The Human Spine

The spine is literally the supporting structure of the body. It has changed little since we decided to stand on our own two feet. The lower two vertebrae have grown more solid in improvement exclusively found in human beings.

In profile, the spine is curved in a faint S-shape to help it cope with the different kinds of load. It is this natural form that should be supported during sedentary work. Any modern office chair can do this but there are natural limits to it. We are not designed to sit still like that even in the correct position, for long periods of time, will create problems. Backaches will remind you when enough is enough.

The spine is well sprung with resilient discs between the vertebrae and luckily, too. Otherwise, just one ordinary step would result in a minor concussion. The sacrum and coccyx cannot move but the 24 other vertebrae are connected by moveable joints. Together they make a very elastic construction.

A wrong working posture, especially if you bend forward too much, will produce an uneven pressure on the discs. When the discs are "squeezed" out of shape, the surrounding tissue will compress or stretch. If the pressure becomes excessive, you may end up with a slipped disc. The outer ring of the disc will rupture so that the soft core will be squeezed out and press on the nerves.