Dr Emma Cope Morgan has a master’s degree in chiropractic from the University of Johannesburg.  Along with manipulation and mobilization, Emma uses techniques such as dry needling, massage and taping, helping patients of all ages and conditions live a happier, pain free lifestyle.

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How does your baby’s spine grow

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How does your baby’s spine grow

Baby spine growth. Are babies born with a fully developed spinal column? how are babies so flexible?

This article will discuss in detail how a baby spine grows from bendy cartilage to strong bone as an adult.

Baby spine development in utero

Week 3:

The skeleton starts off as loose embryonic connective tissue which starts slowly changing into cartilage. The axial skeleton (cranium, vertebral column, ribs and sternum) is developed in this week.

Week 6:

Chondrification starts in this week. Chondrification is a process where connective tissue is changed to cartilage. The spinous processes and transverse processes start to develop from chondrification centers. Cartilage grows from a central point and spreads until a full cartilaginous vertebral column is formed.

Week 8:

Ossification starts in this week. This is when cartilage is turned into bone.

This process starts in the 8th week of utero development and continues until the skeleton is fully formed at the age of 25 years.

Development of our spine after birth

Birth

At birth each vertebra has 3 main bony components, one in the central part of the vertebral body and 2 in the vertebral arch. The 3 bony components are surrounded by cartilage.

3-5 years

The arch of each vertebra starts to turn into bone. This process starts in the lumbar spine first and then progress upwards towards the cranium and skull. The arches are fully formed by 3-5 years of age.

Puberty

5 secondary ossification centers develop during puberty. One at the tip of the spinous process and one at the tip of each transverse process and around the rim of the vertebral body. All secondary ossification centers unite with the rest of the bony vertebra at the age of 25 years.

It is important that through this growth process that there is little tension around the spine to ensure that the spine is developing in alignment. Chiropractic care can help your family, from babies to adults maintain a healthy, growing spine.

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