Human Spine Anatomy
The human spine comprises mainly of the spinal column, which is a vertical structure made out of cylindrical-shaped bones called vertebrae, which are cushioned in-between by intervertebral discs, as well as other parts that support the spine, namely processes and other bony structures, spinal joints (articulations) and nerve roots.
A vertebral body is also referred to as a motion segment, and together with the articulations attached to it, it allows the spine to bend and rotate. Spinal muscles and ligaments also play an important role in the movement of our backs and contribute to the spinal ROM (range of movement), allowing it to bend forward and backward (to a certain degree), as well as to perform lateral bending or lateral flexion.
This unique construction of the spine – made out of several segments – provides our spine flexibility and allows it to bend our in different directions, all while providing support for our upper body and keeping it upright, comprising what is often referred to as the biomechanics system of the spine.
In a healthy spine, the movements are fluid and pain is absent. However, there are several factors that may affect any structure of the spine, and throw this entire system out of balance, reducing one’s range of motion.
What Can Affect Your Range of Motion?
Because of the complex nature of the spine as well as the role it plays, it is at risk of damage either due to injuries, genetic and developmental issues, lifestyle factors, and spinal disorders that appear later in life. Although the lumbar spine range, or lumbar ROM is most at risk to be affected, all three spine regions can become damaged – the cervical spine (upper back), thoracic spine (mid back), and the lumbar spine (lower back).
Some examples of factors that can affect the spine include:
- A muscle strain or sprain can sometimes make it difficult to twist or bend one’s back without feeling pain, which primarily affects the thoracic and lumbar spine, but it can sometimes affect the neck muscles (e.g. due to awkward sleeping postures).
- Similarly, a pinched nerve in the back (often caused by a herniated disc) can also make it difficult to turn or bend due to the pain.
- Tightness along the spine may prevent movement to begin with.
- Some spinal disorders and changes in the spine may alter its structure, making it stiff, and difficult to move and even causing deformity. These include the formation of bone spurs, ankylosing spondylitis, and kyphosis.
- Lifestyle factors such as lack of exercise and stretching and holding a poor posture for a prolonged period of time can also reduce spinal range of motion.
- Degenerative changes in the spine, which alter the structure and shape of the spinal bones and discs.
- Compression of the spine, which presses down on the spinal column and its connected components, altering the shape of the spine, and adding increased stress on its joints, which are now less able to allow for movement.
How do You Improve Spinal Range of Motion?
Simple stretches may work in improving range of motion, stiffness and pain symptoms when these are caused by something mild. However, when it comes to spinal disorders such as disc herniation, sciatica, a pinched nerve, or even poor posture may require other approaches such as physiotherapy.
There is an even better method, that may work in alleviating pain and stiffness even for cases of chronic pain, especially those caused by compression of the spine. The solution in this case is to use a spinal decompression device called the Spinal Backrack.
Spinal Backrack - Back Pain Relief From the Comfort of Your Own Home
The Importance of Spinal Decompression for Spinal Mobility
Spinal compression is a process where your spine is pressed down – due to accumulated stress from physical forces that act on the spine as time goes by. This caused the spinal column (a hard structure) to be pressed down. As a result, it can crush other components (especially spinal discs and joints) and trap nerve roots, which can trigger pain sensations.
Additionally, because the spine can become misaligned, there may not be sufficient space to perform twisting or bending motions.
To combat both stiffness and pain along the back in this case, the best approach is to decompress your spine, in essence reversing the process of spinal compression. The Spinal Backrack is a unique product in this sense as it offers a targeted, highly-effective long-term solution to these problems.