You know the phrase “Put your back into it.” Well, it’s good advice because your back provides your body with its strength and functionality, but please, don’t put your back too hard into it because your spine is the most important thing you’ve got going. Your backbone is arguably the most fascinating thing about the human body and, you need to take care of it. While a spine specialist can help if you’re having problems, you want to take pains to avoid putting yourself in potentially harmful situations. Did you know these interesting facts about your spine?
Your body magically loses a few vertebrae along the way
Okay, so it’s not magic but, you do have fewer vertebrae now than you did as a baby. When you’re born, you have 33 vertebrae, but as an adult you have 26. So, where do they go? Different combinations fuse together to form the tailbone and the back of the pelvis, respectively.
Your spine is composed of hundreds of parts
Your spine is an incredibly complicated construction (which is why only a spine specialist can treat back problems) and is made up of many different parts. Think of all the muscles, ligaments, and joints your body could contain. Well, surely your guess is off, because the spine alone includes 120 muscles, 220 ligaments, and 100 joints.
You get taller in space
If you were an astronaut, you’d see that you actually grow taller while you’re in space. One quarter of your spine’s length is made of cartilage. In the absence of gravity, cartilage expands. When the astronauts return, they may find they are up to 2 inches taller than when they left. For those of us who aren’t astronauts, gravity affects us as well, but not in a good way. Humans grow shorter after the age of 40 because of gravitational forces, in addition to medical conditions like osteoporosis. But, hey, chin up. You’re slightly taller in the morning than at night if that makes you feel any better.
Back injuries are the second most common cause of pain in adults, next to headaches. They are also the number one reason people miss work due to disability. It’s essential that everyone is careful when lifting things and take the time to properly stretch. The spine is both fascinating but also precious. Everyone must do their very best to make sure they’re properly taking care of their backs.
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Alyssa Golden is an avid blogger always looking to share her experiences and recommendations. She has been involved in the medical industry for over 10 years. You can follow her on Twitter @madeofGolden.