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Interesting Spine Facts

Interesting Spine Facts

Here are a few interesting spine facts that will change the way you will look at your back.

The spine has a ton of working parts:

  • There are over 120 muscles in the spine.
  • The spinal column has about 220 individual ligaments that keep the vertebrae interconnected to keep the spine, the nerves and the spinal cord, stable.
  • There are approximately 100 joints in the spine. These joints allow for the spine’s extreme flexibility and range of motion.
  • Cartilage makes up 25% of the spine’s length—a very impressive type of tissue.

Interesting Spine Facts

The First Vertebra of the Spine Is Named After a Greek God:

  • The very first cervical vertebra is referred to as the Atlas, also the name of the mythological figure known for carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. This bone is so-named because it can support the weight of the skull.

Your bone count gets smaller as you age:

  • At birth we have 270 bones. But as adults we only have 206. Also as babies we are born with 33 vertebrae, but by the time we reach adulthood we only have 26. Four vertebrae combine to make up the tailbone and five vertebrae fuse to form the back of the pelvis.

Humans and long-necked giraffes share one thing in common—seven cervical vertebrae:

  • Very interesting if you take into consideration the giraffe’s height; however, this demonstrates well the flexibility and versatility of the spinal structure.

Gravity can impact the spine in a major way:

  • Humans shrink as they age. After the age of 40, the average person shrinks about 1/3 of an inch every ten years. As we age, gravity’s pull causes cartilage to loose water and shrink, causing our bodies to contract as well. This explains why Grandma is getting shorter. The reverse works too.

People come back from space taller:

  • Astronauts returning from space tend to be three percent taller than their original height. Without gravity, cartilage expands; so you can come actually back from your space adventure taller than you were before. This explains why astronauts gain approximately two inches of height as their exposure in space and microgravity allowed their cartilage discs to expand.

Sitting hunched over at your desk can put major pressure on your spine:

  • Sitting in a hunched-over position puts around 200 pounds of pressure on your lower back or lumbar spine. This is why so many Americans, especially those with office jobs can have low back pain.
  • The spine is very strong. In fact it can handle hundreds of kilograms of pressure. This is a good thing too, because something as simple as lying flat on your back with your knees elevated can put up to 25 pounds of pressure on your spine.

Your spine protects your spinal cord, which delivers messages throughout your body.

Motor Accidents are a Leading Cause of Spinal Injuries:

  • The most common cause of spinal cord injuries is motor accidents. While over 35 percent of spinal cord injuries are caused by road accidents, spinal injuries after the age of 65 are mostly a result of falls.

Back pain is among the most common reasons for a physician visit:

  • Approximately 80% of Americans will suffer from this condition at some point during their lives.
  • Back pain in also a leading cause behind disability claims in the United States.


20 Facts About the Spine, Georgia Spine & Neurosurgery Center; last accessed 6/28/2019
The Top Ten Spine Facts Every Person Should Know, 100% Chiropractic; last accessed 6/28/2019
10 Incredible Facts About the Human Spine, The Spine Institute; last accessed 6/28/2019

Related Articles:

Knowing Your Spine Anatomy by Long Van, D.C.
Understanding Nerve Pain Through Spine Anatomy by Luz Senan, D.C.
Your Spine and the Nervous System by Deric D’Agostino, D.C.
Look to the Spine! by Deric D’Agostino

Dr. Allamm Morales, M.D.

Dr. Allamm Morales has over 15 years experience in personal injury and a wide range of neurological disorders. He has privilege, and provides patient care in local Baptist hospitals.

He was Chief Resident at the Neurology Residency Program of the University of South Florida, and worked at the Florida Hospital of New Smyrna, and St. Luke Hospital in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He also served many years with the Florida Neurology Institute, Inc.

Dr. Morales is a Diplomate of the American Board of Vascular Neurology, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Dr. Morales studied in Nova Southeastern University, Davie, FL, had residency at the Caibarien General Hospital, Cuba, and obtained the MD degree at the Superior Institute of Medical Science in Cuba.

Fiaz Jaleel, M.D.
Physical Medicine & Rehab, Pain Management

“Life is short and precious. As a Physiatrist and Pain Physician my goal for my patients is to reduce their pain and suffering, enhance form, improve function and ultimately promote the best quality of life for that individual.”

Dr. Fiaz Jaleel graduated from the University of The West Indies in 1987. He completed a two year internship at Port of Spain General Hospital in Trinidad and Tobago. He completed his internship in Internal Medicine at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, IL and went on to do a residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis , MO. In 2007, Dr. Jaleel joined the team at Absolute Injury and Pain Physicians as Medical Director. He is currently Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as well as Pain Medicine via the American Board of Pain Medicine.

In Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Jaleel held positions as an Intern, House officer, and District Medical Officer. He has also practiced in Illinois, Missouri, South Dakota and Central and North Florida.

While practicing in Trinidad , Dr. Jaleel also worked in Internal Medicine, General Surgery, Pediatrics, Neonatology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery, Ophthalmology, Radiology, Neurosurgery, Plastic Surgery, Orthopedics, Emergency Medicine and Community Medicine.

Dr. Jaleel has encountered many diseases, disorders and clinical situations related to multiple aspects of trauma including penetrating and non-penetrating injuries, motor vehicular accidents and concomitant injuries including intra-abdominal injuries, closed head injuries, fractures and burns.

When not treating his patients, Dr. Jaleel enjoys travelling, reading and spending time with friends and family.

Dr. Jaleel has the following affiliations:
Diplomate, American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Diplomate, American Board of Pain Medicine
Fellow, American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Member, American Academy of Pain Medicine
Member, Florida Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Member, Florida Academy of Pain Medicine
Member, Florida Medical Association

Deric L. D’Agostino, D.C.
Chiropractic Physician

“The health of a body is in direct proportion to the health of its nervous system. The nervous system controls every cell, tissue and organ in your body, tap into that and “miracles” will most certainly happen!”

Dr. Deric D’Agostino attended the Logan College of Chiropractic and has been helping patients at Absolute Injury and Pain Physicians for the past nine years. Around here we call him “Dr. D.”

Dr. D’Agostino specializes in Koren Specific Technique and in the treatment of injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents. He is a master of his craft and firmly believes that chiropractic treatment can not only help the body but also the mind. His sense of humor and the personal attention that he provides really puts patients at ease.

Dr. D’Agostino genuinely listens to the patient while working very hard to erase their pain-inducing symptoms. He is always seeking out continuing education and new methodology to add to his care repertoire.

When he is not helping patients find relief, Dr. D’Agostino enjoys training for sprint triathlons, gardening, as well as being an awesome father and husband. You will most likely find him at our Arlington location dawning a huge smile while drinking his homemade juice.