7 Simple Ways to Improve Your Spinal Alignment
Your spinal alignment is crucial for your posture and back support. This guide lists 7 simple ways to improve your spinal alignment.
Are you sitting down comfortably? Okay good, now check again. Because the way you're sitting with your back arched, your shoulders by your ears, and your legs crossed doesn't look all that comfortable.
What's more, that position is also terrible for your spinal alignment.
All too often, whether we're standing in line or working hard at our desks, we adopt positions that throw our spine out of whack and put pressure on our backs. Often, this kind of spinal misalignment then leads to poor posture and pain.
Luckily, there are ways to improve your posture and protect your back from injury by restoring the natural alignment of your spine. Want to know how to align your spine? Keep reading to find out!
- Pay Attention to Your Posture
Learning how to improve posture is a lot easier once you become aware of your body's natural tendencies and positions.
Try to pay attention to how you hold your body when sitting and standing throughout the day. You'll soon notice bad habits like hunching your shoulders, crossing your legs, and slouching - all of which can lead to spinal misalignment.
You'll then need to focus on changing your body's natural tendencies by learning how to align your spine through correct positioning. This takes discipline but is especially vital if your daily routine involves a lot of sitting down.
Prolonged periods of sitting put pressure on the discs in your lower spine and can create or worsen back pain. To overcome this problem, make sure to sit up straight with your legs uncrossed and your feet flat on the floor.
When standing, put equal weight on both feet, stand with your feet hip-width apart, pull your shoulders back and down, and lift your head.
- Sleep in a Position that Supports Your Spine
Lying down at the end of the day gives your spine an opportunity to relax. To ensure the time you spend sleeping is restorative and rejuvenating, you need a mattress that allows you to rest in a way that supports your spine.
Old mattresses tend to sag under the weight of your body and can lead to spinal misalignment. One of the top mattress tips is to replace your old one with a firm new model if you can't remember how long you've had it.
That said, you can help prolong the life of your mattress by rotating it. Check out this how often should you rotate mattress guide to learn more about flipping your mattress for a more supportive night's sleep.
As for how to align your back during sleep, this depends on your preferred sleeping position. Back sleepers should place a pillow beneath their knees to reduce lower back stress. If you sleep on your side, placing a thin pillow behind your knees can help reinforce correct spinal positioning. And, if possible, avoid sleeping on your stomach.
- Strengthen Your Core With Pilates
To protect your back and support your spine, it's vital to have strong core muscles. While most everyday activities do little to strengthen our core, targeted exercises can help tone these muscles in our abdomen and lower back.
Pilates, in particular, is great for working your core. This exercise discipline encourages full-body alignment with a strong emphasis on understanding how to improve posture by building core strength.
Working with an experienced Pilates instructor reduces the pain of spinal misalignment and can even help heal back injuries.
- Wear Supportive Shoes
High heels and shoes without sufficient support are a common cause of spinal misalignment. Wearing the wrong shoes even when walking short distances can force your feet into uncomfortable positions, cause imbalance, and put pressure on your back.
As such, choosing shoes with a supportive base is an important part of learning how to improve posture. The back of the shoe should provide a snug but not tight fit against your heel. Also make sure your shoes provide arch support and ample toe space. And, if necessary, consider using inserts for extra balance and support.
- Try Yoga to Even Out Muscle Imbalances
Learn how to align your back by adding yoga exercises to your daily routine.
Yoga involves moving through a series of poses designed to stretch your body to its full potential. This helps build strength, improve posture, and even out any muscle imbalances.
The best way to enjoy yoga's restorative benefits is by taking a class with an experienced instructor. As well as teaching you how to align your spine, an experienced instructor can show you how to protect your back with modified poses and won't push you beyond your capabilities.
- Get a Chiropractic Adjustment
If there's anyone who knows how to align your back, it's a chiropractor.
Chiropractic is a form of alternative medicine that focuses on the link between health and spinal alignment. During an evaluation, a chiropractor looks for possible spinal misalignment and will then adjust you accordingly.
This adjustment restores natural spinal alignment, helping to unblock the flow of signals through the nervous system. Often, the result is reduced pain and an improved range of motion.
- Enjoy the Benefits of Massage Therapy
If you've suffered an injury or have a physical job, your muscles may be so tight that they're causing spinal misalignment. This can then lead to back pain and a reduced range of motion through your musculoskeletal system.
Massage therapy can help with these issues by loosening your muscles and increasing blood flow. This, in turn, can help reduce pain and restore correct spinal alignment.
Improve Your Spinal Alignment
While you may have not paid much attention to your spinal alignment in the past, it's often a different story when you start to feel back pain.
But, as these tips show, improving your posture, supporting your spine, and protecting your back can all help to align your spine and reduce pain.
For more of the best tips for improving your health, be sure to check out our other blog posts!