Spinal Curves: What Are They For?
By Sara Butler
You may have been reminded by your grandmother a million times to keep your spine straight, but the truth is that your spine isn't built to be that way. Of course, you should practice good posture, but good posture only helps to support the natural curvature of your spine. Your spine is meant to curve so it can handle all the pressure and force put upon it on a daily basis. Here's why your spine curves and what you can do to support it.
Your Spinal Curves
Your spine is not straight but S-shaped if you look at it from the side. There are three curves in the spine:
- The cervical curve in the neck
- The thoracic curve in the mid-back
- The lumbar curve in the lower back
These curves work together to help absorb shock in the spine, provide you with a full range of motion, and maintain your balance as you walk, run, and do just about everything!
The curves in your spine are maintained by muscle groups that allow you to bend, flex, lift, and stand. All the muscles work together to stabilize your spine as you go through the motions of your day.
How to Support Healthy Spinal Curves
Healthy spinal curves come down to one thing: proper posture. How you position your body as you sit, lay down, or stand helps to maintain the proper curves in your spine and make sure everything works together as it should. When something is out of whack, such as is the case with joint dysfunction, then some muscle groups may work too hard to keep things balanced -- and that can result in issues down the road.
In order to maintain proper posture you must:
- Ensure you have good muscle flexibility
- Retain normal range of motion in the joints
- Ensure the muscles in the abdomen are strong
- Ensure the muscles supporting your spine in the back are strong
- Be aware of your own posture as you do various activities throughout the day
It's vital to your spinal health that you have proper posture when sitting, sleeping, bending, lifting, standing, and even getting in and out of the car. If you're unsure how to correct your posture or how to identify areas where it needs improvement, then talk to the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic for some advice.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Los Angeles, Calif.