How to Tell If Your Spine Is Misaligned, and What to Do About It
6 min read
One of the biggest goals of chiropractic care is to help patients keep their spines properly aligned. When the spine is misaligned, it can make it harder to move, cause pain, and interfere with your quality of life. Did you know that you might not even realize your spine is out of alignment? It’s true! That’s why regular alignments from a chiropractor can help you avoid back and neck pain along with several other conditions you may not have associated with spinal misalignment.
Symptoms of Spine Misalignment
Your spine, or backbone, is the supportive column of bones that extends from your skull all the way down to your pelvis. The spine stabilizes your back, but it also provides support to other parts of the body too. For this reason, a spinal misalignment can cause symptoms outside of just the back area.
Common symptoms of spine misalignment include:
Back pain or neck pain: The most obvious sign of spine misalignment is pain in the neck, back, or hips. You might also notice your knees hurting without having an injury or other condition. This can also be from your spine being out of alignment.
Limited range of motion: If you notice that you are not able to move your neck side to side or up and down, or if you can’t turn to look over your shoulder without pain, your range of motion is limited and a spinal adjustment may make it possible to get that range of motion back to normal.
Uneven hips or shoulders: If your hips or shoulders appear uneven, it could be a sign of a misaligned spine.
Headaches: Misalignment in the upper spine can cause headaches, particularly in the back of the head.
Numbness or tingling: If you experience numbness or tingling in your arms, legs, or fingers, it could be due to a misaligned spine.
Why is it Important for the Spine to be Aligned?
The spine has nerves that extend all over the body. Proper spinal alignment allows your nerves to function properly, sending signals correctly to other areas of the body and without pain or tingling. When the spine gets misaligned, it can cause all types of issues throughout the body.
The biggest, and most obvious benefit of keeping your spine aligned is that you don’t have back pain, neck pain, or pain in other areas of the body. When the spinal discs aren’t aligned correctly it causes muscle tension, nerve irritation, and joint inflammation. If it’s not addressed, it can lead to chronic pain in the back, neck, and other areas of the body.
Here are some other benefits of keeping your sign in alignment:
Improved posture: A misaligned spine can be caused by poor posture, but it can also lead to poor posture, or hunching. With poor posture can come problems such as muscle strain, headaches, and fatigue.
Improved ability to move: When your spine is properly aligned, you can move more freely and with greater ease. This can improve your flexibility, range of motion, and athletic performance.
Reduced Risk of Injury: A misaligned spine can make you more prone to injury, particularly in the back, neck, and hips. By maintaining proper alignment, you can reduce the risk of injury during physical activity.
Overall Health and Wellness: Your spine is closely connected to your nervous system, which controls every function of your body. A misaligned spine can interfere with nerve signals, leading to a range of health problems. By maintaining proper alignment, you can improve your overall health and wellness.
Chiropractic Treatment for Spine Misalignment
If you suspect that your spine is misaligned and it’s causing you to have pain or other symptoms, it’s time to get help from a chiropractor.
Chiropractors use manual manipulation to adjust the spine's alignment, reducing pain, inflammation, and nerve irritation. This usually involves a spinal adjustment and can also include massage therapy to keep the muscles relaxed.
A visit to Village Chiropractic in The Woodlands, Texas will include:
Getting a detailed health history to determine what might be causing your misalignment.
Performing a physical evaluation to get an idea of exactly where along the spine you need adjustments.
Spinal manipulation to adjust and realign the spine.
Massage therapy to further support healthy posture and help with any pain you may be having.
It’s important to relax during your adjustment so that your chiropractor can get the best alignment possible. If your spine has been out of alignment for a while, you may need a few to get everything back into alignment and have it stay in alignment.
Getting regular chiropractic treatments can help to treat and manage pain, prevent headaches, improve digestion, improve posture, relieve stress, and support your immune system. The nerves of your spine connect all over the body, so being in alignment means more than just preventing back pain; it means supporting full-body health.
In addition to seeking professional medical advice and treatment, there are some things you can do at home to help improve spine alignment. These include practicing good posture, using ergonomic furniture and equipment, stretching regularly, and avoiding heavy lifting and repetitive motions that can strain the back.
How to Keep Your Spine Aligned
Correcting a spinal misalignment might take some time, but there are plenty of steps you can take to help improve it. Some ways to treat a spinal misalignment include stretching, exercises, avoiding sitting in a chair all day, and chiropractic adjustments.
Back and Neck Stretches
Doing stretches can help to strengthen your muscles and improve flexibility. Some stretches that help with spinal alignment include:
Latissimus dorsi stretch: This involves stretching your arms above your head with your hands together and gently leaning from left to right, pausing for 5 seconds on each side.
Neck tilts: Place your right hand on top of your head. Use your hand to slowly pull your head to the right and allow your neck to stretch for 20 to 25 seconds; repeat on the opposite side.
Exercises that Can Strengthen Back Muscles
Maintaining core strength can help to keep the spine aligned properly. Exercises that help with spinal alignment include:
Planks help to strengthen the muscles of the back and abdomen. Make sure to maintain proper positioning when doing planks in order to avoid injury.
Walking throughout the day can be beneficial for spinal alignment. It can take the pressure off of the spine which can be caused by sitting for long periods of time. Take walking breaks throughout the day to help combat this issue and keep your spinal health in check.
Yoga is a great way to exercise and stretch to combat spinal misalignment. Many yoga poses help to align the spine, but one of the best ones is the Cat-Cow Pose. To try this yoga pose: get down on the ground on your hands and knees. On inhale, look up and slightly drop your abdomen to the ground. On exhale, tuck your chin toward your chest while bringing your belly button up toward your spine.
Avoid Sitting in a Chair All Day
If you work in an office setting, then you likely spend many hours a day sitting in a chair. This can be bad for the spine, and it can lead to spinal misalignment. Make sure to take plenty of walking and stretching breaks throughout the day to help keep your spine aligned. You can also try using a standing desk or sitting on an exercise ball instead of a chair during the day.
By taking a proactive approach to spine health, you can reduce the risk of spine misalignment and improve your overall quality of life. Making lifestyle changes can also help improve spine alignment, such as maintaining good posture, engaging in regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding prolonged periods of sitting or standing.
Spinal Adjustments in The Woodlands
Many people don’t realize that chiropractic care goes a whole lot deeper than just treating pain (although that is one of the benefits). Having your spine aligned properly will help you feel your best and support your overall health in a variety of ways. At Village Chiropractic, we treat every patient with a unique and personalized approach.