Do you know about your Spine?
WHAT IS A SPINE?
The human spine is an upright bendy column. It consists of 24 separate segments called vertebrae which sit on top of each other in a vertical stack. There are seven in the neck (cervical), twelve in the middle back (thoracic) and five in the low back (lumbar).
The base of the spine sits on the sacrum, w s a solid triangular block of bone at the back of the pelvis. The sacrum tilts down at the front to an angle of approximately 50 degrees below the horizontal, making a concavity in the low back as the spine arches to compensate.
The spine rises out of the pelvis in three gentle curves like a cobra from a basket. Its “S’’ shape helps hold it upright, and by arching back and forth over a central line of gravity it balances the top-heavy torso over its narrow base. With perfect spinal alignment or posture, a straight line can be drawn through the ear, the tip of the shoulder, the spine at waist level, the knee joint and the back of the ankle.The hollow in the low back is called a lumbar lordosis. This is followed by a gentle hump the other way in the chest region, called the thoracic kyphosis, and another arch in the neck called the cervical lordosis.
The lumbar lordosis lessens with sitting when the pelvis tips backward on the sitting bones (the ischial tuberosities) and increases with standing.Perfect lumbar alignment achieves two important ends: it ensures the correct distribution of body weight through the front and back compartment of the spine and allows your low back to bow forward slightly to absorb impact during walking.
As you might imagine, the right amount of lumbar lordosis is an important factor with back pain.The following discussion highlights the anatomy which allows the spine to move in its free-flowing way-guiding it and controlling it so it doesn’t go too far.