Individuals believe that a straight spine is a healthy spine. This is a misconception, a chiropractor knows that a healthy spine has the proper curvature, specifically an S curve from the top to the bottom. This curve allows/enables the spine to properly function for balancing and stabilizing the body. There are three primary curves that make up the S shape. These are:
- Cervical lordosis – Neck curvature
- Thoracic kyphosis – Middle back curvature
- Lumbar lordosis – Lower back curvature
Lordosis is defined as an inward curve, while kyphosis is an outward curve.
When the spine is properly curved and aligned there is flexibility and optimal support of the body. The curves of each section/area create a spring structure that enables the spine to perform as a natural shock-absorber. If the spine was straight, it would take a significant toll with all the wear and tear from constant vibration and shock. This would lead to fractures and other injuries. The curvature is important in aiding with weight distribution and the weight of gravity. Each curve works to distribute weight evenly throughout the spine so that the different muscle groups do not get overworked. This happens during dynamic movement.
- All require the spine to move harmoniously with the rest of the body, supporting the body’s weight and energy transfer.
The curves help reduce pressure between the individual vertebral discs. Because the discs are not stacked on top of each other, the weight from the above vertebra is not completely placed on the one below. So the lower vertebra takes only a portion of the weight, allowing the discs to perform as an absorbing cushion.
Maintaining The Curvature
An adult spine gradually becomes an S curve and is formed through development. Children are born with a C curve, with an outward curve until they begin to crawl. When the child begins to raise their heads up, the cervical portion of the proper S shape begins to take form. As the child learns to walk upright, the spine continues on its ultimate role of support. However, because spinal curvature is formed in the developmental stages, natural curvature formation has a limited time frame. Issues that happen at this time can disrupt the proper formation of the curves. This can result in malformations that could require long-term chiropractic treatment/rehabilitation to correct.
For adults that develop a normal S curve, spinal maintenance is critical. When subluxations/misalignments occur bulging, herniated discs, pinched nerves, and sciatica are sure to follow. Chiropractic adjustments will ensure the spine is reset and properly supported. As natural spinal development has passed maintenance is essential. Using precision tools and techniques, chiropractic treatment realigns the spine returning the natural S curve. Treatment plans and adjustments are customized to the individual and applied specifically to their unique spinal shape. This makes it possible to maintain a spine with precise curvature.
Fruit and Plant Antioxidants
Regular inclusion of antioxidant-rich foods in an individual’s diet will help reduce free radicals and prevent oxidative stress from accumulating. Fruits and veggies like:
- Dark-colored grapes
- Sweet potatoes
- All are great sources of antioxidants.
Purple-colored fruits like blueberries and dark grapes contain an antioxidant called resveratrol that has therapeutic properties for heart disease. Beta-carotene is an orange-colored carotenoid with antioxidant properties that can also protect against heart disease. Orange, yellow-colored plant foods, and leafy greens are a solid source of the antioxidant carotenoid beta-carotene or pro-vitamin A. Minerals like zinc and selenium have antioxidants that can be found in vegan sources. And minerals found in fruits and veggies contain blood pressure-lowering potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the musculoskeletal system’s injuries or disorders. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, CTG*
Licensed in Texas & New Mexico
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Fedorchuk, Curtis et al. “Improvements in Cervical Spinal Canal Diameter and Neck Disability Following Correction of Cervical Lordosis and Cervical Spondylolistheses Using Chiropractic BioPhysics Technique: A Case Series.” Journal of radiology case reports vol. 14,4 21-37. 30 Apr. 2020, doi:10.3941/jrcr.v14i4.3890