The back//spine is one of the most important parts of the human body, as it supports our posture and movement in general. Taking care of your back has many overall benefits. A solid and healthy back increases core strength, improves the efficiency of the nervous system and helps with digestion and blood flows
The back is the body’s main support system or structure and it links different parts of the skeletal system. The spine aids us to stand, bend, sit and also to twist. If someone’s spine is heathy, it has a natural structure that looks like the alphabet ‘S’.
The Parts Of The Spine And Their Functions
The human spine has five main parts. These are the Vertebrae, Facet Joints, Intervertebral Disk, Spinal Cord (and Nerves), and Soft Tissues.
- The Vertebrae
The Vertebrae has bones which form the spinal column. These bones are 33 in number and are interlocked to each other. The vertebrae is made up of three components, namely the vertebrae body, vertebrae arch and transverse processes. The vertebral body helps in load bearing, the vertebral arch protects the spinal cord and the transverse processes does ligament attachment.
- Facet Joints
The facet joint which is also known as zygapophyseal or apophyseal joint , serve as a connection between the individual bones of the spine. It helps the spine to be able to twist and bend.
- Intervertebral Disk
The intervertebral Disk, also sometimes known as intervertebral fibrocartilage, acts as cushions and work as the spine’s shock absorbing system. It also protects the brain and nerves.
- Spinal Cord/Nerves
This is the part of the spine, that helps the body in the movement. It also has some nerves called the spinal nerves, which helps us feel temperature changes, different sensations and vibration. The spinal cord also helps control your blood pressure, your heart beat rate and also the body temperature. Activities like peeing and breathing are also under the control of the spinal cord.
- Soft Tissues
This part of the spine, called soft tissues, connects the individual bones of the spine. They are flexible and also tough in nature. The soft tissues helps in the soft movement of the spine and absorbs loads during any trauma in the body. It also restricts abnormal motion of the spinal cord hence protecting it.
Ways To Care For The Spine
The spine has been known to an important part of the human body and must be protected at all cots from any injury or damage. Below are some ways and tips for caring for your back:
- Exercise Regularly And Stretch
Regular exercise increases your back’s flexibility and endurance. You should exercise the muscles that support your back, such as those in the hips, buttocks, thighs, and especially the abdominal muscles that help to keep your body’s weight centered on your spine. Effective exercises include swimming, walking and biking. Stretching is also something you can do to improve your flexibility and reduce the chances of injuring your back
- Maintain Good Body Posture
There are different types of good and healthy body postures to maintain when doing kinds of activities. When these postures are maintained, our backs will always be strong, but when we breach these correct postures there will be a lot of complications. Listed below are correct postures for different everyday activities
Stand up straight and dot slump your shoulders. When standing for long periods of time, alternate placing your feet on a low footstool to ease your lower backs
Sit up straight. Keep your knees slightly higher than your hips and your feet either flat on the floor or on a stool. When choosing a chair, pick one that firmly supports your lower back or place a pillow between your back and the chair to maintain its normal curve.
Avoid slouching in your chair, hunching over a desk or walking with your shoulders hunched. This curves the spin and can eventually cause the spinal disks to slip out of place.
It is also a good practice to change your sitting position every few minutes. When driving, move your car seat forward so that your knees are bent.
Make sure you lift items with your back bending over to pick things up. Always distribute weight evenly between both of your hands.
Push a heavy object instead of lifting or pulling it. Pulling is more likely to injure your back. If you need to turn to the side, turn by moving your feet and not by twisting your back. Never twist and bend at the same time
- Maintain A Healthy Body Weight
Excess weight puts increased strain on the back muscles and ligaments. So try and maintain a healthy body weight. Follow these few health tips on how to take care of your back and you are going to always have a steady and healthy back. And you can begin today