Spine Out of Alignment: Symptom, Cause and Treatment

Do you ever experience frustrating, nagging pain in neck and back that makes it difficult to do your daily tasks? It could be the result of a spinal misalignment. Your spinal column is built with intricately designed bones known as vertebrae; there are cushioning discs in between. The whole arrangement is held together by heavy, strong ligaments to constitute housing for the spinal cord and nerves that serve the whole body. This complex structure is vulnerable and can become dysfunctional or misaligned, leading to pain in any part of your body.

Is Your Spine Out of Alignment?

The following are the common symptoms of spinal misalignment. While one symptom may not mean your spine goes wrong, when several symptoms occur together, you need to see the doctor for a check.

  • You are always tired. 
  • You find it difficult to breathe deeply.
  • You notice uneven wearing out of shoe heels. 
  • You have neck or back stiffness. 
  • You find it difficult to turn or twist your head or hips to either side.
  • You get jaw clicks. 
  • You need to crack joints, neck or back regularly. 
  • You regularly have poor concentration. 
  • Your body has poor disease resistance. 
  • Your foot moves sideways when walking. 
  • You constantly feel under the weather. 
  • One leg is apparently shorter. 
  • You constantly get tender muscles and joints, headaches and backaches.
  • You have poor posture. 

Another sign is that you have unbalanced weight spread. Check to see if your weight is spread evenly across your two feet by using two scales: stand with one foot on each scale and take the readings. The readings should be similar; a discrepancy shows that you lean to one side due to spine misalignment so that your head, shoulders or hips are off-center.

Why Is Your Spine Out of Alignment?

Everyday activities such as sitting at your desk for long hours can get your spine misaligned. The most common causes of misalignment include:

  • Poor posture
  • Injury
  • Bad lifting technique
  • Sedentary living
  • Excess weight or obesity
  • Stress
  • Repetitive activities
  • Sudden jerking movement
  • Chemical agents such as alcohol, cigarette smoke and processed foods

If you are wondering how chemical agents cause spinal misalignment, note that the body has its own chemical composition. When this is altered by introducing other chemicals such as those in cigarette smoke, alcohol and processed foods, the nervous system is irritated. This causes muscle fiber malfunctions, leading to misalignment of the vertebrae.

How can stress cause spinal misalignment? Any time you are stressed, your neck and shoulder muscles are tensed. When this happens chronically, some vertebrae are pulled out of place, leading to misalignment.

How to Treat Spinal Misalignment

1.     Identify the Possible Causes

Identify the day-to-day activities that may make your spine out of alignment. These may include the way you sit, especially if you spend a lot of your time seated. How about your shoes? Do they provide proper support? Also consider the way you sleep and decide to make adjustments. Changing your inappropriate life habits can help get your spine back to proper alignment.

 2.     Keep Your Back Straight When Sitting

Studies show that you exert more pressure on your back when sitting than when standing. Make it a habit to sit with your back straight, with legs at 90 degrees and not crossed. If you cross your legs, you cause unnecessary pressure to your spine.

3.     Get Moving

If your work involves hours of sitting, take regular breaks from your chair. Walk and stretch to improve blood supply to the spine. This will also help your spine to recover from a sedentary posture.

Form a habit of working out regularly. Workouts that include weight training and low-impact cardio exercise strengthen your back and abs, thereby improving spinal alignment. Exercising regularly also helps to reduce both emotional and physical stress. This further protects against spinal misalignment.

4.     Improve Your Sleeping Posture

Provide support for your spine when sleeping. Remember that your spine needs to rest and recover just like your brain and the rest of the body. Waking up stiff is a sign that you are not sleeping right.

Sleep with a thin pillow at the back of your knees when you sleep on your side; put a pillow under the knees and a rolled towel under your neck when you sleep on your back. If possible, do not sleep on your stomach. A firm mattress provides your spine with much needed support for proper alignment.

5.     Do Yoga

Yoga exercises help to extend and stretch your muscles, thereby promoting efficient movement and spinal health. Yoga can also help to strengthen specific muscles for better support of the spine.

6.     Watch Your Weight

Your weight is tied to your health in many ways. A spine out of alignment may be the result of excess weight or the excess weight could be worsening it. Aim to maintain a healthy weight for your body frame. If you already have an alignment problem, losing weight may improve it.

7.     Have Massage

You could be having a misalignment due to tightening of some muscles around your spine. These may include shoulder and back muscles. A qualified massage therapist can help massage your tense muscles and reduce tension. Massage can also reduce stress, another cause of poor posture and misalignment.

8.     Consider Chiropractic Consultation

Once you have done your part on your journey to proper spine alignment, you may need further assistance to address underlying problems. A visit to a chiropractor can help to diagnose the problem and he/she may suggest necessary corrective measures. A chiropractor uses pressure and force to realign the spine with hands. The alignment cannot be achieved at once but requires several sessions.

Try the simple standing drill in this video to get your spine back to proper alignment.

 
 
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