Our spines are amazing.

Your spine keeps you standing, sitting, walking, dancing and all other every day activities – but what happens to it as we age? What are conditions and disease that affect the spine? Is it inevitable that we will all end up hunched over when we’re older or are there things that can be done to keep your spine and back strong and healthy?

As back care experts, chiropractors get to see how your spine changes through the incredible cycle of life. Chiropractors get a unique view of how the body can handle the extraordinary stresses put on it every single day and in this series we look at the spine and how the cycle of life affects it.

It’s interesting to think that from the time we’re born, we rely on our spine. We use it every day – all day – because it connects our bodies and lets us do all the things we love to do. But the things we do can stress our spine and cause it to weaken if we’re not careful and paying attention to how we are treating our bodies.

The spine is a fascinating structure in the middle of the back. It consists of discs, tendons and ligaments that connect the 24 bones, called vertebrae. When these are all linked together they form your spine.

Vertebrae look like circles with wings on either side. The wings are bone that grow out and act as levers for your muscles to attach to. Vertebrae are separated by discs, which are cartilage and act as a shock absorber.

Thanks to Dr. Chad Kulak and Dr. Kelly Fleck (ACAC Council members) for their assistance with this series. If you have comments or questions for us, please let us know at Facebook/AlbertaChiropractors or Twitter @albertachiro.