The spine is made up of individual bones called vertebrae. These bones are joined
by ligaments which are fairly inelastic but allow a certain range of movement of
the vertebral joints. The spine provides the framework for muscles which are attached
by tendons. These muscles work in pairs, one flexing the joint and the other lengthening
to create movement. However, if a muscle goes into spasm (usually close to the tendon)
it will shorten which puts pressure along the tendon and restricts the movement of
the attached bone causing a misalignment. The associated muscle will have to compensate
for this and lengthen putting strain on both sides of the joint which is why it is
often associated with pain and stiffness.
The spine also encases the spinal cord which sends the information from the brain
to all the organs in the body including the muscles. This is achieved via peripheral
nerves which exit between the vertebral joints. Misalignments can cause narrowing
of the gaps which can interfere with the nerve impulses reaching the body effectively
and can have an affect on bodily functions as well as co-ordination and movement.
For optimum health and performance it is vital that bones are moving freely and the
joints are within their natural range of movement.