Why is a healthy spine important?
The function of the spine is:
- coordination, and
Movement is one of the primary signs of life and any change in the structure or function of the spine may adversely affect human movement.
Support for the head is paramount because the neck is involved in quick coordinating movements for survival and protection and in general daily activities. The shoulder and pelvic girdles are also attached and supported. All these structures are related to the spine.
Protection of the central nervous system allows it to function optimally via the spinal cord, housed within the spine, which controls the function of every single cell, tissue and organ in the body.
Therefore a healthy spine, coupled with a healthy nervous system, is crucial in terms of maintaining whole body health. Any alteration of spinal structure or function may cause irritation of the central nervous system or the outer spinal nerves that are protected as they travel to organs or muscles. This alteration is known to chiropractors as "vertebral subluxation".
The cause of vertebral subluxation can be summed up as fatigue. Fatigue occurs when a system or structure undergoes loading or stress that alters its structure and function, and this injury overcomes the body's ability to heal itself. This causes illness because it affects the nervous system's ability to function normally.
Fatigue can occur via repeated physical stresses or instantly in a physical accident, but often it is brought on by too much psychological stress or lifestyle factors like inadequate nutrition or exercise.
Eventually effects may be varied - from tight or weak muscle groups, degeneration of spinal discs and general neck and back aches and pains - to common ailments such as headaches, jaw pain, rib (chest) pain, poor concentration, sleep disorders and even knee and foot problems.