The spine is a very complex mechanical structure that is highly flexible yet very strong and stable. In the normal spine, regardless of your position or activity, including sleeping, there is always some type of physical demand being placed on it.
The primary functions of the spine include:
• Protect the spinal cord, nerve roots, and internal organs
• Provide flexibility of motion
• Provide structural support and balance for upright posture. The spine bears the load of the head, shoulders and arms, and upper body. The upper body weight is then distributed to the hips and legs. The spine attempts to keep the body’s weight balanced evenly over the pelvis. This reduces the amount of work required by the spinal muscles and can eliminate muscle fatigue and back pain.
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