08 Mar What are the normal spine curves?
Have you heard of "The Foetal position"? This refers to a body position of lying on your side with your knees pulled in and your spine rounded (Almost like you are pulling yourself into a ball shape). The reason this position is called the Foetal Position is because when a baby is developing and during the 1st year of life the shape of the spinal column is in a "C" shape. See the photo below to understand.
As the picture shows the difference in shape between a babies spine shape and an adults spine shape is dramatic. As we grow we develop secondary curves for a very good reason-because we are designed to stand and when we stand we need spinal "architecture" that can tolerate gravity effectively.
The reason we are designed to have the "S" shaped curves of the spine as an adult is because the gravity load gets nicely tolerated by the spine acting like a spring and having effective cushioning through the shape of the spine.
Problems, however arise when we start to lose our normal curves. The most common changes that take place are as follows:
- Our head moves forward from too much digital device use and deskbound time. This results in a straightening or even reversal of the normal neck curve
- Our Upper back/Shoulder blade region increases its curve (Hunchback). This happens also due to increased time spent sitting, increased stress levels, and increased time on digital devices.
- Our lower back over-arches or we sway back. This usually happens as a result of the other parts of the spine changing shape as mentioned in the above bullet points. then the low back needs to sway backwards to stop us from falling forward. This is a common cause of lower back pain.
If you are interested in learning more about posture and even checking to see if your own posture has obvious flaws, please download our free Posture Self assessment PDF. Download it below.
Dr Michael Bloom has a wide and varying interest in what it takes to live a healthy and happy life. He has over 20 years experience as a chiropractor in Europe and Australia and has attended over 40 post graduate seminars and courses. Currently he has a particular interest in the declining posture of society and the health implications associated with poor posture.