Thursday, February 27, 2014

Spinal Support: The Body’s Three Main Curves

The human body is unique in form. From the spine to the bending of knees, to angles in which the neck can turn, every day we create new angles with our limbs. Out of all those possible angles, however, some are more important to body (specifically bone) health than others. By focusing on the main curves – each of us has three of them – you can improve your posture health and spinal support all in one.

While they might be slight, it’s these curves that hold the body in place and upright on a consistent basis. And by taking care of them, you can increase flexibility and strength of the spinal system as a whole.

So, what are these curves and why are they so important?

First, the lower back. Where the base of the spine meets the rear, each person juts out to create a cushioned seating space. The bones have to account for that “curve,” allowing the bum to offset itself from the back. Without this bend, we wouldn’t be able to sit up straight or properly align ourselves while walking.

Next, the middle of the spine. Though this curve is less severe, if you stop and look at the spine, it doesn’t sit perfectly straight. Rather, it curves slightly at the top and base to account for a body’s stance pattern.

Finally, the base of the neck. This area curves in slightly to allow the head to move as needed, and for the spine’s curvature to naturally take place.

How to Take Care of Your Spinal Curves

Now that we’ve established these main bone shapes, it’s important to know what to do with them. To avoid pains or aches, it’s best to allow the body to bend naturally. This means sleeping with curves, not against them. (For instance, on your side in a subtle C.) It also means staying aware of posture so the body can shape itself as best as possible.

Just by understanding the shapes of our bodies, we can better adjust our activities and reflect better bone health. Start sleeping (and sitting) smart to improve your own body curves.