Say Hello to Your Spine: Spinal Motion Segments Explained

Understanding your spine is the best way to keep it healthy

Spinal motion segments are the functional units that allow for the mobility of your spine. Between each of the 33 vertebrae in your spine is an individual mobile unit comprised of:

  • The two vertebrae
  • The intervertebral disc 
  • Two facet joints 
  • A network of ligaments and tendons

The first three are called the articular triad; these are the three components that allow for articulation between vertebrae and the overall movement of the spine. Healthy spinal motion segments allow for a reasonable degree of movement in the upper body while also stabilizing the spine and preventing injury from excessive movement. 

Dysfunction in the spinal motion segments

If that wasn’t a dystopian headline… but the unfortunate truth is that things frequently do go wrong with the spinal motion segments; this leads us down the road toward back pain and degeneration of the spinal structures. The two most frequent problems which face spinal motion segments are: 

  • Hypomobility: limited range of motion 
  • Hyper mobility: excessive range of motion

Both conditions are capable of stressing facet joints and compressing spinal nerves which exit at every level of the spine. 

Keeping spinal motion segments healthy

You can mitigate problems associated with hypo- and hyper-mobility in the spinal motion segments by following a general guideline of diet and exercise. But at a certain point, this may cease to be enough; as the pressures of gravity, poor posture, and age accumulate, your spine may need a helping hand. We make sure that all the knowledge is in your hands: from therapeutic stretching and exercise techniques to hands-on modalities that maintain spinal alignment and reduce intradiscal pressure, we are your go-to source for spinal health. 

If you are interested in improving your spinal health and maintaining the integrity of your spinal motion segments, give our office a call to schedule an appointment today.