10 Fascinating Facts About Your Spine
As a Doctor of Chiropractic, it is literally my job to geek out over your spine. But, did you know just how complex and amazing a structure it is? Check out these 10 fascinating facts about your spine!
- As babies, we have 33 vertebrae but as adults we end up with 26. What happens to the 9 remaining bones? Four of them will fuse to make our tailbone and five fuse to make the back of the pelvis.
- The first set of vertebrae (the cervical vertebrae found in the neck) are also called the Atlas.
Atlas is a character from Greek mythology who, after losing a fight, was turned to stone and had to carry the weight of the Earth and the Heavens on his shoulders. The cervical vertebrae were also given this name as they carry the weight of the head.
- The spine includes 120 muscles, 220 ligaments, and 100 joints.
- Four out of five adults will experience some type of back pain during their lifetime. Back pain is considered the second most common location of pain experienced – headaches are considered the first.
- Both humans and long-necked giraffes have seven cervical vertebrae.Cervical vertebrae are those vertebrae immediately below the skull. This is remarkable given the giraffe’s height; but it explains the flexibility and versatility of its spinal structure.
- Since cartilage discs expand in the absence of gravity, astronauts returning from space may be 1.5 to 2 inches taller than when they left. Gravity’s effect on cartilage is also the cause of humans shrinking between a quarter of an inch and five inches every decade after the age of 40. It also means we are generally taller in the morning than at night because of the daily effect of gravity on the body.
- The spinal cord is so flexible that if it were to be separated from the body and bent, it would form two thirds of a perfect circle.
- Your spine is the “lifeline of your body”, and has the responsibility of carrying more than a million electrical nerve messages between your brain and your body every day.
- Over one fourth of the spine’s total length is created from cartilage, the sponge-like substance that separates one vertebral disc from the next.
- The spine has an excellent memory, and as such, it’s recommended that you take care to provide it with proper support from a young age.
Let’s work together to take care of this amazing structure- call us today!