It’s difficult to measure the value of your spine, but few if any of your vital bodily systems would function without it. You know that it supports your posture and everything you do. But there’s a lot of fascinating things about your spine you may not know. Here are ten surprising facts about your astonishing spine.
1. Compact in Design
To account for the tremendous amount of work it does, you would think that the spinal cord would be especially thick and bulky. Yet it is only one centimeter in thickness. That’s a small cord for such terrific bandwidth!
2. A Mind of its Own
Your spine contains a second automatic information processing system that supports and complements the functions of your brain. It uses an instant feedback system of reflex actions which do not need to access your brain in order to work instantly to keep you safe from harm.
3. Your Neck has the Same Amount of Vertebrae as Giraffes!
Hard to believe? Maybe, but it’s true. Your neck and a giraffe’s neck both have seven vertebrae. A giraffe's are just much larger than yours.
4. Spinal Memory
Your spinal cord has a memory of its own! This means that the better we treat it, the less anxiety and tension you will experience. Being aware of tension stored in the spine is a good start toward better spinal health.
5. Complexity Spells Vulnerability
Your spine is very strong, but it is also very complex and has many moving parts. For that reason, spinal disorders are quite common. This is also due to the fact few people understand the importance of regular spinal care, correct body mechanics, and proper nutrition.
6. You Have Fewer Vertebrae than you Used to
At birth, you had 33 vertebrae. By the time you reached adulthood, nine of them became your tailbone and pelvis.
7. Extraordinary Flexibility
In the world of moving mechanical structures, few things are both a central support as well as an active center for articulation. Your spine is exactly that, and despite its central supporting role, it is also extremely flexible.
8. Extraordinary Strength
While we do not encourage anyone to place their spine under undue stress- you may be surprised at just how massively strong it really is. Despite being made of brittle bone and soft cartilage, it can support several hundred kilograms of direct pressure before showing signs of strain.
9. Gravity Changes Your Height
Because your spinal column is made of about 25% cushioning and lubricating cartilage, your height decreases from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed. Over the course of a day, your cartilage disks flatten and widen beneath the pressure of jostling and gravity. The effect becomes more dramatic as we age, but this change in height happens to people of all ages as well.
10. Hundreds of Moving Parts
Your spinal column contains more than 100 active joints, more than 220 ligaments under constant pressure, and over 120 voluntary and involuntary muscles.
With all the amazing things spine does for you, it’s no wonder that chronic back pain and other disorders of the spine can develop without proper care.
Carlson Chiropractic Center is a state of the art health and wellness chiropractic center in Joplin, Missouri. Our team of doctors maintain a strong focus on prevention and are dedicated to helping people achieve wellness objectives by treating neuromuscular complaints such as back, neck, joint, arm and leg pain. As one of the few centers in the area offering certified decompression treatments, we provide a surgery free option for herniated and bulging discs.