The Impact Spinal Health has on Your Overall Body
One of the most important features of the human body is the spinal column but many are still uncertain of its functions. Aside from this, most people do not know how to keep it healthy and strong. The spinal column has two crucial purposes in the body. It holds and shields the central nervous system. In addition, it ensures that the body is upright and balanced.
Many are unaware that the spinal column is very sensitive and can be extremely vulnerable to strains and injuries. An injured spinal column affects many bodily functions even in apparently unconnected ways. Spinal health is a very important part of your overall wellness. A healthy spinal column makes it easier for the body to achieve its best health. Here’s how a spinal cord injury can impact the body.
After a spinal cord injury, the muscles in the abdominal, diaphragm, and intercostal regions that are utilized for coughing and breathing could become weak. To remove bacteria and secretions from the lungs, our body coughs. Having a weak cough will not clear your lungs from these secretions and bacteria. As a result, the body is at a greater risk of catching or developing an infection like pneumonia.
Spinal Cord Reflexes
A normal functioning body enables the transmission of messages starting at the brain passing through the spinal cord and going to different parts of the body that cause movements. An injured or damaged spinal cord will not allow the message get through. These signals could not reach the spinal tracts towards the brain. Reflex movements could happen but these are uncontrolled ones.
When this happens, all the reflexes of the spinal cord under the injury level are temporarily lost. When spinal shock culminates, a person may feel stiffness or spasticity under the spinal cord level where there is an injury. Unfortunately, the spinal shock has no treatment, could not be prevented, and only resolves on its own.
Altered Temperature Regulation
If there is a spinal cord injury, a person may not be able to make goosebumps or sweat. When this happens, the body is unable to adjust its temperature. One minute you might need a blanket to keep himself warm then a few minutes later, he might feel hot and would need a fan.
Neurogenic Shock or Low Blood Pressure or Heart Rate
Normally, the brain controls the heart rate and the blood pressure of the body. The signals coming from the brain deliver signals to the spinal cord to tighten the blood vessels and increase the heart rate. This process occurs in order to maintain normal heart rate and = blood pressure. When these signals could not pass through the spinal cord, a person could suffer from slow heart rate and low blood pressure.
If the blood vessels are expanded, the blood pressure may drop when the bed’s dome is suddenly raised. The blood vessels could not constrict quickly to keep the blood pressure normal. This is known as orthostatic hypotension. To minimize this risk, the bed’s dome must be raised gradually. It would also be helpful if the person uses an abdominal binder.
What Can Cause Spinal Problems?
According to various research, problems involving the spinal cord and column have more than one cause. However, there are several things that could increase the potential of experiencing spinal injuries. Some influencing factors that cause spinal problems include the following:
- Weak muscles
- Poor posture
- Imbalance of the muscles
- Muscles around the spine have poor mobility
- Poor biomechanics
- Inactive lifestyle
Dos and Dont’s of Spinal Health
There are some healthy habits that are very helpful in ensuring the health of the spine. On top of the list is staying active through the day. But, it is also important not to overwork your back muscles. This could cause joint restrictions and strains.
Most people do not realize that being inactive or staying still is as harmful as too much movement. The spine and the body, as a whole, grow well on stretching and fluidity. It could be difficult to integrate movement in one’s daily routine especially if you are working on an inactive setting or at a desk most of the time.
If this is the case, try to remind yourself to stand and stretch every hour or take a quick walk. Eat a well-balanced diet and stay hydrated. A dehydrated body is prone to fatigue and strains. For diet, avoid foods that could cause inflammation like foods high in salt, sugar, and fat content.