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7 facts to know about your spine health - by Dr. Kimberley Looi

1. Your spine houses your nervous system

Your nervous system is the master controller of your body.  The brain is the command centre, which sends signals and messages down your spinal cord, which sits inside your spine, and receives information from the thread-like nerves that branch out to every single part of your body. Ever thought how you could breathe even without thinking about it? Or how you can tell if your soup is hot or cold? You have your nervous system to thank for that. Injuries to any part of this system could result in scary consequences like paralysis.                         

2. Your spine has a memory

Keeping it aligned through regular chiropractic adjustments, strengthening exercises and stretching has positive effects on its long-term health.

3. Your spine is the foundation and framework of your body

Without your spine, you wouldn’t be able to stand up straight. Over 120 muscles attach to your spine, and together they form the structure of your posture as well as the protection of your organs. Due to your spinal cord having an exceptional memory, maintaining a proper posture from an early age is essential for the long-term health of your spine.

4. Your spine has shock absorbers

Sandwiched between the bones of your spine are pads of tough, fibrous cartilage known as intervertebral discs. These discs cushion your bones to absorb shock. The combination of these discs and your S-shaped spine prevent shock to your head when you walk or run.

5. Your spine is impressively strong

Your spine can withstand the weight and pressure of hundreds of kilograms. Just sitting in a hunched position puts almost 100 kilograms of pressure on your lower back. But even though its strength is impressive, putting your spine through such pressure for long periods can injure and wear out your spine. Imagine if you had to carry 100 kilograms of books with your arms for even 5 seconds. It is no wonder that 80% of the world population experience back pain at least once in their lifetime.

6. Your spine can age

Just as your face becomes old and wrinkly, your spine can shrink and stiffen. This is due to the effects of gravity and time. Factors like trauma (e.g. falls and accidents), stress, and improper spinal maintenance can speed up the process. FUN BONUS FACT: Humans shrink somewhere between a quarter and a third of an inch each decade after the age of 40.

7. You cannot do a spine transplant

You only have one spine so make sure you take good care of it!