Oh, give me some bones
That are sturdy as stones,
That connect from my head to my toes.
My bones help me out,
Help my body about,
They protect it wherever it goes!
In honor of Halloween this weekend, it is only appropriate that we honor and acknowledge one of the iconic figures of this season. It has both scared and enticed children of all ages for decades. Scary movies have used it to strike fear into the viewers and the Grateful Dead made it psychedelic. What are we talking about? The human skeleton!!! Everybody has one, but how much do you really know about? Pay attention because there will be a quiz at the end…
What is it?
The human skeleton is made up of individual bones as well as fused ones (such as the cranium or pelvis). They are supported by muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage. It is the framework of your body that protects and supports your organs and is the place where your muscles attach. Your femur (thigh) is the biggest bone in your body, while the smallest is a bone in your ear called the stapes. As an adult, your skeleton covers approximately 30-40% of your body weight. Half of that weight is water, which is another reason why physicians tell you to drink so much of it each day.
We are all born with over 300 bones, but as we grow, many of these bones fuse together (such as the sacrum and vertebrae), and as an adult we end up with 206.
Your skeleton does more than keeping you from looking like a quivering pile of mush slithering along the floor. There are six major functions of those bones. They are:
Support – No mush here. Your skeleton provides the structure that supports your body and maintains the overall shape.
Movement – Your joints, which connect the bones, also allows movement, some more than others. A “ball and socket” joint (such as the hip or shoulder) provides much more flexibility than a “hinge” joint (elbow).
Protection – Your skeleton protects the other softer parts of your body. Some examples of this are:
o Your vertebrae protects your spinal cord.
o Your rib cage and sternum protect your heart and lungs.
o Your skull protects your eyes and brain.
Blood cell production – Your skeleton is where haematopoiesis (the formation of blood’s cellular components) occurs. This takes place in red bone marrow in the center of long bones.
Endocrine regulation – The cells in your bones release a hormone called osteocalcin. This hormone assists in the regulation of your blood sugar.
Why Chiropractic is the Best Therapy
The foundation of a Doctor of Chiropractic’s practice is based on the musculoskeletal system. Although many people refer to us as bone doctors, we are really nerve doctors, as nerves come out in between the vertebrae in the spine and go to the organs, muscles, tendons and ligaments mentioned above. There is a reason why so many athletes see chiropractors. They specialize in working with the structure of the spine, which ties in with performance and physiology as well as overall great posture.
Chiropractic therapy was discovered in 1895 and was once a part of traditional allopathic medicine. The philosophy behind it is that of “vitalism” meaning that the body is capable of healing itself. The term ‘chiropractic’ comes from two Greek words, ‘cheir’ and ‘praktikos’, which means treatment by hand, or manipulation. Generally chiropractic manipulation utilizes gentle hand movements known as “adjustments”. There are approaches that are force or non-force in nature. Usually care is centered around the spine and since the nervous system controls and coordinates the function and physiology of the body, it is panoramic in its ability to repair and heal injuries and create peak potential for pain relief and wellness overall.
The real “touch” of a chiropractor is acquired through years of training and then practice. What Doctors of Chiropractic often make look easy is not always as it seems. This type of clinical care should not be attempted by an ordinary person or even an untrained medical professional as only chiropractors are uniquely trained in aligning the spine properly. We usually align based on biomechanics and not solely on where the pain lies. We work with the entire frame of the spine, meaning an area of pain in the neck could be caused by your low back and areas in the low back may be affected by your neck or mid-back.
Like chiropractors themselves, the numerous kinds of chiropractic techniques vary depending upon each person’s unique clinical situation. It is important that you find both a chiropractor and a method that you are comfortable with. When you go for a first consultation, ask the chiropractor about their background and approach. Finding the right chiropractor is almost as important as finding the perfect costume for that big Halloween party this weekend.
If you have questions or need further information about this topic, please go to http://www.lynnkerew.com. Other great articles about the spine and body can be found on our fantastic blog (that you should join!) at http://www.lynnkerew.com/blog. If you wish to contact Dr. Lynn Kerew directly, feel free to email her at [email protected].
Happy Halloween and Booooooooo!!!!