Most of the patients visiting our Ealing chiropractor for the first time do so because of problems relating to their spine. In many cases, they are experiencing back pain accompanied by a loss of mobility. At The Spine & Joint Centre in Ealing we provide the chiropractic care necessary to alleviate their pain and restore their mobility.
Our chiropractic team always take the time to explain how the spine works and how it can become damaged. The spine is a complex structure with several components that work together to give the human body stability, balance, and movement. In this post, I’ll share some more detail about the spine and how chiropractic care can be used to keep your spine healthy.
What Are The Main Functions Of The Spine?
The spine is a remarkable and complex piece of anatomy that is responsible for three primary functions:
- To protect the spinal cord, nerves, and internal organs
- To provide the structural support necessary for us to remain upright
- To facilitate movement
What Are The Regions Of The Spine?
The spine has four regions — cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral.
This is the neck region of the spine. It contains seven vertebrae, which are named C1 to C7 (from top to bottom). Apart from supporting head movement, these vertebrae protect the brain stem and spinal cord.
Below the cervical spine site 12 Thoracic vertebrae, which are named T1-T12 (again, going from top to bottom). The smallest bones in this section of the spine are near the top, with the largest at the bottom. The thoracic spine is attached to the ribs and plays the important role of protecting the body’s internal organs.
Next, we have the Lumbar Spine, which consists of the vertebrae L1 to L5. They are the largest vertebrae in the body and carry the most weight.
Finally, we have the Sacrum, which can be found behind the pelvis. It consists of five bones, abbreviated as S1 to S5. These bones are fused to form the sacrum, which sits between the hip bones that connect the spine to the pelvis. Beneath the Sacrum are five more bones, which form the Coccyx.
When viewed from the side, a healthy human spine has four curves. These curves are described as being kyphotic or lordotic. A kyphotic curve is a convex curve in the spine (convex towards the back of the spine). You should see a kyphotic curve in the thoracic and sacral sections of the spine. A lordotic curve is concave and is found in the cervical and lumbar sections of the spine. Chiropractors carefully examine these curves to determine the health of your musculoskeletal system.
Vertebrae are made from cortical bone. This is a very solid and dense type of bone that is very strong. Inside this hard outer layer is another type of bone called cancellous bone, which is weaker and has a structure that resembles honeycomb. Bone marrow resides within the cavities of cancellous bone. There are also various names for different parts of each vertebrae, including the endplates, facet joints, pedicles, body, and laminae.
An intervertebral disc sits between each vertebrae. Its role is to cushion the vertebrae and prevent vertebrae bones from rubbing together. They are remarkable objects which absorb nutrients through osmosis.
Intervertebral discs consist of two parts: the annulus fibrosis and the nucleus pulposus. The annulus fibrosus is a very rubber-like sturdy structure that encases the annulus fibrosis. It helps the spine rotate and can tolerate a lot of stress. The nucleus pulposus is a soft layered structure that mostly consists of water and elastic collagen fibres.
Some of the clients visiting our chiropractor in Ealing suffer from herniated discs, which is a rupture of an intervertebral disc. We provide treatment to relieve their pain and address the issues that have caused damage to their intervertebral discs.
Spinal Cord and Nerve Roots
The spinal cord is a cylindrical structure that is contained within the spinal canal. It is about the width of your pinky. The spinal cord contains 31 nerve pairs: 8 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 sacral, 5 lumbar, and 1 coccygeal. These nerves send motor, sensory, and autonomic signals between the spinal cord and rest of the body.
A pinched nerve is a common medical complaint that occurs when too much pressure is applied to a nerve by the surrounding bones, cartilage, tendons, and muscles. This painful condition usually responds well to chiropractic care. Our Ealing chiropractic clinic has helped hundreds of patients with pinched nerves.
Ligaments, Tendons and Muscles
Ligaments and tendons both connect to the bone. The key difference is that ligaments connect bones together, while tendons attach muscle to bone. The numerous ligaments and tendons in the vertebral column provide a brace for the spine, protect it from injury, and give it stability. The muscular system is also quite complex and is gives the spine the ability to rotate, extend, and flex.
Chiropractic Care and The Spine
Chiropractors specialise in treating musculoskeletal issues using several different techniques including joint adjustments and soft tissue therapy. Some of the conditions they can treat include ruptured discs, back pain, neck pain, sciatica, overuse injuries, headaches, arthritis, and mobility issues. If you are suffering from an issue with your spine, talk to a chiropractor today.
To learn more about the spine and how chiropractic care can resolve spinal issues, contact our leading chiropractor in Ealing, at the Spine Joint Centre on 020 8900 9004 or via email@example.com.