Stiff spinal joints limit range of motion and cause pain
Whether it’s due to the chronic inflammation involved in arthritis, acute injury, or tight muscles surrounding the joint capsules, a stiff and sore spinal joint is sure to throw a wrench in your best laid plans. And that wrench often hurts- the stiffness itself is a precautionary measure telling your body not to move this particular region excessively in order to avoid reaching a breaking point. The cruel irony is that motion actually facilitates healing so, in order to reduce stiffness and pain, we need to focus on improving range of motion. How do we do that? Spinal mobilization.
Your spine consists of four primary curves
The cervical curve at the top of your spine consists of 7 vertebrae in a concave shape; the thoracic consists of 12 vertebrae in a convex shape; the lumbar 5 of the largest vertebrae in the spine forming a concave shape; and finally the sacral curve, consisting of 5 fused vertebrae and a convex shape. These curves link together to form the S-shape of your spine, enabling it to compress and expand in order to perform shock absorbing and movement duties. The essential shape of your spine is important for staying upright and preventing pain, but there are many forces working against you. Over time, the compressive nature of gravity, along with other factors, conspires to alter the curvature of your spine.