Focusing on your spinal health should be about more than just wanting to reduce back pain. The spine allows us to stand upright and serves as the hub for all other extremities and bones to ultimately connect to, including the legs, shoulders, pelvis, and arms. It’s one of the most important areas of the entire body, as it allows the body to bend and twist freely. If you’ve ever visited a chiropractor to ensure your spine is properly aligned, this is why you’ve noticed you feel better overall. A healthy spinal alignment allows the body to work as optimally as possible.
In this article, we’ll discuss what an optimal alignment looks like and why you will feel better when your spine is aligned correctly.
What is the Correct Spinal Alignment?
When your spine is aligned correctly, it should resemble a slight “S” curve from head to tailbone when viewed from the side. This curve is designed to absorb the impacts of daily activities, including standing, walking, running, jumping, and sitting. This includes the lordotic (C-shaped) curves of the neck and the lower back, as well as the kyphotic (reversed C-shaped) curve of the mid-upper back. However, when viewed from behind, the spine should appear as if it is extending straight down. If the spinal column is curved excessively in any direction, it requires realignment.
How Can Poor Spinal Alignment Affect You?
The spine plays two vital roles: it keeps the body upright and protects the body’s most vital organ, the central nervous system (CNS). Poor spinal alignment compromises our ability to move freely and experience a pain-free lifestyle. A misaligned spine not only restricts movement but can also cause severe pain, stiffness in the joints, and long-term posture and health problems if left untreated.
Since the spine plays a vital role in protecting the central nervous system, poor spinal alignment can be detrimental to it. The central nervous system is primarily a communication system for sending information from the brain to the body and receiving information from the body to the brain. Your body cannot function optimally if you obstruct or limit that communication. A spinal misalignment will undoubtedly interfere with that communication. In other words, if the message sent by your brain to any of one of your organs is unable to be communicated or if the message is distorted, the body will make mistakes or will slow down your response times and the coordination of the health and healing in your body. As a result, the nine organ systems of your body won’t work together as effectively.
Another physical drawback of spinal misalignment is the imbalancing of weight throughout your structure. Think of spinal misalignment as poor posture; when you shift forward, to the left, or twist your body, this creates regions of imbalances in the muscles, joints, and discs. The loss of function or efficiency in those areas can then cause other areas of the body to go into overdrive to compensate. The following can be more noticeable physical symptoms of a spinal misalignment:
- Chronic headaches/migraines.
- Lower back pain.
- Neck pain and upper back pain.
- Tingling or numbness in extremities.
- Poor sleep.
- Poor posture.
If left unteated, spinal misalignments can affect the body in more serious ways as well, including:
- Reduced mobility and joint stiffness.
- Excessively slouched or hunched posture.
- Bone spurs.
- Respiratory dysfunction.
- Digestive problems.
- Increased blood pressure.
- Herniated or slipped discs.
- Sciatica (pain due to pressure on the sciatic nerve).
Noticing the Difference When Your Spine is Aligned Correctly
When your spine is aligned correctly, it provides a solid foundation for our body’s structural system. Proper spinal alignment ensures there’s no pressure or irritation to the nerves due to misalignment. It also allows for optimal communication with the central nervous system so that your body can heal, run, and regulate itself. The better your spinal alignment is, the more optimally your central nervous system and immune system function and the healthier you are overall.
With a healthy spinal alignment, you can notice the following:
- Alleviation of neck and back pain (or other joint pain).
- Increased muscle endurance and strength.
- Improved range of motion/mobility.
- Better control of extremities and reduced numbness.
- Higher energy levels.
- Improved posture.
- Better athletic performance.
So, how do you know when your spine is aligned correctly? The best option is to seek a licensed chiropractor who is trained to detect and correct misalignments. Chiropractors, such as the doctors at PostureWorks, can specifically detect and fix these misalignments to improve your overall body function and health. In addition to spinal manipulation, we can teach you mobility exercises and help re-educate you on maintaining your optimal posture throughout the day. Proper maintenance of the spine can reduce excessive wear and tear on other parts of the body, which is why it’s beneficial to regularly visit a chiropractor. When your spine is aligned correctly, you’ll have optimal body movement, function, and nerve communication, which are all important for keeping your body healthy.
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. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is conservative, painless, and non-invasive. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits you’ll see when your spine is aligned correctly or to schedule your appointment.