You may have heard the saying, "The eyes are the window to the soul." There is another saying in the world of chiropractic: "Your spine is the window to your health." How can the condition of your spine divulge so much information about overall health? Your spine is the central support column of your body and its primary role is to protect your spinal cord. Becoming familiar with simple spinal anatomy, structure and function will help empower you to take control of your health.
What are some of the compensations your body develops, and what can they tell you about spinal health? Here are a few to watch out for:
Rounded Shoulders: This is a very common postural distortion resulting from more sedentary lifestyles. Common effects are headaches, shoulder, pain and neck pain.
Uneven shoulders: One shoulder higher than the other is indicative of a muscular imbalance or spinal curvature. This asymmetry is a common precursor for shoulder injuries, headaches, neck pain, elbow injuries and even carpal tunnel syndrome (tingling in the hands).
Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD): DDD is term used to describe degeneration and excessive wear on the soft-tissue disc structures between the spinal bones. It may come with age or from biomechanical asymmetries in movement causing excessive wear from overuse.
Herniated disc: A herniated disc is an abnormal bulge or breaking open of a protective spinal disc or cushioning between spinal bones. Disc diagnosis is conformed via a special imaging study called an MRI (\Magnetic Resonance Imaging), which observes soft- and hard-tissue structures.
If you experience spinal pain, tingling, numbness, weakness, muscles spasms or swelling near your spine or arms and legs, consult with your chiropractor. And remember, these are just some of the many ways the spine can influence the rest of the body. Talk to your chiropractor to learn more about what your spine says about your health.
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