It is no secret that chiropractic care is used to treat all kinds of ailments beyond just the spine and musculoskeletal system. But many people seek chiropractors primarily for the treatment of back or neck pain or various spinal disorders such as scoliosis (C- or S-shaped spinal curve), lordosis (curved lower back), or kyphosis (abnormally rounded upper back). However, very few people are aware that a healthy adult spine, running from the base of the skull to the pelvis, when viewed from the side should have a gentle S-shaped curve. The neck and lower back regions are concave and the thoracic and sacral regions have a convex curve.
The spine is basically a series of bones stacked with cushions to absorb shock, and its main function is to support body weight and protect the spinal cord. Due to this incredibly important job, it is very important to keep the spine strong and in proper alignment, both retaining necessary spinal curves and avoiding abnormal spinal curves.
Spinal Curves Dictate Proper Posture
Spinal curves are responsible for accurate posture while standing and sitting. Ideal spinal curve prevents the onset of any spinal curve disorders and also improves balance, stabilizes muscle, improves muscle strength, and increases the range of motion.
Accurate spinal curves dictate proper posture. However, posture alone cannot determine an onset of poor spinal curvature. Any alteration in the normal curve can lead to future trouble and back pain.
Spinal Curves and Overall Health
Similar to the adage, “The eyes are the window to the soul,” there is a saying in the chiropractic world that says, “Your spine is the window to your health.” Your spine is the foundational framework protecting the spinal cord and if it introduces dysfunction into your body, you can develop injuries, aches, pain, and a myriad of other health-related issues.
Chiropractic care can help improve an individual’s voluntary muscle strength and decrease back pain. In one study, a 47-year-old firefighter was treated with exercise-based chiropractic care for his spine-related back pain. After 12 weeks, he reported to be pain-free and resumed his normal duties.
Regular exercise for the back muscles is also important to good spinal and overall health. A couple of exercises performed for 5 to 10 minutes daily will ensure a healthy spine. Holding your body in plank position or bridge position, and utilizing abdominal bracing will strengthen the back muscles. When sitting, always keep both feet on the floor. When standing, think tall, as this helps in strengthening your spine and gives your internal organs room to work. Keep your head in upright position when working at a desk, and if you are carrying any weight, make sure it is balanced across both hands or arms. If you are carrying one-sided weight, such as a purse or a child, make sure you switch sides occasionally.
These basic exercises will strengthen the muscles that support your spine and increase blood flow throughout your body, leading to better circulation, better health, and a healthier spine.
If you are interested in learning more about spine health and the importance of spinal curves, or if you want to improve your posture or are facing a health concern, contact Lithia Springs chiropractor Dr. Ron Bolar. He and his team at Vital Life Chiropractic are ready to serve you and help you achieve optimal health through the healthiest spine possible.
Morningstar, M.W. “Strength gains through lumbar lordosis restoration.”Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 2003 Aug; 2(4): 137-141. http://www.journalchiromed.com/article/S0899-3467(07)60077-9/fulltext.
Schwab J.M. “Chiropractic management of a 47-year-old firefighter with lumbar disk extrusion.” Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 2008 Dec; 7(4): 146-154. http://www.journalchiromed.com/article/S1556-3707(08)00091-6/fulltext.