Your spine is an essential part of your body. Structurally and physiologically, you could not function without your spine. It supports your entire skeleton, allowing humans to stand and move about. It also provides critical protection for the nerves that stretch down from the brain and throughout your entire body. All your major nerves run into the spine and then up to the brain through the spinal cord.
A marvel of the bio-engineering of evolutionary forces, the spine is comprised of flexible and tough vertebrae discs. These discs mesh together to provide support when upright, and protection against trauma. They cushion impact forces, from the normal that are experienced when walking, to external blows that might otherwise damage nerves. Anyone who’s watched an athlete on the field, running and jumping, can easily recognize what a marvel the spine is.
This amazing function comes at the price of extreme complexity. There are more than thirty bones in the spine, four times as many individual muscles, and a hundred joints connected by over twice that number of ligaments binding it all together. All of this works together to produce the impressive range of human motion. It’s no wonder back pain is so common, with so many individual components that could be affected by something as we go about our lives.
Your spine is a marvel that lets you stand up straight or touch your toes. Read all about it. #HealthStatus
- 1Adult humans have the same number of vertebrae as giraffes, while infant humans actually have more for a short time.
- 2Astronauts measure taller in space flight than they do on earth.
- 3The Atlas vertebrae under the skull is responsible for supporting the head. It is named for the Titan Atlas in Greek myth who held up the world.
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