18514 N. Dale Mabry Highway - Lutz, FL 33548 - Telephone: 813-968-9411 - Fax: 813-963-2407


Dr. Mike Radice

It’s Good to Have Curves!

Of course, by that I mean in our spines.  And by that, I don’t mean the scoliosis-type curves we often associate with our skeletons.  Proper maintenance of the “front to back” curves in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions is vital to our optimal function and wellbeing.  Picture the curve on a banana and think about what might happen if you try and straighten it! 

The lordosis (forward curve) and kyphosis (backward curve) found in the regions of the spine make up an overall “S-Curve” which acts as a spring.  This spring action serves to share the weight of gravity and other forces which act on our spine and skeleton all the time.  Gravity is, by far, the greatest of these forces and is unrelenting, “loading” our spines with tremendous force over time.  Without the ability of the spine to dissipate those loads evenly (using its curves), our bodies experience numerous symptoms of acute and chronic pain, advanced degenerative changes, headaches and others. 

How do we preserve the curves?  I touched on posture a few issues ago regarding computer use and head position in general.  Forward head carriage eliminates the cervical lordosis and begins the process of degenerative changes in the vertebrae and reduces the spine’s ability manage outside forces, creating painful regions at the base of the neck and mid-back.  Poor sitting practices can reduce the lumbar lordosis, bringing about similar negative changes in the low back.  Poor bone quality/osteoporosis can lead to vertebral fractures which dramatically alter the thoracic kyphosis – also known as a “dowager’s hump” in the mid-back, causing all manner of structural complications and pain.  And of course, significant weight gain (especially in the belly) can “pull” on the low back and increase the lumbar curve to problematic levels. 

Good ergonomic practices at the computer and other work environments will help ease the strain on the muscles and structures of the neck and low back.  Managing bone density with proper monitoring, nutritional intake, and weight-bearing exercise will keep the vertebrae strong and able to withstand external loads and forces as we age.  Proper weight management (besides for the literally dozens of other reasons) is also a key in low back health and proper alignment.

By managing posture, proper diet (for bone density, weight, and heart concerns) and maintaining good spinal health (stretching, strength, chiropractic, and other healthy practices), we can keep our curves and feel better now and going forward.

18514 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Lutz, FL 33548
Tel: 813.968.9411  |  Fax: 813.963.2407

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