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.

When we think of bones most of us automatically think about something solid. Maybe images of ancient dinosaur bones that have stood the test of time buried in the earth pop into your head … Bones are in our arms and legs, but they’re also in our spine and all of our bones go through their own cycle throughout life.

When we’re born, some of our bones aren’t bones at all – in fact they are made of a rubber-like compound called cartilage. Others are partially made of bone and cartilage, but our bones when we are younger are certainly not the same as the bones we graduate high school with…and none of our bones are solid. Not even the bones in our spines. They are flexible and only stiffen up as you age.

As an example of how soft our bones can be: sometimes little kids who break their arm don’t actually break the bone – what happens is that the bone bends. It is as painful as breaking a bone, but there isn’t a break. This is called a greenstick fracture. However, it is still possible for a full break.

As infants our growth and development is rapid. We are constantly being challenged by tumbles and falls, but also through our development. Did you know that the curvature of our spine is created by the movements and activities we do as an infant? Crawling and walking is essential to creating the normal S-shape that is so important for our spines to be strong and flexible.

As we age the outer layer of what we know as our “bone” become very hard but the inner part is softer and looks like a sponge. This combination allows our bone’s to be very strong and dense, but also light enough to move around.

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.