Your spine is one of the most critical components of your body that acts as a central support structure. When it comes to learning about or working with the spine, we most often are doing so in the face of pain or injury. Back pain and spinal injuries affect many Americans with between 250,000 and 500,000 people a year suffering from spinal injuries and 80% dealing with back pain at some point in their life. While learning about the issues that come with the spine and how to prevent and treat them is important we should also remember all of the incredible things about our spine. It is truly a marvelous structure in our body. Below are five things you may not know about your spine.
Your Height Can Change– yes, you read that right! Certain circumstances can actually cause your height to change. For example, in space you will be taller than on Earth. This is because of the lack of gravity which takes away pressure that is usually on your spine allowing it to extend slightly. Your cartilage discs will also expand in microgravity. Astronauts who have returned from space are often 3% taller than when they left! Time of day can also impact your height. First thing in the morning, after 8 hours of rest, your spine has had time to lengthen without all that gravitational pull making you taller in the morning.
Your Spine is Stronger Than You Think– with all of the back issues we often end up dealing with throughout our lives you may not often think about just how strong our spine really is. Your spine can actually withhold almost 2,000 pounds of pressure before sustaining any permanent damage.
Your Spine is Incredibly Flexible– your spine is also more flexible than you probably realize. If it were removed from the body your spine could curve to make ⅔ of a complete circle.
We Start With 33 Vertebrae But That’s Not What We End Up With– that’s right, we actually lose vertebrae as we get older. We start off with 33 vertebrae in our spine but as we grow some of these fuse together to form the tailbone and the pelvis. By the time we’re adults we typically have 26 vertebrae, 4 have fused to create the tailbone and 5 have fused to create the pelvis.
There Are A lot of Working Parts in Your Spine– Your spine is a complex system with many different working parts that on average includes over 120 muscles, 220 ligaments, 100 joints, and 33 vertebrae.
With so many working parts in your spine it’s not surprising that sometimes things go wrong and injuries happen. If you are dealing with any kind of back pain give our specialists a call at Integrated Health Solutions! We utilize a variety of innovative techniques to successfully treat your pain.
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