Get to know the soul of your spine: what it is, its parts, its function and the cervical region

And the importance of taking care of it with chiropractic care

Do you know how important the spine is for our health? Discover with Momentum Quiropràctic what is the spine and its functions to understand why it is so important to take care of it with chiropractic care

Imagine you are standing in front of a blank page right now and someone asks you to explain what the spine is and which is its function. Oops!

Maybe this situation is familiar to you… and we are sure that during your school years you encountered this question in one of those dreaded biology exams. Or if school is a long way off for you, you may have a faint memory of that episode of “Once upon a time… life” and the skeleton.

But let’s get back to the crux of the matter. Would you be able to write the correct answer to the question “What is the spine? We are sure that you know where it is and probably explain its main function: to support our body and give us mobility… but the spine (also known as the lifeline) is of great importance for our health. Do you want to find out why?

The Momentum Quiropràctic team will explain you about it in our new series of posts “Get to know the soul of your spine”, where you will become aware of the importance of taking care of your spine and you will understand much better how your body works. Let’s go!

Spine and chiropractic care Momentum

What is the spine

The spine is a structure made up of bones, muscles, tendons, nerves and other tissues that extend from the skull to the pelvis.

This structure is characterised by its rigidity, yet flexibility. As stated by Dr Oliveria et al (2007) in their study on the biomechanics of the spine, the spine and its structure allows us to withstand pressure and makes mobility possible. But what are its functions?

The functions of spine

  • The spinal column protects the spinal cord, which connects the brain with most of the nerves in order to send every message the brain sends to the different parts of our body.
  • In addition, it also protects part of the nerves that are part of our nervous system.
  • The spine allows us to have an upright posture.
  • Serves as a support for our skull
  • Thanks to its bony structure and protection, the spine is the centre of gravity for vertebrates. That is, the human body is able to keep itself in balance and resist the force of gravity on us (Palastanga et al., 2007).

Parts of the spinal cord

Before we go into detail on the different parts of the spine, do you know what vertebrae are? Vertebrae are the bones of the spine that support weight, cover the spinal cord and have joints, as well as intervertebral discs, which allow us to move.

The spinal column is made up of 33 vertebrae in newborns and 24 vertebrae in adults because throughout our growth, the sacral and coccygeal vertebrae fuse to form the sacrum and coccyx, respectively.

The 5 regions of the spine

  1. Cervical region: Formed by 7 vertebrae. They correspond to the part of the neck
  2. Thoracic region: Formed by 12 vertebrae. They correspond to the pectoral part
  3. Lumbar region: Formed by 5 vertebrae. Correspond to the part of the lower back/lumbosacral region.
  4. Sacral region: Formed by 5 vertebrae. They correspond to the part of the pelvis
  5. Coccygeal region: Formed by 3 vertebrae. Corresponds to the part of the backside.

For this first post on the soul of the spine, we are going to learn more about the impact of the cervical region on our health.

Cervical region

The cervical spine is responsible for the mobility of the head and neck.

The upper cervical region consists of the following vertebrae:

  • C1 (Atlas) and C2 (Axis): The function of these two cervical vertebrae is to support the skull, as well as to allow rotation of the head and protect the spinal cord. It is common to feel pain in the cervical or headache due to possible physical stress and the emotional stress of our everyday life.

The lower cervical region consists of the following vertebrae::

  • C3: The C3 vertebra helps with flexion and rotation of the neck. It is in line with the jaw and the bone that holds the tongue in place. If the vertebra is subluxed we can find symptoms of health problems related to dental or dermatological problems.
  • C4:The C4 vertebra is located in the area of the neck and thyroids. It also contains the nerves leading to the diaphragm.
  • C5: The C5 vertebra is directly related to respiratory and vocal cord functions.
  • C6 and C7: The C6 vertebra is located in the lowest region of the neck. The nerves between this vertebra and C7 directly affect the limbs.

Symptoms of neck problems and pain

If one or more of the cervical vertebrae are subluxed (i.e. displaced vertebrae affecting the functioning of the nervous system) we can feel symptoms of health conditions related to:

  • Migraines and headache, dizziness, dizziness, mental fog
  • Insomnia
  • Vision or hearing problems
  • Skin problems
  • Sore throat
  • Thyroid problems
  • High/low blood pressure
  • Numbness of extremities
  • Shoulder conditions
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

The importance of taking care of the spine and preventing pain with chiropractic care

It is really common for patients to have pain and discomfort in the cervical and neck area due to the physical and emotional stress they experience. Then, is when they start  with the chiropractic care.

Chiropractic is the specialty that is responsible for detecting any vertebral subluxation in your spine to cure possible health conditions. To do this, we proactively align and take care of your spine so that the brain can send every message it sends to the different parts of the body without interference and you can enjoy life without pain.

If you want to know more about the spine and chiropractic care watch this video and you will discover why it is vitally important to take care of our spine to optimise the nervous system.

Our approach at Momentum Quiropràctic is that you understand how your body and chiropractic care work so that you can enjoy your life with optimal wellbeing.

Follow us on our social networks (InstagramFacebookLinkedIn) to continue learning more about chiropractic care and your wellbeing.

If you want to know more about us, we invite you to visit our website, where you will learn about the Momentum team, our values and how we can help you.

And if you book an appointment… we are waiting for you with open arms at our centre in Barcelona.

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