20 Fun Facts About The Spine!
The spine really is our back bone. It is the strength, the support, the foundation and the flexibility for our bodies. It’s a very complicated, intricate and fascinating structure, it really is!
Here are 20 amazing facts about the spine, which may surprise you!
1. When we’re born, our spines consist of 33 individual vertebrae
2. This number changes as we age, with some of these vertebrae fusing together
3. We have 3 sections of our spines – the neck, the middle back and the lower back
4. Both giraffes and humans have 7 vertebrae in their cervical spine – our necks!
5. You have 12 vertebrae in your thoracic spine – the middle back
6. You have 5 vertebrae in your lumbar spine – the lower back
7. About 10% of the population have 6 lumbar vertebrae instead of 5
8. The first bone of the neck is called the Atlas. This comes from the Greek mythological Atlas who was burdened with carrying the “world on his shoulders” (much like the neck supports and carries the weight of the head)
9. We have over 120 muscles that support the spine, over 100 joints and over 200 ligaments! That is a lot!
10. The discs in between each vertebrae are primarily made up of water!
The spine really is fascinating, but while its complexity interests us, it’s also one reason it can be a pain in the back!
11. We are taller first thing in the morning! This is due to the changes in disc pressure affecting the cartilage and spinal length
12. Did you know, the spine is so flexible that if we were to bend it around, it would almost form a circle!
13. A 1/4 of the spine’s total length is created from the cartilage (discs) which separate one vertebrae from the next
14. We get shorter as we age! Over the years, cartilage reduces making us decrease in height as we age
15. Beside the common cold, back pain is the most common reason to visit a doctor in the world!
16. There are 13.5 million neurons (or nerve cells) in the spinal cord and weighs only 35g!
17. There are 4 main movements of the spine – bending forwards, backwards, side bending and twisting
18. Back pain affects over 90% of the population, meaning it is almost inevitable that we will experience an episode of back pain at some point in time in our lives!
19. The spine is so strong and super robust, able to sustain the weight and pressure of hundreds of kilograms!
20. The spine has an excellent memory! It is recommended that we take care of our backs from a young age. Things like proper support, good posture, strengthening and regular stretching are healthy spinal habits we should be encouraging from early on!
If you’re suffering from a niggling spine, let us know so we can help! Or if you have any other fun facts about the spine, comment below and let us know 🙂