The spine is one of the most important parts of your body. Without it, you could not keep yourself upright or even stand up. It gives your body structure and support. It allows you to move about freely and to bend with flexibility. It can however cause us the most issues.

The spine is also designed to protect the spinal cord. It is made up of about 32 vertebrae. Some of these are fused together so there are only 26 individual bones. Ligaments, muscles and tendons surround the spine to provide support and stability, and to control movement. The vertebrae are separated by discs. These discs have a tough outer case and a soft jelly-like centre. Did you know that a slipped disc is actually a bulging disc pressing on the spinal cord? In extreme cases the bulge causes the outer case of the disc to rupture. The “jelly” leaks out onto a nerve causing severe pain.

It is important to maintain the natural curves of the spine. Both yoga and Pilates emphasises toning both the core and back muscles that support the spine and that help do this. Not only can the spine bend forwards and back, side to side but it can also rotate. This is why keeping your spine healthy is vital if you want to live an active life.