What is a healthy spine?
A healthy spine is when all the vertebrae in the spine are perfectly lined up.
So what if all the vertebrae are not perfectly lined up?
The vertebrae that are out of line tend to pinch the nerve that leaves the spine at that point. This is known as a subluxation.
Oh, I know all about pinched nerves, they are very painful. So, all I need to know is that whenever I get a pinched nerve, I need to see a Chiropractor.
Not so fast. Most nerves do not carry pain, so you never know when they are pinched. However, they go to various organs throughout your body, and affect how well these organs function, how well they resist disease, and how rapidly they age.
OK, so what are some of the things that cause vertebrae to subluxate?
The most common thing is lack of hydration. The vertebrae consist of water inside, covered by a thin layer of film, through which the old water seeps out and the fresh water seeps in. If there isn’t enough fresh water to seep into the vertebrae, it will eventually subluxate. This in turn, causes some people to lose significant height and be bent in their later years.
So how much water should I drink?
Half your body weight in ounces, For example if you weigh 120 pounds, you should drink 60 ounces of water per day. If you weigh 180 pounds, then 90 ounces. We strongly recommend that the water be properly filtered or bottled water.
So if I drink all this water then I don’t need to see a chiropractor.
Not so fast. Drinking water is a necessary but not sufficient condition for a healthy spine. There are many activities and sports that can cause subluxations. For example golf, tennis, and baseball involve twisting your body, which throws your spine out of alignment (ie subluxations). Basketball involves running and jumping on hard surfaces which tends to compress your spine and push it out of alignment. Simply walking, jogging, and running on hard surfaces can have the same effect. By regularly changing your shoes every 250 miles or so, can minimize this effect.
However, regular visits to a chiropractor is the only way keep your spine in alignment and minimize the amount of height shrinkage in your later years. Height shrinkage is not reversible so it is important that you start seeing a chiropractor at an early age.
Is there anything else I can do, besides drinking a lot of water, to help me maintain a healthy spine?
Yes, be conscious of maintaining good posture at all times, whether you are sitting, standing, or walking around. This could slow your height shrinkage even more.
Article written by Joel Prostick, the founder of Pioneer Athletes. He is solely responsible for its contents.
Image above is Joel’s spine being adjusted by his Chiropractor. For more information contact Joel@PioneerAthletes.com