Dr. Kristen Mitteness
Happy Spine, Happy Body
The brain is your body’s major control system. It tells the rest of your body to do or not to do something. It can be conscious: you choose to pick up a glass of water; or unconscious: your heart beats. Your brain communicates to the rest of your body through the nervous system. The nervous system is comprised of the brain and spinal cord which is protected by the skull and spine, respectfully. When your spine is healthy, your nerves can freely travel from your brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body, including your organs. This allows you to ride a bike, properly digest food, play with your kids, breathe and even enjoy your favorite board game.
We often pay attention to our back when it hurts. Pain is an excellent sign that something has gone awry. Did you know that less than 10% of your nerves actual provide a pain signal? And often, pain is the last symptom to show up and the first to go away. A nerve may be irritated even though you are not in pain. Any type of stressor can cause this including chemical, mental and physical stresses. If our spine is not healthy, how can the rest of the body be healthy? It becomes difficult for the brain to properly communicate with the rest of the body without a healthy spine to allow the nerves to do their intended job.
There are many factors that provide to the health of the spine.
Movement is an excellent component. The more we move, the more our joints get “oiled”. Motion is lotion! Movement and exercise also keep the fluid surrounding our spinal cord flowing freely, allowing it to get the nutrients it needs.
Proper nutrition contributes to your spine and nervous system health. You are what you eat. Everything you consume will either make your cells healthier or sicker. The basic components of both your bones and nerves are cells, which are much better at their job if they are provided the fuel they require.
A regular spinal check up is a great way to make sure your spine is functioning the way in which it is intended. Chiropractors provide this service to their patients. They work to influence the nervous system so it can do its job properly, keep joints moving the way they should which in turn influences the muscles involved. They can also address any postural imbalances that may be inhibiting the proper flow of nerves. When everything is aligned, the machine that is your body will move much more efficiently. Similarly to getting your teeth checked and your car serviced, your spine deserves the same kind of maintenance.
Keeping your spine in tip-top shape means your brain can keep communicating with the rest of your body and you can keep enjoying everyday life. Because, a happy spine is a happy body.