Spine health is one of those things that people don't notice until it's gone. We are our bodies, the core of that body is the skeleton, and the core of the skeleton is the spine. The spine has several functions and spinal problems, even subtle ones, such as the loss of the normal spinal curves, can affect any or all of these functions and the other parts of the body that depend upon them.
Support – our spine holds us up and transfers the weight of the torso to the pelvis, hips and legs. Muscles attach to it; internal organs hang from it, and the rib cage – with ribs articulating on the spine as well.
Stability – because the spine is a highly articulated structure made strong by immensely strong postural muscles, it can give stability while the limbs are active – a fixed structure may be strong in one position, but an articulated one can adapt to allow for throwing a ball or standing on one leg. Stability is also dependent on coordination and control – stretch sensors around the joints add to information from the eye and the ear, allowing our bodies to work as a coordinated whole, whatever the action of the limbs or head.
Movement – locomotion would not be possible without good spine function. Any pain or stiffness that detracts from our ability to move around will trigger anxiety on a primal level.
Shock absorption – the natural curve of the spine in adults, as well as the intervertebral discs create a spring system which allow us to walk and run without immediately damaging ourselves. As we age and lose the elasticity of the discs and if we lose our natural spinal curves through poor posture or too much sitting, or suffer degenerative disc disease we are likely to find ourselves in need of spine care.
Neurological integrity – the spinal column has a hollow arch of bone, which, with all the vertebrae stacked one on top of the other, provides a flexible but protected channel for the spinal cord and nerve roots. All the neurological signals traveling from brain to body (except the cranial nerves) are passing along this bony canal. We know that we need nerves to power our muscles – but nerves going to and from the spine also play a crucial role in the body's ability to perceive the environment and react appropriately, that includes the internal environment: how blood flows around the body, how the body senses and regulates gut activity, breathing, bladder and bowel.
Think of it this way: all the vital organs are there to provide for the musculoskeletal system. When we have pain or spasm, it's incredibly exhausting because dysfunction is less efficient and therefore makes higher demands on the body. At our clinic, we understand how something often dismissed as 'only back pain' can have a massive impact on quality of life. At Sonoran Spine, we provide expertise and excellence in conservative treatment of musculoskeletal problems specifically addressing pain issues and restoring functionality.