Basic Anatomy of the Spine

Posted by on Jan 8, 2016 in Back Pain | 0 comments

Anatomy of Back Pain

spinal anatomyAs a Chiropractor it is essential to be able to properly diagnose where a patients problems are coming from.     Knowing the basic anatomy and how each problem can present goes a long way in prescribing proper treatment.

 

Your back is made up of your spinal column, ligaments, tendons, muscles, nerves, blood vessels and discs.  The Spinal column consist of vertebrae that are broken into 3 major categories including cervical, thoracic, and lumbar (Sacrum and Coccyx are continuations of the spinal column). Each of these regions should have  distinct curve when looking from the side.  These curves and the generally structure of the spine are supported by the ligaments that act as rubber bands allowing motion but restricting excessive motion.  Muscles of coarse are designed to create movement of the spine.  Tendons are important because this is the connection between the muscle and the bones.  Discs are used to provide cushioning in between the individual vertebrae as well as allow for movement.  Blood vessels are abundant in the spine insuring proper oxygen and nutrition to all the above mentioned  structures.  There is one exception, disc have very poor blood flow and are for the most part avascular.   The most important part of your back is your nerves.   Your spinal column fully encapsulates spinal cord which receives information from the brain to distribute out to the entire body.  At each spinal level nerve roots exit the spine and continue on to their intended destination.  This system allows for each and every piece and part of our body to connect with our brain.  There are 24 individual segments of the normal spine. (26 if you count sacrum and coccyx)

Back pain can be a very complex condition to treat simply because there are so many pain generators in the back.   All of the above mentioned structures can cause back pain.   Even more complex is that many of these structures produce similar symptoms and disguise as each other.   Further complicating the matter is that rarely is it just one structure that is the culprit.  Often times to or three if not more structures need to be addressed to fully correct the problem.

It is important that a detailed history and exam is performed to properly locate the structures at the root of each individual problem.   Successful diagnoses of this significantly improves end results.

If your back has been troubling you lately give your local Woodstock Chiropractor a call and let us help you get back to 100%.

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