How Your Spine Connects to Your Entire Body

Medical Conditions Chiropractic Therapy Back & Neck Pain Joint Pain / July 30, 2018
Spine Connects Entire Body

If you’re a frequent reader of ChiroCare of Florida’s blog, you’ve probably gotten the gist that we put a lot of emphasis on the spine. We urge you to keep it in good health, to eat well and exercise, and to always check with a professional if you feel as though something is wrong.

But, have you ever stopped to wonder why the spine is so important? When we say the effects of spinal damage will be far-reaching, we mean it. Learning about the anatomy of your body is important as your spine connects to your entire body.

The Function of the Spine

The spine is the central support structure of the body. In addition to keeping us upright, the spine connects the various parts of our skeleton to each other, including the:

Despite being our support system, the spine is also incredibly flexible. This is to give our bodies the ability to move freely, turn from side to side, and bend. The spine carries the weight of the body, including the head, torso, and arms. It’s flexibility allows us to comfortably carry this weight without buckling under the pressure.

Arguably its most important function, the spine also houses and protects the spinal cord. The spinal cord is a key component of the central nervous system, which controls crucial body functions including breathing and movements.

The Spine and the Central Nervous System

The anatomy of your spine is that it is composed of a plethora of vertebrae, vertebral discs, and a network of spinal nerves. These nerves are part of what’s called the central nervous system (CNS). As discussed, the CNS is critical to body functions. It is composed of the brain, and spinal cord, which is protected by the spine. This structure controls:

Pain signals are also sent along the CNS. If something is damaged along a vertebrae or in a disc, such as in a bulging disc, the compressed nerve would send signals to the CNS, which alerts the brain. Essentially, if your body was a computer, the CNS would be its motherboard. The spine keeps the CNS safe and allows it to function optimally.

The Spine and Organs

Because the spine houses one of the major components of the CNS, it aids in coordinating all of the information and activity of other systems of the body. When your brain sends signals to your internal organs, the information is received via your spinal cord. Therefore, when there is a misalignment or blockage in the spine, organs and related tissue will feel the effects.

Conditions such as numbness, aches, and even disorders in the digestive, excretory, and respiratory systems are detected and sensed by the spinal cord. In fact, chiropractic care has been shown to help with digestive disorders, as it helps in decreasing pressure on the spine and relieving underlying issues.

Vertebrae in Relation to Specific Functions

The spine is composed of 24 vertebrae. There are 7 in the cervical region, 12 in the thoracic region, 5 in the lumbar region. Each of these vertebrae have a direct connection to various bodily functions, including those housed within the nervous system.

The Cervical Spine

The cervical spine is the medical term for the vertebrae that make up the neck. When each vertebrae is listed, it’s written with the letter C prefacing the number. For instance, the first vertebrae in the cervical spine is the C1.

The Thoracic Spine

The thoracic spine is the medical way of describing the vertebrae located in upper back and abdomen. When each vertebrae of the thoracic spine is listed, it’s written with a T before the number.

The Lumbar Spine

You’re most likely accustomed to referring to the lumbar spine as your lower back. This area of the spine receives the most wear and tear, as it is where we bend and turn from. When we write out the vertebrae of the lumbar spine, each vertebrae is listed with an L before the number.

Taking good care of your spine is no joke. If you’re suffering from a stomach ache, kidney issues, or any other medical condition, the underlying condition could be stemming from a spinal misalignment. Contact ChiroCare of Florida today to ensure that your spine is functioning optimally.

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