The Spinal Stabilizing System – Frederick Chiropractor Discusses Spine & Disc Pain

The “Spinal Stabilizing System” is a complex biomechanical anatomical system that allows the body to dissipate force and allow safe spinal motion without injury.

The Tensegrity model explains the stability of the spine. The curving nature of the spine means that, if there were no attachments to it (like muscle and ligaments) it would not be able to stand freely, it would instead topple over. Instead of being alone, though, the bones of the spinal column are connected in a very complex manner by hundreds of ligaments and dozens of muscles, as well as discs, arteries, veins, lymph vessels, and nerves. These soft tissues create a matrix-like network of attachments that create stability with a mixture of tension and compression.

The Sacroiliac (SI) Joints: the SI joints are the two knobby bulges on either side of the base of your spine. At these joints two types of forces, form and force closure, combine to stabilize the SI joints to let it properly accept force from the upper body to the head or downward, and from the lower extremity to the trunk and upper extremity. Without proper SI function, forces will not be transferred correctly.

The spinal column is a stabilized axis. Without muscles to stabilize the spine, a small amount of weight (less than 20 lbs.) can cause the spine to collapse. The inherent stabilizing system in the spine is meant to carry loads, protect the nervous system, and allow movement.

3 subsystems of the spinal stabilizing system:

  1. Passive musculoskeletal system – the spinal column (including discs and ligaments)
  2. Active musculoskeletal system – the spinal muscles
  3. Neural and feedback system – the neuromuscular control unit

Normal function of the spinal stabilizing system should provide sufficient stability to match instantaneously varying demands due to:

-postural changes

-static loads

-dynamic loads

An important consideration is that movements of the extremities (arms and legs) are perhaps the most profound inputs of stress to the spine.

Degradation of the spinal stabilizing system occurs due to:

  • Injury
  • Degeneration – 2 causes of disc degeneration: immobilization (subluxation or fixation) and the application of abnormal forces (injury to the back or neck)
  • Disease

All processes or injuries that affect the stabilizing system of your spine can cause back pain, either due to a disc putting pressure on a nerve or from a spastic muscle. Prompt chiropractic care can help resolve this and reduce the pain.

A chiropractor trained in addressing spinal instability should treat these types of conditions. Call Park Bench Chiropractic at (301) 378-0334 to discuss your health with Dr. Rob and set up a free consultation. Our warm and inviting office in Frederick, Maryland looks forward to helping you achieve a new level of health and wellness.

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