know and Understand Your Back" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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