Anatomy and Physiology 101

Oct 25, 2017
Carlsbad Chiropractor

There are 206 bones in the human body. There are long bones, short bones, flat bones, red bones, blue bones. No jk! I couldn't help myself with the Dr. Seuss rhyme that popped in my head! Anywho, instead of red and blue, there are sesamoid bones and irregular bones. Your spine consists of 33 vertebrae which are considered irregular bones and vary in shape based on the region of the spine and the function they are designed for. In your neck the bones are called cervical bones and are labeled from top to bottom, C1-C7. The mid-back or the thoracics are labeled T1-T12. These bones are really cool because they have special attachments for your ribs. The low back or the lumbar vertebrae are labeled L1-L5. You then have your sacrum which consists of 5 fused segments and last but not least your little coccyx on the bottom which is typically 4 fused segments. In between each bone is a little cushion called the intervertebral disc which acts as a shock absorber and prevents the bones from rubbing on each other. If you have ever seen or heard of people getting shorter as they age, it is due to a gradual dehydration and thinning of the discs as we age. There is no direct blood flow to these discs so what do you think is an important key in keeping these joints happy and healthy? If you guessed movement, then you would be correct! The technical term is called imbibition and it means that movement is the mechanism by which your spine essentially pumps water in and eliminates waste from the joint. Walking is an excellent and easy way to achieve this and practice good spinal hygiene. In addition to living an active and properly hydrated lifestyle, chiropractic care can make sure your joints are moving properly because after all that's what joints are supposed to do! Stay moving my friends!