Can Your Spine Make You Harder to Kill?
"Strong people are harder to kill, and more useful in general" It's certainly not the most uplifting or inspirational quote I've ever posted, but I think it's an idea that has great merit when we break the idea down. The idea of "wellness" is polluted with imagery of people drinking green smoothies and frolicking in a field of dasies. But at it's core, the idea of wellness is really about producing a fit organism who is most resiliant in the environment in which it exists. It's about becoming an organism that is best able to resist things that can kill us. Why does someone take vitamins and supplements? To prevent illness and become harder to kill. Why does someone eat organic? To reduce toxicity and become harder to kill. Why does someone exercise? To lose weight, feel sexier, reproduce, and become harder to kill. With chiropractic commonly being thrown into the bucket of things that someone will do for wellness, we have to ask ourselves an important question. Is there something about the spine that can make ourselves "Harder to Kill"?
Survival Value and The Spine Before the industrial and agricultural revolution an injury or weakness to the spine could be catastrophic to a human being. We take it for granted now because we have social safety nets (Workman's Comp, Personal Injury Protection, Short/Long Term Disability Insurance, Sick Leave, Etc) that can protect a person from losing their livlihood when they have an injury. But think about those times when you had your spine go bad on you. Here's what likely happened:
Any small movement could knock you down from pain
Movements are slow and apprehensive
Loss of power and strength for running, jumping, lifting, etc.
Extended periods of bed rest Anyone who's had a significant back or neck injury will tell you that it's impact on their quality of life is far worse than injuries to the shoulders, arms, legs, etc. When you lose function of one of your extremity, you can still count on normal function of the other extremities. When you lose function of things that are more central, you can lose greater function in the body as a whole. Generally speaking, injuries to along the midline of the body will tend to affect you more than things that are further away.