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The Story of your Back

The part of our bodies we use the most each day, is our back, both for support and for movement. It gives a fixed base for our arms and legs and helps us to use them in many different ways, one of which is enabling us to use our arms at different levels. It also keeps our middle upright and secure when we walk and so maintaining a good posture.

Some have called the spine a ‘black box’ which we search in order to find the cause of our pain and discomfort. Now with the aid of research, we are able to see into this ‘black box’ more clearly and to uncover some of the structures and functions of this amazing part of our bodies. Knowing these we can understand the pattern of breakdown and intervene to prevent and restore the disabilities that develop with the many bones, joints and soft tissue which make up this multi-functional part of our bodies.

It has 132 joints of amazing design and is a perfectly balanced mechanism.

No wonder we need to care for it and treat it with respect. I hope to explain to you how this complex mechanism works. Perhaps the most important aspect of that care is keeping the cartilage discs in good shape as they influence everything around them. You will learn how to ' give them a drink',  supplying nutrients to keep them healthy. Also how to decompress the spine after sitting. If the discs are not nourished, the breakdown of our spine starts. I will also explain some of the painful conditions that  cause problems. You may discover that your disc has not slipped but there is a leak of its soft inner core out to the spinal canal.

Our lifestyles today do not favour our backs. We sit for long hours at a time which compresses our discs, squeezing more fluid out than is good for them. We use many appliances to do the work normally done by our bodies, which would ensure that we move our backs regularly, movement so necessary to the many little joints in our spine. Just as moving parts in a machine need to be used to stop them seizing up so it is with all our joints, A back that has seized up is a major problem, affecting all we do. Many slide into inactivity as a result of a painful back and a downward spiral of ill-heath occurs. Some never return to regular employment and a normal life. 

The best news is that moving our backs as much as possible is the best insurance for keeping our discs nourished.

This will maintain them in a good condition, and in turn our spines. The more we bend our backs in the correct way, the less trouble we have. Looking after your back is so simple, with high rewards.

I am indebted to Sarah Key, an Australian physiotherapist and well-known author of The Back Sufferers Bible, for this story. Through her expertise in setting out the inner workings of the spine, she opened my 'black box' and through her passion for sharing this information with colleagues and back sufferers alike, she has given many of us knowledge which is used in the care and treatment of a common, and at times, very disabling condition. I have been fortunate to attend her training course The Five Stages of Spinal Breakdown. I wish I had had this knowledge 40 years ago when I set out in my profession but thankfully it is never too late to learn. Thank you Sarah. 

Happy reading!