What is the ideal spinal alignment?
A lot of us know what good posture looks like, but what does good spinal alignment look like?
When you look around you notice people with good posture and some with not so good posture. Typically when we look at someone with good posture from the front we see that their shoulders and hips are level, and there is no tilt of the body or neck to one side. When looking at them from the side ideally the ear, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle should all be aligned. But what does the spine look like if we took an x-ray of someone with ideal posture?
What the spine looks like with ideal posture
If you look up any picture of the spine on Google images or any anatomy textbook it is always the same. When we look at someone from the front the spine should be nice and straight with no deviation to either side.
However when we are looking at the spine from the side what we want to see is these nice smooth flowing curves in the shape of an “S”. There is going to be a nice curve in each region in the spine; one in the neck, one in the mid back and one in the low back.
When the spine in this position it is not only in ideal alignment but it is in its strongest position. The “S” curve in the spine allows for shock absorption against gravity and prevents excess load on the spinal vertebra and surrounding muscles and ligaments.
When the spine is in its optimal alignment it also allows the joints to move freely which means the muscles don’t have to work as hard to move the joints. This is because the joints have the optimal mechanical relationship with each other.
Chiropractors work closely with the intimate relationship between the spine and the nervous system. The spine’s most important role is to protect the nervous system; which is responsible for every function in the human body.
The nervous system consists of the brain, the spinal cord and the nerves that exit the spine to supply the body. If the skull is the helmet that protects the brain, then the spine is the armour that protects the spinal cord and exiting nerves.
A dentist is someone who looks after your oral hygiene to prevent tooth decay. Similarly a chiropractor is someone who aids in preventing spinal decay to protect your spinal cord.
That’s why at Dee Why Chiropractic Care we prescribe what we call “spinal hygiene exercises” to help maintain your spinal health. You brush your teeth at least twice a day (well we assume so) so why don’t you take a few minutes out of your day to do some exercises to look after you spine.
If you have any further questions regarding ideal spinal alignment and spinal hygiene exercises don’t hesitate to contact us.