By Julie L. Lyles, DC
One of the least understood but most important parts of the human body is the spine. The spine is the lattice work and foundation for every other soft tissue and organ. The spine is composed of 26 moveable segments. Hear that? Moveable! Each joint is angled in a certain way to provide optimal motion and optimal protection. When loaded correctly and free of fixation, there is nothing more brilliant! So, why such confusion? Why such a lack of respect? Why so little education on the value and importance of healthy joint mobility and postural balance? Maybe it’s a lack of understanding of the complex simplicity of the spine and its care.
When a child is born, she has 2 curves in her spine: the mid-back and the sacrum. As the child starts to get nosey, she lifts her head while on her belly and starts to develop the curve in her neck. The forces that the back part of her neck feels is what triggers her body to pour calcium in the right places until the age of 25. (Wolff’s Law” of Physics states that bone models and remodels in response to the mechanical stresses it experiences so as to produce a minimal-weight structure that is ‘adapted’ to its applied stresses.”)
Later on, she gets a little more nosey and goes to all fours, dropping her belly with her head lifted up, developing the curve in her low back. And, off she goes…through a stage of crawling, building necessary brain and body strength, and mechanical and neurological synchronization. Then, only when she and her spine are ready, she will start to pull up, with ideally, a properly curved spine that has been fortified by normal instinctive motions and body positions.
When the curves in the spine are not properly formed, as is becoming the norm due to a decrease in “belly-time,” walking too soon without first crawling, more sedentary lifestyles and of course, technology posture, the body reacts profoundly! Look at the body this way, the back or posterior, is the foundational structure, whereas, the front or the anterior, is where all of the organs and pipes are that supply the body with nutrition and eliminate waste. If you place the weight of your head, shoulders, and hips in the back and heels, you are correctly putting stress in the purposefully larger, denser bones intended to carry such weight and leaving the front to “flow.” If you place the weight of the head, shoulders, and pelvis in the front, you are blocking flow of nerve supply, blood supply, and lymphatic supply and compressing all of your vital organs, ultimately leading to dysfunction and disease.
What are common symptoms of joint fixation and postural distortion? Headaches, neck and back pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the upper and lower extremities. Big deal? Motrin or Tylenol can help you live with those symptoms, right? Well, every seven years when the body remodels bone and every year when your organs try to replace their tissues, you are allowing dysfunction and disease to continue…until, of course, you get the symptoms that you can no longer cover up and no longer live with. What are some conditions that are on the rise, linked to postural distortion and joint fixation: hypertension, migraine headaches, ADD/ADHD, sinusitis/allergies/asthma, reflux and GERD, osteopenia/osteoporosis, infertility, and constipation to name a few. All of these conditions typically lead to a less active you. The decreased motion in your body further accelerates the deterioration of the joints and the organs through fixation and stagnation.
What can you do? Look at yourself and your family and notice if the center of your ear is close to the back of your neck and in line with your shoulders? Are your shoulders lined up with your hips? Are your hips lined up with your heels? Do you have any of the aforementioned conditions and use a lot of over the counter medications? Do you have trouble turning your head or bending it forward, backward, or sideways? Do you avoid bending over or leaning back? Have you become less active and accepted “feeling bad” as your norm? Or, has disease set in?
Seek out a health care professional whose specialty is the structure and function of the human form, one whose skills, through manual correction, proper education, and physical retraining can help restore your body to the strong balanced flowing structure capable of brilliant healing powers: The Doctor of Chiropractic.
Image from: www.masharosen.com
Dr. Julie Lyles, DC is a doctor of chiropractic who practices chiropractic care and also owns GetWell Solutions which is focused on Nutrition Counseling, Well Coaching, and Corporate Wellness Programs. For more information, contact Dr. Lyle directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.