Why the Spine is so Important to Humans
There is perhaps no set of bones more important to humans that the spinal column. The spine is the major factor in all movements of the body. It provides balance to the skeletal frame, absorbs jolts and shocks, bend and twist, all the while providing a frame work for our internal organs and protecting the spinal cord and spinal nerves. The spine is responsible for providing us with a myriad of important functions, which include:
- The ability to twist and bend:Your spinal cord is like a strong and flexible ladder that provides enough rigidity for you to stand upright, but also allows you the ability to bend and twist. These qualities give humans the range of motion we enjoy. When the spine is injured, mobility becomes limited and motions like sitting up, bending over, picking things up, walking, twisting your spine, or moving your neck become difficult or impossible. Neurosurgeon Joseph Yazdi says that Spinal problems sometimes seem to have a way of creeping into one’s lifestyle. We should learn the things we can do to avoid spinal injuries.
- It houses a key part of the central nervous system:The first visible organ to develop in all vertebrates (animals with spines), is the nervous system. It begins as a cluster of cells and an in-folding of embryonic tissue forming the neural tube. Once this structure forms other tissues begin to develop next to the early central nervous system. The spine provides a bony protective sheath around this developed mass of nerves that run from the brain to all the parts of the body. It along with the brain make up the central nervous system and its part is to provide the pathway for electrical impulses to run up and down and to areas that feel sensation. A damaged spinal cord can disrupt neural responses, or cause a total loss of sensation to a part of the body. When someone is paralyzed it is because the nerves providing sensations to that part of the body have been cut. Typically, this disruption occurs in the spine.
- The spine protects the esophagus from the rear:Your esophagus is the tube you swallow into when you ingest food or water. Food travels down the esophagus, and into the stomach for continued digestion. The esophagus runs parallel to the spine and benefits from the spines bony structure for both keeping the esophagus straight and as protection However, because it presses up against the esophagus, if the spine is injured it can press against the esophagus and cause it harm.
- The spine can prevent incorrect movement:Because of its rigidity, the spine can prevent movements that will cause injury to the body. Athletes commonly note that they felt a nudge in the spine before a twisting typing type of injury that in some cases is avoided. Incorrect movement, over-exercising and bad posture can add unnecessary pressure to the spine, which over time can lead to degenerative diseases. Abnormal movement and improper stance can cause wear and tear to your spinal structure, and can permanent damage to your spinal discs and joints.
- The spine improves overall quality of life: When the spine works properly, the larger movements of the body are easily performed. When the spine is not working properly, quality of life can greatly deteriorate. So many daily activities are tied to the proper working of the spine, that the average person will surely not be able to live a full life.