The final installment of our Spinal Series – from the Chiropractors at Precision Health Spine & Sports Clinic.
If the bones of the spine are what holds us upright, it’s the ligaments, muscles and tendons that control movement of our body and limbs.
Ligaments are sheets of fibrous tissue that link bones and hold them together in joints, allowing for both movement and stability. Some ligaments prevent joints from moving in the wrong direction – such as a hyperextension (backward) of the knee or elbow. Spinal ligaments – there are more than 14 of them – have a range of different roles and allow for sideways, forward and backward motion, as well as providing stability to the delicate bones and nerves of the spinal column.
Whilst ligaments attach bones to each other and form joints, tendons attach muscles to bones and are made up of densely packed collagen fibers.
The muscles of the spine have the fastest contraction rate of any muscle in the body. There are four types of spinal muscle – forward flexors, lateral flexors, rotators and extensors. There are over 30 different muscles that connect to the spine and they are named according to their location, shape and the type of movement they control. These muscles are densely innervated – in other words they contain a large number of nerves – to control their movement.
As you can probably see if you have read all our articles about the spine – it is an extremely complex and delicate structure that works incredibly hard 24 hours a day, seven days a week just to keep us upright and mobile. Shouldn’t you make sure take care of it?
Taking care with lifting, watching your posture and getting the right kind of exercise will all help with spinal health. And the occasional visit to the Chiropractor – just to make sure all is in order – doesn’t go astray either!