How the Healthy Spine Works

Your spine is an amazing structure with the flexibility that allows you to move freely and the strength to support your body weight.  A healthy spine is not only responsible for your mobility, but also for protecting large portions of the nervous system.  Learn more about how a healthy spine works in this overview of spinal anatomy:

  • Vertebrae

The spine is composed of 33 vertically stacked vertebrae.  Hollow in the middle, the vertebrae create four natural curves in the spine for stability and balance.  Some vertebrae are small and allow for a great amount of flexibility.  In other regions, the vertebrae are closer together for maximum strength and stability.

  • Intervertebral Discs

The spine also contains 23 intervertebral discs composed of an exterior ring of cartilage and a soft fluid-filled center.  These discs act as shock absorbers, allowing you to rotate and move sideways.  The discs release fluid and compress when there is pressure on the spine.  They decompress and reabsorb fluid when pressure is relieved.

  • Vertebral Foramen

The spine protects the spinal cord, which sends signals from the brain to other parts of the body.  The spine contains a tube of tissue called the vertebral foramen that extends from the base of the brain to the bottom of the spine.  Nerve branches extend from the vertebral foramen through small holes.

  • Supporting Structures

Muscles, ligaments, and facet joints connect the bones within the spinal anatomy.  These structures hold your spine vertical and connect it to the rest of your body.  Because the bones in the spine don’t actually allow bending or twisting, the facet joints and discs allow for spine flexibility.

With so many different components in a spine, there are a variety of complications that can arise.  If you are suffering from neck pain, back pain, or a work related injury, contact Non-Surgical Orthopaedics.  Our effective pain management and treatment solutions will help you restore your spine to healthy condition.  Learn more by calling 770-421-1420 or visiting our website today!

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