You’re only as young as your spine

“If your spine is inflexible and stiff at 30, you’re old. If it is flexible at 60, you’re young.  A man is as young as his spine.”                                                                                                                                                                       Joseph Pilates

A key difference between a youthful individual and an aged individual is the ability to move correctly. Mobility is a vital ingredient to spinal and bodily health. The spine contains the spinal cord, which is part of the central nervous system which conveys vital information from the brain to all body parts via the peripheral nervous system. A spine with too little or too much movement may interfere with the transmission of nerve flow to the associated body tissues and therefore impact on the local physiology and function. Movement also supplies fluid and nutrients to the intervertebral discs (IVD). The IVD is located between the vertebrae and serves as a shock distributor. Spinal movement increases blood flow to the IVD is the key to a healthy IVD.

The activities and postures that you use in your daily life are either promoting a functional spine and good health or creating a negative impact on your health and moving you towards a degenerative spine. It is our inactive lifestyle that is mostly responsible for the deterioration of our health as we get older. During life, the mobility of the spine may reduce due to poor posture, accidents and illness.  Even minor shifts in muscular, fascial tension and joint restriction, if not managed appropriately, can lead to lack of mobility which can in itself cause many health problems.

Do your shoulders roll forward when you sit, stand and walk? Do you find it difficult to keep your spine straight and your chest up when squatting and deadlifting with a bar or lifting heavy things off the ground? If your answer is “yes” you probably have poor thoracic spine (upper back) mobility. Many people even fit people are completely unaware of thoracic spine immobility as they don’t notice any of the symptoms.  That tightness and stiffness makes us much more prone to injury and poor health. The passage of time does not have to mean physical deterioration.

Regardless of symptoms balanced mobility is key to good spinal health and good health overall. Spinal mobility depends on movement between vertebral joints and the associated fascia, ligaments and muscles. Inflammation to nerves and soft tissues may disrupt the smooth biomechanics of normal spinal motion. Left uncorrected this inflammation may result in a vicious cycle of increasing biomechanical dysfunction, further loss of freedom of motion, and increasing pain

Osteopathic care helps restore spinal mobility by focusing on the causes of biomechanical dysfunction. By reestablishing healthy natural mobility to the spine, positive structural and physiological changes may occur. These changes may include reduced muscular, spinal inflammation and pain, reduced physiological stress and improved freedom of movement which are essential for overall health.

So, there are ways to stay feeling young. By starting to take care of your body today, you can stay active and healthy.

Osteopathic care will allow you to keep yourself young throughout your entire life.