Individuals believe that a straight spine is a healthy spine. This is a misconception; a chiropractor knows that a healthy spine has the proper curvature, specifically an S curve from the top to the bottom. This curve allows/enables the spine to properly function for balancing and stabilizing the body. Three primary curves make up the S shape. These are:
- Cervical lordosis – Neck curvature
- Thoracic kyphosis – Middle back curvature
- Lumbar lordosis – Lower back curvature
Lordosis is defined as an inward curve, while kyphosis is an outward curve.
When the spine is properly curved and aligned, the body has flexibility and optimal support. The curves of each section/area create a spring structure that enables the spine to perform as a natural shock-absorber. If the spine was straight, it would take a significant toll with all the wear and tear from constant vibration and shock. This would lead to fractures and other injuries. The curvature is important in aiding weight distribution and gravity weight. Each curve distributes weight evenly throughout the spine so that the different muscle groups do not get overworked. This happens during dynamic movement.
- All require the spine to move harmoniously with the rest of the body, supporting the body’s weight and energy transfer.
The curves help reduce pressure between the individual vertebral discs. Because the discs are not stacked on top of each other, the weight from the above vertebra is not completely placed on the one below. So the lower vertebra takes only a portion of the weight, allowing the discs to perform as an absorbing cushion.
Maintaining The Curvature
An adult spine gradually becomes an S curve and is formed through development. Children are born with a C curve, with an outward curve until they begin to crawl. When the child raises their heads up, the cervical portion of the proper S shape begins to form. As the child learns to walk upright, the spine continues in its ultimate support role. However, because spinal curvature is formed in the developmental stages, natural curvature formation has a limited time frame. Issues that happen at this time can disrupt the proper formation of the curves. This can result in malformations that could require long-term chiropractic treatment/rehabilitation to correct.
For adults that develop a normal S curve, spinal maintenance is critical. When subluxations/misalignments occur, bulging, herniated discs, pinched nerves, and sciatica are sure to follow. Chiropractic adjustments will ensure the spine is reset and properly supported. As natural spinal development has passed, maintenance is essential. Chiropractic treatment uses precision tools and techniques to heal the spine returning to the natural S curve. Treatment plans and adjustments are customized to the individual and applied specifically to their unique spinal shape. This makes it possible to maintain a spine with precise curvature.
Fruit and Plant Antioxidants
Regularly including antioxidant-rich foods in an individual’s diet will help reduce free radicals and prevent oxidative stress from accumulating. Fruits and veggies like:
- Dark-colored grapes
- Sweet potatoes
- All are great sources of antioxidants.
Purple-colored fruits like blueberries and dark grapes contain an antioxidant called resveratrol that has therapeutic properties for heart disease. Beta-carotene is an orange-colored carotenoid with antioxidant properties that can protect against heart disease. Orange, yellow-colored plant foods, and leafy greens are solid sources of the antioxidant carotenoid beta-carotene or pro-vitamin A. Minerals like zinc and selenium have antioxidants that can be found in vegan sources. And minerals in fruits and veggies contain blood pressure-lowering potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
Yang, Feng, et al. “Balance chiropractic therapy for cervical spondylotic radiculopathy: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.” Trials vol. 17,1 513. 22 Oct. 2016, doi:10.1186/s13063-016-1644-2
Taylor, J A. “Full-spine radiography: a review.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 16,7 (1993): 460-74.
Fedorchuk, Curtis, et al. “Improvements in Cervical Spinal Canal Diameter and Neck Disability Following Correction of Cervical Lordosis and Cervical Spondylolistheses Using Chiropractic BioPhysics Technique: A Case Series.” Journal of radiology case reports vol. 14,4 21-37. 30 Apr. 2020, doi:10.3941/jrcr.v14i4.3890
The information herein on "The Importance Of The Spine's Curvature" 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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