With the perspective about spinal function as a three dimensional network of tissue with tension and responsiveness that equals a state of form; this will allow us to take a deeper look at how this part of the body takes on the day to day stress and turns it into biomechanical function for the overall well-being of the body.
The spine is the fulcrum point that takes on compressive forces and provides a framework of stability for the body as a whole. What is a fulcrum point? It is the point on which a lever rests or is supported and on which it pivots.
In order for the spine to adapt to forces from multiple angles with a mobile base of support, spinal integrity is created through a network of tissue that can distribute stress throughout the entire network of floating fulcrum points that contract and expand as the forces are applied to the body and spine from multiple angles.
This distribution of forces for optimal integrity is referred to as tensegrity. This principle describes the balance between stress affecting the spine through a state of compression within the vertebrae, discs, connective tissue, nerves and the body’s inherent recuperative response to that stress through expansion and adaptation. This back and forth compression and expansion creates a form of tonal tension throughout the entire network of floating fulcrum points.
The floating fulcrum points in spinal tensegrity can be labeled the vertemere. The vertemere is a Chiropractic term that describes the vertebrae, discs, connective tissue and the nerves embedded throughout the tissue. The vertemere becomes a mobile floating fulcrum point to forces by adapting to the load or stress through slightly expanding across the network of tissue. Compression and expansion within the spine creates a state of form to function. No matter how small the size of stress to the spine, change can and does occur to the whole network of spinal tissue in response for an optimal state of integrity to occur.
The human body is a living breathing organism that defies many man-made architectural creations. Tensegrity within the body and spine specifically is the most logical approach to how the inherent recuperative powers of the human body can resist daily stressors and an ever changing external and internal environment that affect the stability and functionality of adaptation. The principle of tensegrity and adaptation through compression and expansion through multiple vector points shows adaptation at the tissue level requires constant feedback and physiology for rapidly changing stressors that could potentially break the load bearing capacity.
At the forefront of that adaptation to daily stressors is the neurological system striving for coordination and healing from the breakdown at the cellular level that affects the stability and functionality of spinal integrity. The neurological system coordinates adaptation to the compression and expansion of contiguous floating fulcrum points through constant communication of vital electrochemical mental impulses from body to brain and back to body for adaptation to occur. Optimal adaptation requires optimal tension within the spine in order to protect the vital neurological communication taking place through the spine.
If spinal tension is too much or not enough, it can create physical interference to the vital neurological communication that has an intimate relationship to spinal integrity. Most people assume neurological interference is a physical bone putting direct pressure on the nerve. This assumption is most likely related to the elementary educational viewpoint that the spine is a two dimensional stack of blocks. Yes, there is physical architecture built for stability to stand erect, but the tensegrity within the spine supports the fact that the tissue can be stretched, pulled and have a too much or too little tension effect on the neurology.
This principle needs to be kept in mind when viewing optimal spinal function relating to an optimal state of tension and tone within the spine.