Facts about the spine
The human spine consists of 34 vertebrae, separated by soft intervertebral discs. A healthy spine
is S-shaped with two curves ensuring a high degree of flexibility. The forward curvature is called lordotic curvature and consists of the cervical and lumbar spine. Backward curvature is called kyphotic curvature and consists
of the thoracic spine and sacrum.
The spine and its function
The spine is quite flexible in its entirety. The moving part of the spine is subjected to a lifetime
of stress. In addition, it must bear the weight of the upper body and withstand additional stress that we are exposed to during difficult work. In doing so, the inter-vertebral discs can fail. While each inter-vertebral disc has a firm outer envelope, it can break at high pressures, slip through the crack
of the soft core, which can narrow the spinal canal and cause pressure on the nerve structures arising from the spinal cord (called "front and the cabinet nerve") and cause pain that spreads along
the affected nerve (sciatic nerve).
Lumbar spine in humans is most burdened due to its upright posture. To even walk upright, the lumbar spine should bend slightly forward. In irregular loads the ligaments between
the vertebrae can cause damage to the inter-vertebral discs or even tearing of muscles.
All this leads to severe pain and inability to work, which is one of the main causes
of absenteeism from work and later disability.
The spine is the "cornerstone" from bone and cartilage, which extends from the pelvis to the skull, supports the torso and head, protects soft tissues that pass through the spinal canal and holds both the body and upright posture. It is flexible in all directions - forward, back, sideways and limited in its axis. The spine from the transition of walking on all four limbs to predominantly walking on two took the form of the letter "S". It protects the spinal cord and spinal nerves. It consists of vertebrae, which are slightly different in every part of the spine.
The spine has 32 or 33 vertebrae, 24 of which are related to each other through movement.
The correct shape of the spine is ensured by muscles, which maintain the spine in a correct position.
If weakening and shortening of these muscles appear, the spine may begin to bend.
Such misalignment can occur both horizontally - scoliosis and vertically - enlarged lumbar lordosis. In this case, pressure will increase on each intervertebral disc. Most often this happens
in the lumbar area, here the pressure is the greatest. All this is due to an improper way of life, usually frequent improper seating. If chairs with fixated seats are used (i.e. all office and ergonomic chairs), this will weaken the stabilizing muscles. They become thinner, shorter and will continue to increase the load on the spine. Increased lumbar lordosis then produces the pressure on the intervertebral discs, which may eventually lead to their slipping. In this case surgery is needed. Such situations can
be avoided by sitting on a a chair with its seat propped on a spring activating muscles and supporting sufficient blood flow and regeneration. Muscles stay strong and flexible and are able to support
the spine and carry the weight of the upper body.
The proper selection of a chair is very important for a healthy spine, especially to people who spend more than one hour per day in a seated position.