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What is the spine?

The spine is an important part of the skeleton that holds and supports the human body. Like an axis or like a flexible column, the spine forms the centre of the body and connects all the bones and parts of the skeleton. The spine enables a person to walk upright and move freely forwards, sideways and backwards. In addition, the spinal column protects the spinal cord, which is located inside the spinal column - in the spinal canal. It also cushions shocks and thus protects the body and brain from vibrations. Colloquially, the spine is also called the backbone.

How is the spine structured?

The human spine is divided into five individual sections: Cervical spine, thoracic spine, Lumbar spinesacrum and coccyx. Each section is made up of individual vertebrae. The human spine has a total of 33 to 34 vertebrae, which are differentiated according to their different functions. There are seven cervical vertebrae, twelve thoracic vertebrae and five lumbar vertebrae. These vertebrae belong to the mobile vertebrae and are connected by Intervertebral discsvertebral joints and Ligaments connected to each other. The five sacral and four to five coccygeal vertebrae fuse at the age of 20 to 25 to form the sacrum and coccyx. They therefore belong to the rigid vertebrae of the spinal column.

Depending on whether the vertebrae are located in the cervical spine or further down in the lumbar spine, they are structured slightly differently. This is because the vertebrae in the lumbar spine have to bear considerably more weight than the thoracic or cervical vertebrae. The lower vertebrae are larger than the upper vertebrae, which only have to carry the head, but the upper vertebrae allow more mobility than those further down. Basically, however, all of them - except the first and second cervical vertebrae - consist of a vertebral body, a vertebral arch, a spinous process, two transverse processes and four articular processes. The ligaments and muscles are attached to the spinous and transverse processes.

What is the shape of the spine?

If you look at the spine from the side, you can quickly see that it has an S-shape - in fact, it has two S-shapes. There is an S between the cervical vertebrae and the thoracic vertebrae and also between the lumbar vertebrae and the coccyx. The lower S-shaped curvature is called the Lordosis. However, if you look at the spine from the front, it should be more or less candle-shaped.

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a lateral deformation or curvature of the spine. The spine curves to the right or left at one point. In addition, individual vertebral bodies twist.

At the beginning, scoliosis usually causes no immediate discomfort. However, a pronounced scoliosis puts strain on all the structures involved, so that signs of wear and tear (e.g. Osteochondrosis) occur in the spine, which leads to pain, especially back pain.

What are the treatment options for scoliosis?

For mild to moderate curvatures of the spine, targeted exercises that strengthen the back muscles - and of course the abdominal muscles - are helpful.

In everyday life, especially in the office, you can support the strengthening of the back muscles by using active chairs. Active chairs from Aeris are designed to enable flexible, natural movements - quite incidentally while sitting - and thus activate and strengthen the muscles and prevent spinal and back problems.

Individual references

My back book, Prof. Dr. Dietrich Grönemeyer, Verlag Zabert Sandmann, 2004

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