The Spine 1: Master of your body !

The following information is intended as a resource and should not be used to self-diagnose or treat.

Over the next few issues of the Djoniba Newsletter, we will share with you critical health information concerning your back with particular focus on the spine.  From the back structure to potential injury and injury prevention to safety tips, we will address those different topics as an information guide to help you better understand your back.

The spine structure: Your back is a complex and intricate structure of bones, muscles, and other tissues extending from your neck to your pelvis.

Your spine is a column of 33 bones (called vertebrae) that extend from your skull to your pelvis.  Between each vertebrae  is an intervertebral disk that acts as a shock absorber.



The spinal disk:  The spinal disc has twobasic parts: an inner Jell-O like center called the Nucleus Pulposus and an outer surface called the Annulus Fibrosis. The Nucleus Pulposus  is the water-rich (proteoglycan-rich), gelatinous center of the disc.  The Annulus Fibrosus  is much more fibrous (tougher) than the nucleus, and is made of a tough cartilage-like substance. Its main job is to hold-in-place the highly pressurized centre (nucleus), which can escape its central prison.




The vertebrae are made of  bones and are divided in four sections: Cervical vertebrae (your neck), Thoracic vertebrae (your upper back), Lumbar vertebrae (your lower back), and the Sacrum and Coccyx (the base of your spine).

Each Vertebrae is referred to with numbers and affect different part of your body:


C1: To supply blood to the head, pituitary gland, scalp, bones of the face, brain inner and middle ear, sympathetic nervous system, eyes, and ears.

C2: Eyes, optic nerves, auditory nerves, sinuses, mastoid bones, tongue, forehead, and heart.

C3: Cheeks, outer ear, face, bones, teeth, trifacial nerve, and lungs.

C4: Nose, lips, mouth, Eustachian tube, mucus membranes, and lungs.

C5: Vocal cords, neck glands, and pharynx.

C6: Neck muscles, shoulders, and tonsils.

C7: Thyroid gland, bursa in the shoulders, and elbows.


T1: Arms from the elbows down, including hands, arms, wrists and fingers; oesophagus and trachea, and heart.

T2: Heart, including its valves and covering coronary arteries; lungs; bronchial tubes.

T3: Lungs, bronchial tubes, pleura, chest, breast, and heart.

T4: Gallbladder, common duct, heart, lungs, and bronchial tubes.

T5: Liver, solar plexus, circulation (general), heart, oesophagus, and stomach.

T6: Stomach, oesophagus, peritoneum, liver, and duodenum.

T7: Kidneys, appendix, testes, ovaries, uterus, adrenal cortex, spleen, pancreas, and large intestine.

T8: Spleen, stomach, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, adrenal cortex, small intestine, and pyloric valve.

T9: Adrenal cortex, pancreas, spleen, gallbladder, ovaries, uterus, and small intestine.

T10: Kidneys, appendix, testes, ovaries, uterus, adrenal cortex, spleen, pancreas, and large intestine.

T11: Kidneys, ureters, large intestine, urinary bladder, adrenal medulla, adrenal cortex, uterus, ovaries, and ileocecal valve.

T12: Small intestine, lymph circulation, large intestine, urinary bladder, uterus, kidneys, and ileocecal valve.


L1: Large intestine, inguinal rings, and uterus.

L2: Appendix, abdomen, upper leg, and urinary bladder.

L3: Sex organs, uterus, bladder, knee, prostate, and large intestine.

L4: To prostate gland, muscles of the lower back, sciatic nerve

L5: Lower legs, ankles, feet, and prostate.

And finally, the SACRAL VERTEBRAE (in green) or COCCYX VERTEBRAE (in purple), at the very bottom or tip of the spine.

Source: /

Next issue: The different injuries associated with your Spine.

Ouch! my knees..

The following information is intended as a resource and should not be used to self-diagnose or treat. 

” The front of my knee hurts when I jump.”At the base of the kneecap (patella) is a thick patellar tendon, connecting the patella to the tibia bone below. This tendon is part of the ‘extensor mechanism’ of the knee, and together with the quadriceps muscle and the quadriceps tendon, these structures allow your knee to straighten out, and provide strength for this motion.  Patellar tendonitis is the condition that arises when the tendon and the tissues that surround it, become inflamed and irritated. This is usually due to overuse, especially from jumping activities. This is the reason patellar tendonitis is often called “jumper’s knee.” Patellar tendonitis usually causes pain directly over the patellar tendon. A physician or clinician may be able to recreate your symptoms by placing pressure directly on the tendon. The tendon will often become visibly swollen as well.

Treatment: The most important first step in treatment is to avoid activities that aggravate the problem. With patellar tendonitis this typically includes stair climbing and jumping activities. Dancers may need to restrict their class and rehearsals to limit these activities until symptoms improve. During the acute injury stage ice and anti-inflammatory medications may be helpful for pain relief. Stretching of the quadriceps, hamstring, and calf muscles prior to activity is very important to relieve stress on the patella tendon. A consult with a physician or physical therapist can be very helpful to evaluate strength, flexibility, or technique deficits that may be contributory factors in patellar tendonitis.

Avoid Knee injury using proper landing techniques:Most sports involve some degree of jumping, and during landing, the athlete is at a high risk for injury – especially at the knee. During landing, high amounts of force are absorbed through the lower extremities, and incorrect performance can cause severe derangement, or disruption of the normal functioning of the ligament or cartilages, of the knee structure. According to research, 70% of all anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries occur when landing from a jump.

During the landing phase, forces of nearly five times your body weight may be experienced. A proper landing technique allows for the anterior thigh muscles (quadriceps) and the calf muscles (gastrocnemius) to cushion the body from shock.  Severe knee injury occurs when the body does not absorb theses forces.

Another risk factor for knee injury is asymmetrical muscular use between the right and left legs. An athlete that tends to land more on one leg will accept an increased load through that particular knee.

Landing technique is extremely important, as researchers have observed the height of the jump is less important than knee angle in predicting the magnitude of force through the lower extremity. Training should emphasize landing with the knees bent and aligned forward to allow the quadriceps and calf musculature to absorb the landing. Both legs should accept weight equally. A forefoot landing technique should be used versus a heel to toe landing.

– Keith Weinhold, PT / FAMC Sports Medicine Clinical Coordinator /
– Harkness Center for dance Injuries / Hospital for joint diseases /