You or someone you know has likely experienced back pain. In fact, back pain is the sixth most common and costly condition in the United States, with many adults experiencing persistent or chronic back pain. There can be many causes of back pain, all of which can have a negative impact on daily quality of life. But, a major cause is the misalignment of the spine. A misaligned spine greatly contributes to back pain, headaches, and overall joint pain. Knowing how to improve spinal alignment is key to navigating your path to better posture and a pain-free life.
Impacts of Misalignment of the Spine
The spine is designed to be the foundation for our body’s structural system. When properly aligned, it allows us to stand upright and serves as a central spot to which all other extremities and bones—including your pelvis, shoulders, arms, and legs—connect. While the spine is flexible and elastic in structure, it does provide our bodies with a bedrock foundation and is vital in protecting your spinal cord.
Symptoms of Spinal Misalignment
If your spine is misaligned, you risk severe damage to your musculoskeletal system and irreparable damage to your spinal cord. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it would be beneficial to get your spine checked by a spine alignment chiropractor:
- Chronic migraine or headaches
- Neck pain
- Lower back or pelvic pain
- Soreness in joints
- Constant or excessive fatigue
- Tingling or numbness in extremities
- Favoring one side when walking
What Can Happen If Spinal Misalignment Is Left Untreated?
When you suffer from spinal misalignment, you are at higher risk for long-term structural issues that can impact your health. Many who have put off spinal treatment or have ignored their spinal alignment altogether, have an increased risk of developing conditions such as:
- Slouched or hunched posture
- Reduced mobility
- Pain while sitting, bending, or standing
- Bone and joint deformities
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Respiratory issues and breathing impairment
Receiving treatment for spinal alignment problems should be your first priority after identifying the symptoms of a back out of alignment. Otherwise, you may end up with serious acute back problems such as a herniated disc, which requires more costly and time-intensive treatment than routine spinal adjustments.
It can’t be stressed enough that spinal misalignments can cause a wide variety of adverse symptoms and diseases. Differing levels of pain and inflammation, limited mobility, herniated discs, arthritis, and muscle spasms are just a few. However, spinal misalignments can also lead to the diagnosis of a spinal curvature disorder.
Types of Spinal Curvature Disorders
Scoliosis: This is an exaggerated sideways curvature of the spine. Pseudo-scoliosis, typically caused by past trauma or ongoing poor posture, are lateral shifts, bends, and twists in the spine. True scoliosis begins at 10 degrees of lateral curvature with a twisting rotation. A chiropractor with experience in spinal alignment will be able to determine the severity of the case.
Kyphosis: This is identifiable as a chronic hunchback posture. A thoracic hyperkyphosis is when a hunched back is presented due to excessive curvature. Thoracic hypokyphosis occurs when you have a military-straight back due to too little curvature.
Lordosis: Often referred to as “swayback,” hyperlordosis is a spinal misalignment that presents itself as an excessive inward curve and anterior pelvic tilt. A cervical hypolordosis occurs when there is a straight neck/lack of curvature or reversed neck curvature. Finally, lumbar hypolordosis shows itself as a loss of lower back curvature caused by hunching and posterior pelvic tilt.
When your back is out of alignment, a host of long-term mobility and pain issues can occur if left uncorrected. The good news is that there are many things you can do to improve your spinal alignment and prevent spinal misalignment. The first thing to do is consult with a spinal alignment chiropractor to assess the health of your spine.
How To Improve Spinal Alignment
They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. There are steps you can take to have a healthy back and improve spinal alignment.
Spinal Misalignment Prevention Tips
Be Mindful of How You Sleep
How you sleep affects your alignment. Back sleepers can place a pillow beneath the knees to reduce stress on the lower back. Side sleepers can place a pillow between the knees to keep the hips balanced. Keeping your back naturally aligned while you sleep can help prevent misalignment.
Be Aware of Your Posture
With so much time spent in front of the computer or sitting, proper posture is important. Be aware of how you are sitting during meetings, while watching TV, at sports activities, or even on flights. Straighten your back every so often and be sure to take breaks and stretch in between long sitting or standing durations.
There are a variety of exercises that can help with alignment—and some that can further damage it. When exercising, it’s important to note that some moves strengthen your posture while some stretch your body to increase your mobility. This allows your body to function at its best and helps prevent further injuries. Postural exercises can help reduce pain associated with muscle strain and poor range of motion.
Choose Comfortable Shoes
While we all want to be stylish, we also want to be cautious when choosing footwear. Whether you’re out for a walk or a night on the town, the shoes you wear have a direct impact on your lower back. Good shoes fit the back of your heel snuggly, providing a supportive base that helps the spine and body remain in alignment. Understanding your foot posture will better help you find the right shoes for you.
Schedule Chiropractic Corrective Care
The central nervous system functions at its peak when you have proper spine alignment. Chiropractors specializing in spinal alignment can fix poor posture and spinal curvature misalignments without the need for drugs or surgery. Take the first step toward healthy spinal alignment and schedule an appointment today.
Improve Spinal Alignment with PostureWorks
Proper spine alignment has a direct, positive impact on the functioning of your body. Improving your spinal alignment will allow you to experience:
- Elimination of or decrease in neck and back pain (or other joint pain)
- Improved posture
- Increased muscle endurance and strength
- Improved range of motion/mobility
- Reduction in tingling or numbness feeling
- Higher energy levels
- Enhanced athletic performance
In addition to the above benefits, those who receive chiropractic care for alignment of their spine experience better breathing and lung function which drastically helps improve quality of life.
At PostureWorks, we have a deep understanding of how to improve spinal alignment and provide first-rate chiropractic care to ensure that your vertebral column is well aligned.
We develop customized plans that include spinal remodeling traction methods that work to rid the spine and joints of misalignments causing you issues, as well as provide you with postural exercises to help the body hold its optimal, aligned posture throughout the day. We also provide neuro-muscular reeducation to help good posture become your body’s new default setting so that you maintain any chiropractic adjustment benefits you receive.
Chiropractic BioPhysics®, or CBP, is a deeply researched and results-oriented corrective care technique. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health and optimal function while eliminating the source of pain and circulatory and nervous dysfunction. CBP is conservative, evidence-based, and non-invasive. To learn more tips on how to improve spinal alignment or to schedule your appointment with PostureWorks, contact us today.