Acıbadem Comprehensive Spine Center

What To Do For Healthy Spine?

Structure of the spine

The spine is like a bridge between the head and the legs, bearing two thirds of the weight of the body. It is made up of a total of 33 bones known as vertebrae, and 23 of them move. These bones are connected to one another by ligaments, joints and cushion-like discs. There are also strong muscles around the spine which enable movement, and they are connected to each vertebra. From the back, the spine looks like a straight column, but when viewed from the side it has curves. There are three physiologic curves: forwards at the neck (lordosis), backwards at the back (kyphosis) and forwards in the lumbar area (lordosis).

Functions of the spine

Omurganın Fonksiyonları - The spine forms the skeleton of the body and keeps us upright by establishing a connection between the head and the legs.

- Through moving joints, the spine enables us to tilt forwards, backwards and sideways. The facet joints, ligaments and discs all work in harmony with one another during these movements.

- The spine also plays a part in the shape of the chest. The movement of the spine in an inwards direction in the back area enables the internal organs such as the lungs and the heart to be placed comfortably in the chest. It also works in combination with the chest to protect these two important organs.

- The nerves, which extend from the brain as the spinal cord via the legs, body and arms as far as the coccyx and pass on the orders for movement which come from the brain to all organs, are carried in the spine. The spinal cord is carried in the vertebral canal which is in the hollow cavity in the vertebrae, which lie one on top of the other, and protected there from impact and injury.

Why is the health of the spine important?

Here we remember the functions of the spine: it forms the roof of the body, enables movement, plays a role in healthy breathing and the functioning of the heart, and carries and protects the nerves which transmit the orders of the brain to the muscles. Therefore a healthy spine is critical. Two factors must be taken into consideration for a healthy spine. First, we have to protect it and use it sparingly, and secondly we have to recognize any spinal diseases early.

How do you keep the spine healthy?

The first way to keep the spine healthy is to get used to a posture which prevents an excessive and abnormal strain being put on the spine.

What is good posture?

Your posture is the position in which you hold your body, your arms and legs when standing, sitting and lying down. Good posture is the position which puts the least amount of strain on the spine when standing, sitting and lying down.

Good posture:

-Enables the muscles to work without putting strain on the bones and joints
-Is the position in which the three physiological curves of the spine take on and maintain their normal position
- Is the position in which there is minimum strain put on the joints, ligaments and discs which hold the spine together
-Prevents you from getting tired quickly
-Protects against back, neck and lumbar pain
-Is pleasing to the eye

In order to achieve a good posture;

- The muscles around the spine have to be strong
- Your physical condition must be good
- You must be aware that you have a poor posture and attempt to improve it

In order to achieve strong muscles and a good condition, you need to do sports such as hiking, jogging, cycling and swimming regularly and spend a limited amount of time on the computer!

How should I stand?

Ayakta Nasıl Durulmalı? -Keep your head straight and look directly forwards
-Push your shoulders back
-Suck your stomach in
-Keep your knees straight
-Push your chest forwards

You can practice this posture in the mirror.

If you have to do a job which requires a large amount of standing, you can put one leg on a step which is slightly higher. This will make you less tired. Occasional movement or sitting down and relaxing also reduces the strain on your spine.

What is the ideal sitting position?

İdeal Oturma Pozisyonu - Keep your back straight when sitting.
- The back rest on your chair should be high. Lean on it when you are sitting down.
- Your feet should touch the floor.
- Do not cross your legs.
- Do not lean forwards when working at a computer. Move the chair close to the table. Lean on the back rest and stretch your arms forwards.
- Relax your shoulders, do not move them upwards or forwards.
- The monitor should be at eye level. Set the height of your chair accordingly.
- The back concavity should be filled and supported when you are leaning. Choose a suitable chair accordingly or pad the cavity with a cushion.
- Stand up every 30 minutes and move your muscles if you are sitting for a longer period.

Weight lifting

Ağırlık Kaldırma - Never lift more than a quarter of your body weight!
- When lifting weights, spread your legs, keep the weight tight to your body, bend your knees, squat and grip the weight with your elbows bent, then lift the weight by pushing through your knees. In this way, you are lifting the weight with the strength of your legs without stooping or putting strain on the spine. By bending your elbows, you are also preventing the shoulders and back muscles from putting pressure on the spine and lifting the weight with your arm muscles.
- Never lift heavy objects above waist height.
- Use a trolley to transport the weight even over short distances.
- Put the weight down by bending your knees and keeping your back straight. Do not use the muscles in your waist and back, use the muscles in your legs.

When lying down


- Maintain the physiological contours of your body.
- Put a cushion under your head which is not too high and a low cushion under your knees.
- When lying on your side, bend the legs slightly and put a cushion between your legs.

Diseases of the spine

Two of the most common diseases of the spine are scoliosis and kyphosis.


Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine. At the same time, the spine rotates about its own axis. Scoliosis generally occurs during the growth phase.


- Irregular shoulder height
- Uneven waist
- The distance between arm and waist is not equal.
- There is a hump on the back or the waist which gets higher when bending forwards.
- The exact cause of scoliosis is not known. It is known that it is not caused by carrying heavy bags, sport or poor posture. It is assumed that there is a genetic tendency. There are no measures which can be taken to prevent scoliosis, but early diagnosis is important.


There are two types of kyphosis:

a) Curvature due to poor posture

If we do not make every effort to have good posture, do not do exercises to strengthen the muscles in the back, hips and stomach and do not improve our physical condition, we take on a forward-leaning position (hunch). This position causes us to get tired quickly and look bad, and can cause damage to the spine as a result of excessive strain. Curvature caused by poor posture can be treated at any time.

b) Curvature due to a structural disorder of the spine

This type of curvature is the result of a developmental disorder of the spine and cannot be prevented. It occurs while the body is developing and cannot be treated at any time. The cause of this type of curvature of the spine is not known. It is known that it is not caused by carrying heavy bags or poor posture. As with scoliosis, this type of curvature cannot be prevented, but early diagnosis can prevent it from progressing.


The health of the spine is important for a pain-free, unlimited active life. The first prerequisite for a healthy spine is good posture. Good posture reduces the strain on the spine to a minimum. Good posture can only be achieved by increased levels of awareness, making an effort to do exercise and sports regularly and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle. Some diseases of the spine which cannot be prevented (scoliosis, kyphosis) can have a negative impact on the health of the spine. Early diagnosis is important to prevent these diseases from causing serious damage to the spine. If they are diagnosed early, these diseases can be brought under control without having a negative impact on the person's quality of life.

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