Blog #84: Each Part Affects the Whole
I recently experienced a bone fracture, which resulted in pain in several apparently unrelated places in my body. I say apparently, because once you know how the musculoskeletal system is put together, it becomes clear that the bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons all work together to keep the body strong and stable. It is amazing how exactingly constructed the body is.
Take the spine, for example: the bones of the spine, that is, the spinal vertebrae, are separated by softer, more flexible material that composes the spinal discs. When the disc material is new, the central area has a gel-like consistency. These discs cushion the vertebrae from each other and also help absorb shock from falls or other trauma. Stabilizing the vertebral column are a series of muscles and ligaments. Some of the small vertebral muscles are called the transverse spinalis, and multifidi. These muscles help extend and bind the spine and help the spine move in different directions. The spinal ligaments are strong, fibrous bands that hold the vertebrae together. Some are called the ligamentum flavum, the anterior longitudinal ligament, and the posterior longitudinal ligament.
Since each bone serves as an anchor for the connecting ligaments and muscles, when any fracture occurs, neighboring and even more distant bones are also affected and become less stable. Often, pain and weakness occur, but usually diminish and often completely resolve as the bone heals. If you have ever had the misfortune of suffering a bone fracture, you probably remember how not just the fractured area, but areas significantly removed from the injury also tended to be painful at first.
The rest of the body, from the feet to the skull, also contributes to overall structural stability. That is why it is important to wear good quality shoes that are evenly worn at the heel or sole. Orthotics can be important for those who have flat feet or who tend to have excessive foot eversion or inversion, which is frequently due to ankle injury or instability. The Strong Posture program and the associated exercises also help to stabilize the musculoskeletal system. You can bet that I am going to be working extensively with the strong posture exercises. Wish me great results.
This blog’s offer: in exchange for your good wishes for my recovery, feel free to email, call or visit my office to obtain a complimentary assessment of how strong posture exercises might be appropriate for you. I will teach you the first exercise in the series free of charge, whether or not you continue.