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Benefits of Spinal Care for the Whole Body

 

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Spinal Care for the Whole Body

Although visiting a chiropractor for spinal care can help to reduce or eliminate back pain, it also offers a host of other benefits for your entire body. Your central nervous system is responsible for connecting the systems of your body, enabling communication between them. If your spine is misaligned or damaged, your nervous system suffers too.

Your body will no longer be able to facilitate its own healing effectively, and this increases the chances of injuries, illnesses and pain. Good chiropractic spinal care can determine the underlying causes of the issues that you experience and treat those problems so you can find relief.

The Anatomy Of The Spine

The spine’s anatomy can be divided into three sections – the lumbar, thoracic and cervical spinal regions. Each of those sections is composed of vertebrae, with 7 in the cervical region, 12 in the thoracic region and 5 in the lumbar region.

Each individual vertebra is also composed of a number of parts. The vertebra’s body is the key area for weight bearing. It also supplies a place for the discs that separate the vertebrae from each other to rest on. The spinal canal is a hole in the vertebra’s center and the spinal nerves run through this hole. It is covered by the lamina. 

Spinal Vertebra, Joints & Disks

The bone you’re able to feel when you run your hand down your back is the spinous process while you’ll find the paired transverse processes oriented at a 90-degree angle to it. This is where the back muscles are attached. Each vertebra also has 4 facet joints – one pair facing upwards and another pair facing downwards – which give the spine extra stability.

Between each vertebra, there is a disc. This acts as a cushion between the bones and is composed of two separate parts – the annulus or outer hard layer and the nucleus which is the moist center.

Spinal Cord Nerve Connections

The spinal cord contains millions of nerve fibers running through the spinal canal. Extending from the brain down to the lumbar vertebrae, it branches out in groups of fibers which form the nerves which go through to your body’s lower half.

  1. Nerves of the cervical spine area connect to the arms and upper chest.
  2. Nerves of the thoracic spine area connect with the abdomen and chest.
  3. Nerves of the lumbar spine area connect with the bladder, bowel and legs.

The nerve fibers branch off, forming pairs of nerve roots which travel through small openings between the vertebrae. The nerves of every part of the spinal cord are connected to different body parts. This explains why spinal cord damage causes paralysis to certain areas but not others.

Pinched Nerve Treatment Options

The nerves carry impulses from the brain to the body and back again. This enables us to move and to experience sensations. However, nerves may become compressed. This means they cannot function properly. The result can be pain, numbness, tingling or altered sensations.

There are several causes of pinched nerves. Bulging discs are one common cause along with compression by bones or tight muscles. There are several forms of treatment for pinched nerves. Pain relief or anti-inflammatory medications may be helpful as may physiotherapy, massage or osteopathy chiropractic treatment is often the best solution.


Vertebral Subluxation Chiropractic Treatment

If the spine is misaligned, physiological functions and movement integrity are compromised. This is known as vertebral subluxation. There are a number of causes for this condition from car accidents and improper lifting to living a sedentary lifestyle and poor posture.

When the vertebrae lose their healthy position or motion, a number of health issues can arise. A skilled chiropractor can detect vertebral subluxation and address it. By offering spinal decompression and chiropractic adjustments we can help to relieve pain and symptoms.

Spinal Treatments for Peak Athletic Performance & Overall Health

Both professional and amateur athletes can benefit greatly from regular chiropractic care. As chiropractic treatment is effective, safe and non-evasive, it represents an excellent way for athletes at all levels to continue playing sports at their peak level of performance. In fact, having regular chiropractic treatments can maximize your musculoskeletal performance and prevent injuries, while also helping to better manage any existing injuries.

By having consistent chiropractic adjustments before a sporting event or an important game, athletes can be confident they will enjoy a complete range of movement in all their joints with no resistance. This can help give them an edge over their competitors in the competitive sporting arena.

Those who participate in a diverse range of sports can benefit from chiropractic. From tennis and racing to biking and soccer, chiropractic care can keep athletes playing and prevent a minor injury from getting out of hand.

For those who have already suffered from a sports injury, having a chiropractic checkup is especially important to detect any damage in the spine and to minimize any further complications.

Here at Advanced Spine & Sports Care, we provide a comprehensive range of sports chiropractic treatment services & corrective exercise plans to suit the needs of all types of athlete. We can also treat an extensive range of sports injuries, from those caused by contact sports such as football, hockey and mixed martial arts to those caused as a result of overexertion at the gym from excess weightlifting.

