Why Spinal Movement is So Important
Scientists now know that it’s not just physical exercise that’s important for your brain, but how your spine moves is also very important for keeping your brain healthy.
If we look at spinal movement in a very simplistic way, there are really three things we want our spine to be able to do on a regular basis.
Sometimes, for example, when we are running, we want our spinal bones to move together in a way that spreads and absorbs the impact forces generated by running.
By moving well together, the impact forces are shared equally across the spinal bones, and no damage takes place.
But other times, for example when we are lifting heavy objects, we want our spine to stiffen up to protect us. Without all the bones stiffening up like this we could injure ourselves while lifting heavy objects.
So how does our spine sometimes move and sometimes stiffen up?
Well, it’s the brain and central nervous system that does this for us by activating our spinal muscles.
The brain activates the correct muscles around the spine and skull in the correct order with perfect timing, to either allow for optimal movement, for example during running, or to allow for the spine to stiffen up, for example during heavy lifting.
Now there is one more thing we need from our spines, and that is for it to reflexively respond during times we’re experiencing some postural challenges.
In these cases, we need our brains to reflexively switch on and off the correct spinal muscles very, very fast so that we can maintain balance and stop ourselves from falling over.