The Importance of Spine Health
The human spine is an extraordinary and complex structure, so complex, in fact, that most people go through life without realizing the role its various parts play in maintaining their health and mobility. By the same token, a number of things can wrong in the delicate balance between these components, resulting in a number of debilitating health problems. Here at Dr. Phillips Chiropractic, Nutrition and Wellness, we use our intimate knowledge of spinal anatomy, along with our skill and experience in addressing the problems that may occur with it, to help our patients overcome their health challenges and enjoy life again. It's also useful for you to understand some basic facts about how your spine works and what can happen when things go wrong with it.
Understanding Your Spine
The human spine is dominated by a column of 29 bones called vertebrae; there are also four fused bones at the base of the spine that make up the coccyx, or tailbone. The vertebrae are classified into four groups. The 7 cervical vertebrae at the top of the spine provide support for the head and give the neck its characteristic curve. The 12 thoracic vertebrae run from the base of the beck to the middle of the back. Below that, 5 lumbar vertebrae provide the lower back's curve. Nearing the bottom of the spinal column, 5 sacral vertebrae extend into the pelvic region.
Each of these regions of the spine is prone to a variety of threats and problems, ranging from acute injuries to degenerative conditions. This vulnerability lies partly in the precise balance these bones must maintain, connected and articulated by small joints known as facet joints and supported by major muscle groups. Even a small imbalance from poor posture, congenital alignment problems, or a traumatic accident can upset this balance, which in turn places stresses and strains on entire body.
Another major vulnerability lies in the spine's role as a protective housing for the spinal cord. Major nerve roots extend through small spaces between bones, situated close to the gelatinous discs that cushion the vertebrae. Discs that are dislodged, herniated, compressed or otherwise upset can push against these nerve roots to impair normal nerve signaling throughout the body. If this occurs in the cervical area, you may suffer from neck pain, headaches, numbness in the hands or arm weakness. If it occurs in the lumbar or sacral spine, you may experience the leg pain, tingling, and foot numbness of sciatica.
How Chiropractic Treatment Addresses Spinal Problems
Our chiropractor evaluates your spine carefully for signs of nerve impingement and/or vertebral misalignment. Armed with this knowledge, we can then apply pinpoint adjustments to that region of the spine in need of correction. By normalizing the position of these structures, we can relieve nerve pressure, muscle strain, and the many related ailments these problems can create. Spinal decompression can also help by restoring herniated discs to their normal positions.
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