Advanced Spine & Sports Care – Sports Injuries We Treat

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These Exercises Will Work Wonders For Your Spinal Health

We all know that exercise is good for us. Some of us go for a run a few days a week. Others are sold on the benefits of weight training. Some people without the physical resources to perform more strenuous workouts opt for daily walks. There’s no doubt that any or all of these forms of exercise can be beneficial to your health. But at Advanced Spine & Sports Care we’d like to see everyone add yoga and pilates to their weekly fitness routines because both yoga and pilates are fabulous ways to maintain or improve your spinal health. Here are our five reasons why you should take up yoga or pilates (or both!) no matter what else you currently do to stay fit:

 

  • Yoga and Pilates Strengthen Core Muscles

 

An important aspect of spinal health is improving or maintaining the strength of your core muscles. Your spine on its own can only support about 30 – 40 pounds of body weight so it needs your core muscles to do a lot of the heavy lifting to help keep you upright. When your core is weak, your spine does extra work that wears it down and will ultimately lead to pain and injury. It’s also important that the strength of your core muscles is balanced: weak abdominals and strong back muscles can cause lower back pain. But doing sit-ups isn’t going to rectify this situation. Your posture is mainly supported by muscles deep inside of your body – muscles that are not worked by doing sit-ups. But the postures and movements involved in yoga and pilates are able to reach those deep core muscles, as well as the core muscles closer to the surface.

 

  • Yoga and Pilates Improve Flexibility

 

Another key component of spinal health is flexibility. When flexibility is reduced, we run the risk of pushing our body too far and causing injury. The best way to maintain or improve your flexibility is with gentle stretching on a regular basis. Both yoga and pilates deliver this kind of stretching to your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. When muscles, tendons, and ligaments are not regularly and properly stretched, they shorten and toughen, which reduces flexibility. This is especially important for those of us who spend hours on end sitting at a desk every day. Our bodies did not evolve to endure that much sitting and, as a result, without other forms of stretching, our muscles, tendons, and ligaments suffer. But don’t worry – even if you’re already experiencing lack of flexibility, it’s never to late to start. Yoga and pilates can help improve your flexibility by gently stretching the areas that need it.

 

  • Yoga and Pilates Promote Postural Awareness & Alignment

 

Good posture is really important for spinal health. The spine has a natural curve in it. While the spine is meant to move and be flexible, if it is constantly in an unnatural position, damage to discs and vertebrae and even nerves can occur, which will result in back pain and can even affect other areas of your body. Both yoga and pilates encourage practitioners to focus on correct posture and alignment during different poses and moves. This focus generally translates to a greater awareness of posture and alignment outside of yoga and pilates classes as well. Also, because yoga and pilates are strengthening your core muscles, it will be easier to maintain proper posture and alignment.

 

  • Yoga and Pilates are Preventative and Curative

 

If you are free of back pain – great! Now is the time to start yoga and pilates. Even if you follow another fitness regimen, adding yoga and pilates will almost definitely improve your fitness level, endurance, and performance because of its ability to improve core strength, balance, and flexibility. Keeping your core muscles balanced and strong and keeping the moving parts of your spine flexible will also help you stave off the degenerative process that happens as we age and will protect you from back and spine injuries.

If, on the other hand, you’ve begun to notice a lack of flexibility, balance, or core strength, yoga and pilates can help you repair the imbalances in your body. In fact, even if you are already experiencing back pain or if you are recovering from a spine or back injury, your doctor may actually prescribe yoga or pilates as part of your recovery. This is in part because your doctor will want you to start new habits that will support your spine health, even after your official treatment is over.

 

  • Almost Everyone Can Do Yoga and Pilates.*

 

No matter what your age, fitness level, gender, or weight is, it’s highly likely that you’re able to take part in a yoga or pilates class. Make sure you pick the level that’s right for you and, if you’re brand new to the practice, let the leader know ahead of time. While advanced yoga and pilates can be incredibly difficult, the basics are pretty easy and will still give you substantial spinal health benefits.

We think these are five pretty good reasons for you to give yoga or pilates (or both!) a shot. Since we are passionate about spinal health at Advanced Spine & Sports Care, we’d love to see everyone taking up yoga or pilates. If you’d like to know more about ways to maintain your spinal health, or if you are experiencing back pain or pain caused by a spinal issue, we encourage you to contact us online or by phone (773.868.0347) today.

*Always consult with a medical professional before beginning any new exercise routine.