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Spinal Alignment With Physiotherapy: Misalignment Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Exercise to Align the Spine

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When the spine is in a neutral position, the body maintains a straight line from the head to the feet. Misalignment may affect the quality of life. Read below.

Written by

Dr. Aparna Arun

Medically reviewed by

Mohammed Wajid

Published At September 28, 2023
Reviewed AtSeptember 28, 2023

What is Spinal Misalignment?

Spinal misalignment is a medical condition in which the spine is aligned out from its normal position. When the part of the spine is out of position, it causes unpleasant symptoms and nerve-related problems in the back. If the spine is misaligned, it affects many parts of the musculoskeletal system. There are several causes for spinal misalignment. Misalignment in the spine can be treated through certain exercises.

What Are the Causes of Spinal Misalignment?

Spinal misalignment may occur due to various causes. Some of the common causes include:

  • Sleeping in an improper position.

  • Emotional stress.

  • Obesity.

  • Being inactive.

  • Repetitive movements.

  • Growth deformities.

  • Poor diet.

What Are the Symptoms of Spinal Misalignment?

The symptoms of spinal misalignment include:

  • Chronic headaches.

  • Neck pain.

  • Lower back pain.

  • Hip pain.

  • Knee pain.

  • Increased fatigue.

  • Frequent illness.

  • Tingling or numbness in hands and feet.

  • One shoe is worn sooner than the other due to walking abnormality.

What Are the Risk Factors of Spinal Misalignment?

Spinal misalignment may cause various health issues. These include:

  • Chronic pain.

  • Slouched posture.

  • Reduced mobility.

  • Decreased range of motion.

  • Stiffness of the joints.

  • The feeling of discomfort when standing, sitting, and lying down.

  • Permanent bone and joint deformities.

  • Sciatica (pain that occurs along the direction of the sciatic nerve).

  • Respiratory problems.

  • A broken bone in the spine.

What Are the Physiotherapy Exercises for Spinal Alignment?

Physical therapists use manual therapies and spinal manipulation exercises to align the spine in a correct posture. These exercises and techniques help in the proper functioning of muscles and bone movement. It also relieves pain caused by spine misalignment. These exercises are suggested to improve the posture and stability of the muscles and bones.

Some of the exercises that align the spine in neutral include:

Heel Slides

  • The person should lie on their back on the floor and extend both legs straight.

  • Then the person should bend their left knee and slowly slide their heel in towards their hip.

  • Then the person should go to the starting position and the exercise should be repeated on the opposite leg.

  • This exercise should be repeated 10 times.

Supine Position

  • The person should lie on their back with their knees bent and feet pressed on the floor.

  • While inhaling, the person should lift the arms overhead and place them behind their head.

  • Then the person should hold the position for 5 seconds, exhale, and bring their arms back to the sides.

  • The person should concentrate on elongating and relaxing the spine.

Child's Pose

  • The person should sit in a kneeling position and place their hands flat on the floor.

  • Then the person should slowly lower their hips back towards the heels.

  • Then the person should place their arms at the side and rest their forehead on the floor.

  • Then the person should breathe deeply and hold the position for 5 minutes.

Prone Scorpion Stretch

  • The person should lie down with their left cheek on the floor.

  • Then the person should place their arms out to the side in a T-shape, at level with the shoulders with thumbs facing up towards the ceiling.

  • Then the person should bend their right knee to lift the lower part of the leg from the ground, with right leg toes pointing towards the ceiling.

  • Then the person should lift the knee from the floor and let their right hip open by pushing their right hand on the floor.

  • The person should move until they feel a stretch in the pectoralis and the shoulder.

  • Then the position should be held for a few seconds and the exercise should be repeated on the other side.

Wall Angles

  • The person should stand on their feet 12 inches away from the wall. Then the person should lean on the wall by touching their head, glutes, and shoulders to the wall.

  • Then the person should lift their hand to the sides, with the shoulder, elbow, and fingers touching the wall and palms facing out.

  • Then the person should lift their arms vertically overhead as far as possible.

  • Then the person should lower their arms and repeat the exercise 8 to 10 times.

Cat-Cow Stretch

  • The person should sit in a kneeling position and distribute their body's weight evenly at all four points.

  • Then the person should exhale and arch their spine by drawing their chin into the chest.

  • Then the person should inhale and gaze up by relaxing the stomach towards the floor.

  • These movements should be repeated for 1 minute.

Knee Chest Stretch

  • The person should lie on their back with knees bent and feet pressing on the floor.

  • Then the person should lower their back onto the floor.

  • Then the person should interlace their fingers over the shin and gently pull their knee towards the chest.

  • Then the person should hold the position for thirty seconds and the exercise should be repeated on the other side.

  • This exercise should be repeated 5 times.

Downward Facing Dog

  • The person should sit in a kneeling position by placing their palms on the floor.

  • Then the person should lift their knees away from the floor and move their hips towards the ceiling.

  • Then the person should keep their heels slightly off the ground. Then by maintaining a slight bend in their arms and legs, the person should spread their fingers and press their plans firmly into the floor.

  • Then the person should position their head in line with their upper arms.

  • Then the person should hold the position for 1 minute.

Cobra Pose

  • The person should start by lying down on their stomach.

  • Then the person should place their hands directly under their shoulders with their fingers pointing forward.

  • Then the person should keep their arms closer to the chest and elbows should point back.

  • Then the person should gently press their hands to lift their head, shoulders, and chest to the determined height.

  • Then the person should hold the pose for 1 minute and repeat the exercise several times.

Straight Leg Raises

  • The person should lie on their back by extending one leg straight and the other leg bent by placing the foot on the floor.

  • Then by engaging the abdominal muscles and pressing the lower back into the floor, the person should raise their right leg at least 6 inches away from the floor.

  • Then the position should be held for a few seconds and the exercise should be repeated on the opposite side.

Conclusion:

Spinal misalignment may occur due to various causes. If the spine is not in a neutral position it causes various effects on the body and impacts the quality of life of a person. This misalignment can be treated by performing certain exercises. Physical therapists are involved in recommending exercises that improve posture and align the spine in its place. Reaching out to a physical therapist may be beneficial.

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Mohammed Wajid
Mohammed Wajid

Physiotherapy

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spinal alignment with physiotherapy
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