Almost everyone now understands that exercise is good for the body. It promotes good cardiovascular health increased metabolism keeps our muscles strong and tends to give us a feeling of well-being. There is another benefit though that is not so well known and that is the benefit for our spine and nervous system!

Our spine requires regular motion to stay healthy. We know from experiments that when the spine is immobilized it actually begins to decay! In the absence of normal motion and healthy amounts of stress such as achieved during exercise ligaments and discs become thin weak and dehydrated joints become rigid and painful and bones weaken. When these structures decay we become prone to injuries such as herniated discs and painful inflammation of joints. Over time we lose our natural range of motion lose our proper spinal alignment and develop debilitating back and neck pain as we grow older.

More importantly however are the effects this has on our central nervous system which is made up of the brain the brain stem and spinal cord. Our spine which is often called our “back bone” is actually our “center bone”. Besides bones discs muscles and ligaments the spine also houses our most vital structure – the central nervous system the coordinator or “Master Control” of all of our body systems. The nervous system requires proper blood supply in order to function properly. In the same way that walking helps pump blood back to our heart from our lower limbs regular motion of the spine is also required to pump to and from to the spinal cord!

Sadly most of us take better care of our teeth than we do for our spines! While our teeth can be replaced our spine cannot. That is why it is so important to our long-term quality of life to take care of the one we have TODAY! If all you can do is take 5 minutes to move bend and stretch a few times throughout the day you are much better off than if you did nothing! If you can spend 5 minutes brushing your teeth in the morning and at night you can easily do the same for your spine!

Exercises such as yoga are so good for our health because they give motion to the spine and promote blood flow to the central nervous system. However exercise alone is often not enough. Spinal bones can still become “stuck” or fixated in improper positions that can make it difficult or even painful to exercise especially if we have had past injuries that have affected areas of the spine and these “stuck” bones affect our central nervous system. Chiropractors specialize in finding and correcting misalignments of the spine allowing us to have a healthy spine and nervous system and increased quality of life throughout our years.

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