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Posted on 02-06-2018
Our bodies are amazing machines. Your spine was created in such a way to be in balance and handle the gravitational stresses placed upon it. When your spine is healthy, it truly is an engineering marvel. When it's out of alignment in any form, all hell can break loose. It unravels like a slow dripping faucet, one irritating drip at a time; until connective tissue hell fills up and overflows into pain. In the case of a sink, you can be less invasive and try to unclog the blockage with a plunger or become a little more invasive and add some toxic dissolver like DranoTM or, if necessary, clearing out the clog by inserting a "snake" to pull out the clog.
Of course, I love all things regarding spinal health, it's my job. However, we tend to treat our spines like dirt. Do you all have any idea on the importance of your spine? Well, we know that many of you do not because if you did, a much greater percentage of the population would be having regular chiropractic care and myofascial work done on a regular basis....but I digress.
Proper spinal alignment and curvature occur when the spine is straight when assessing from front to back (as seen on the left view or AP view) or slightly curved from front to back in a side views. Any alteration of these will cause biomechanical stress on the body. Picture a slow leaking tire in your car and how it will effect the front end alignment that keeps the vehicle straight on the road.
A few of the most common alterations are the forward head carriage and scoliosis. Both affect the spinal curvature in different manners and both have detrimental musculoskeletal, and possibly organ dysfunction, if not properly treated early.
A forward head carriage (FHC) occurs when the head moves forward in front of the shoulders. For each one inch of forward head movement the spine incurs an additional 10 pounds of gravitational weight and stress to the spinal joints. Not ot mention the pull on the muscles to attempt at keeping the head on straight. Electronics are some of the biggest culprits of this postural distortion and can lead to early headaches, muscle aches of the upper back, decreased lung capacity and early-onset degenerative joint disease (arthtiris), to name a few. This will typically cause the curvature of the spine to straighten from its normal, healthy curvature. The video below from Rumsey Spinal Care does a great job in discussing FHC and preventing spinal degeneration.
Scoliosis, unlike FHC, is occurs when a left, right or bilateral curvature develops in the spine, most typically in the mid back region but can also commonly affect the lower back or both. Small curvatures typically lead to discomfort over time but larger, more intense curves, can cause organ dysfunction. Chiropractic care can help with all levels of curvature, although the major curves may also likely need other interventions like bracing or possibly surgery. As with FHC, uncorrected scoliosis will also surely lead to early-onset degenerative disease in the affected joints.
Both the FHC and scoliosis can cause detrimental dysfunction in the spine, creating not only biomechanical stress on the joints and muscles, but also irritating the nervous system and create pain. When left untreated, these spinal issues can create more serious affects on health. That is why it is so important to treat these issues as soon as you become aware of them. Your Chiropractor can provide an integrative plan that will help ease pain and improve spinal function that can include stand-alone treatment or integration with medical or other complimentary therapies.
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