The spine is the primary central support structure of your body and is largely considered the most critical piece of our bodies’ nervous systems. Without it, we would lose the ability to move in many of the myriad ways that we do in our everyday lives. When the spine is misaligned we can experience issues with movement, pain, joint stiffness, and potentially suffer long-term postural issues if left untreated.
A question we receive often at Atlas Specific is why does the spine misalign? So, today we wanted to talk about why the spine misaligns, some common causes, how to tell if your spine is misaligned, and ways in which you can prevent spinal misalignment.
Why Does the Spine Misalign?
Detecting the root cause of a spinal misalignment can be a difficult task. However, it’s safe to assume that a lifetime’s worth of repetitive stress and small traumas are the primary suspects in the generation of misalignments and subluxations. Below are some of the most common causes:
Slips and Falls
They happen to the best of us. Slip and fall injuries are some of the most common causes of vertebral subluxation. This is because, in order to protect yourself from impact during a fall, the muscles of your back tense up which often results in spinal misalignment.
Sleeping in The Wrong Position
Sleeping in the wrong position can put stress on the spine and ultimately cause vertebral subluxation. This is particularly prevalent in adults who tend to sleep on their stomachs. Sleeping on your stomach can put extra pressure on your cervical spine as well as on the lower back.
Scoliosis is a good example of abnormalities that can cause spinal misalignment. Characterized by spinal curvature of greater than 10 degrees, this all-too-common condition can affect people of all ages and cause severe misalignments and subluxations.
Performing the same motion over and over has been known to cause vertebral subluxations. This is common in people who work a job or enjoy a sport that forces one to move his or her body, in the same manner, every few minutes. Over the course of several months or years, this may result in the vertebrae slipping out from their original position.
You may find it hard to believe, but a poor diet high in processed foods or foods that offer little-to-no nutritional value increases your risk of developing a vertebral subluxation. It turns out, the old colloquialism of “you are what you eat holds true. Without proper nutrients, your spine and supporting musculature can become weak and prone to injury/disease.
Last but not least, stress. Not everyone realizes that emotional stress can cause physical symptoms. When you are stressed, your blood pressure rises, your muscles tense up, and your body produces more stress-related hormones like cortisol. As a result, this can force your vertebrae to move from their original positions.
Is Your Spine Aligned?
Along with pain, discomfort, and mobility limitations, there are a few possible signs that your spin may be misaligned.
Check Your Legs
Spinal misalignment can actually cause one leg to extend longer than the other. Sit or lay down on a firm surface and check to see if one of your legs extends further than the other. If so, this may be a sign that your spine is out of alignment.
Check Your Shoes
Take a look at the shoes you wear most often. Is there an unequal amount of wear on one of the soles? When your spine is out of alignment, it’s common to put unequal weight on one of your legs.
Check Your Neck
If you have difficulty turning your neck in one direction or the other or notice a limited range of motion in your neck, it’s possible you’re dealing with an alignment issue. Oftentimes, a cervical spine misalignment will inhibit the full range of motion in your neck in some way.
Can You Prevent a Spinal Misalignment?
There are several simple ways in which you can help to reduce or even prevent a vertebral subluxation and they are all a part of living a healthy lifestyle such as:
No one eats a perfect diet all of the time, but the more nutritionally dense your daily food intake is, the better off your spine will be.
Part of keeping the spine healthy and aligned is building the muscles around it that help to support your frame. If you regularly suffer from back and spine issues, regular low-impact exercise may help to reduce your risk of misalignments.
Avoiding toxins pairs back to eating a proper and balanced diet and avoiding toxins whenever possible. Excess toxins particularly in organs such as kidneys have been known to produce excess inflammation which can lead to subluxations.
Stress can be hard to minimize, we know. But when you’re feeling stress, your body and your spine know it. Whenever possible minimize your stress levels. One great way to do this is to take time to take a quick walk when situations become stressful. As an added bonus, it counts towards regular exercise too!
How do You Treat a Misaligned Spine?
The body has incredible powers of regeneration, and minor misalignments may correct themselves. However, depending on the circumstance, you may need to seek professional help. If you or someone you know is suffering from a possible vertebral subluxation contact Atlas Specific in Durango today to see how we can help. Drop by our office at 1800 E 3rd Ave #108, in Durango, call us at 970 – 259 – 6803, or click the link below to schedule a free consultation.
Notice of Disclaimer:
We are doctors of upper cervical chiropractic, but we are NOT necessarily YOUR doctors. All content and information on this website is for informational and educational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice, and reading or interacting with this site does not establish any form of the patient-doctor relationship. Although we strive to provide accurate information, the information presented here is not intended as a substitute for any kind of professional advice and you should not rely solely on this information. Always consult a professional in your particular area of need before making medical decisions.