Articles Published on 2017-05-21

The Most Important Structure In Good Posture: Your Spine

To to dive a little deeper into the subject of good posture, let’s have a look at the most important structure concerning posture: your spine. We are talking about the structure that enables you to stand upright, twist, bend and most importantly, it protects your spinal cord. It consists of 33 individual bones, or vertebrae, and it has natural curves.

Why would you want to learn about your spine? Because then you will understand better why good posture is so important and what good posture is.

Monk standing straight

Summary

  • When you know more about the function and anatomy of your spine, you’ll better understand good posture and its importance
  • Your spine is made up of 33 individual bones, or vertebrae, with discs in between them to absorb shocks and allow movement
  • Your spine has a natural S-shaped curve
  • Good posture is very important for your spine since it can prevent damage to it

Vertebrae

The individual bones that make up your spine are called vertebrae. Try to imagine these vertebrae as if they were bricks, precisely stacked on top of one another. These 33 individual bones can be arranged into five regions, which each have unique features to perform their specific function:

The spine enables you to stand upright, twist, bend and it protects your spinal cord.

By now, you know that the spine’s main function is protecting the spinal nerves and supporting the body. You have also seen that every regions has a specific function; yet every of these vertebrae looks practically the same. Pictured below is one of the bricks that makes up your spine, a vertebra. Between every two of these bricks, lies an intervertebral disc that allows slight movement of the spine. When you have bad posture, any movements made by your spine can stress the vertebrae since the discs cannot facilitate good movement.

Vertebrae

It also has the crucial role of being a shock absorber. When you hold your spine in an unnatural position, the shock absorbers cannot work at their full ability. Since the connection from your brain to the rest of your body runs through your spine, it is such a vital structure.

Curves

When someone tells you to ‘’walk up straight’’, it does not mean that you should have a straight spine. Imagine viewing yourself from the side, you will see a natural curve that is S-shaped. The picture below shows a healthy and normal spine. When you look at the curves in the spine, you can reason what bad posture does to its alignment. When you are in a hunched over position, you will lose the curve in your neck, your thoracic curve will become more extreme and your lumbar curve will become less clear.

Spine

We hope that you now better understand what good posture is and why it is so important to protect your spine by having good posture. Let us know on twitter or in the comments below what you take away from this article or ask any questions that you might have!

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