Anatomy of the human body
The brain controls all functions of the human body and contains about 86 billion nerves with trillions of connections between them. The brain is comprised of 3 main parts :
Brainstem (controls many automatic functions such as digestion, breathing, sleep cycles etc)
Cerebellum (co-ordinates muscles, maintains posture and balance)
Cerebrum (higher functions such as emotions, reasoning, touch, speech etc)
The spinal cord extends from the base of the brainstem down through the center of the spinal vertebrae/bones. Between each vertebrae a nerve passes, transferring information from the spinal cord out to the body and back.
The spine would be able to protect the spinal cord better if it were a solid tube, but to allow us to move more easily it is broken up into 24 individual segments/bones called vertebrae. The relationship between the spinal vertebrae and the nerves passing between them is a very close and delicate one.
The skull rests on top of the 7 "cervical" vertebrae that make up the neck. In the middle of the spine there are 12 "thoracic" vertebrae, each connected to a rib and below this there are the 5 "lumbar" vertebrae of the lower back. The spine joins into the pelvis through 2 joints called the saco-iliac (SI) joints. The weight of the upper body rests through these 2 joints and if they are stressed or overloaded then they can become unstable which can lead to many problems (we'll talk about this later).
The knee and hip joints are relatively stable joints that can often compensate for rotations and mis-alignments in the lower back and pelvis. These weight bearing joints are more likely to suffer from osteoarthritis.
The shoulders are designed for mobility and therefore can have problems with poor stability and associated muscle spasms and tissue strains.
The elbows and forearms are constantly in use which can lead to overuse syndromes in the hands and forearms.