Before trying to correct your spinal alignment on your own, check with your doctor to make sure you don't have a more serious, underlying problem. Some spinal imbalances won't need a chiropractor. If you don't have any serious medical issues, stretching, strengthening and relaxation techniques can help you improve your posture and your spinal alignment. The website Spine-Health emphasizes exercise as the most important factor contributing to spinal health. Incorporate exercise into your daily routine in order to increase strength and offset muscle imbalances that could contribute to incorrect spine alignment.
Identify things in your daily lifestyle that you may do to hinder proper spinal alignment. For instance, if you spend long hours slouching in an office chair, you regularly wear shoes without support or you sleep on your stomach, you may need to make changes in those areas of your life to improve spine alignment.
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Rest your back while at work. According to Spine-Health, you place more pressure on your back while sitting than while standing. Make sure you sit up straight, with your legs uncrossed and at 90-degree angles in order to decrease unnecessary pressure. If you find yourself crossing your legs regularly, this could throw your spine out of alignment.
Use a stability ball as an office chair for short periods of time during the day. According to the American Council on Exercise, sitting or performing exercises on a stability ball will help strengthen your core muscles of the abs, hips and back, which contribute to improved posture. You don't have to ditch your comfy office chair, just use a stability ball for 20 minutes at the beginning of the day, then again for 20 minutes after lunch.
Walk around and stretch regularly. Movement enhances the blood flow to the spine and encourages mobility and range of motion, making proper spinal alignment easier to maintain.
Exercise daily, including both low-impact cardio and weight training to your workout. Improving strength, particularly in your back and abs, can help you improve your posture and align the spine.
Add yoga to your exercise routine. Yoga takes you through a series of exercises that stretch and strengthen both the front and back of your body, helping even out muscle imbalances. Spine-Health notes that yoga can improve posture and spine alignment.
Sleep in a way that supports your spine. Your spine should have the opportunity to rest, relax and readjust itself as you sleep; if you wake up stiff, you may want to address potential problems. If you sleep on your side, consider placing a thin pillow behind your knees. If you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees and a towel beneath your neck. Avoid sleeping on your stomach if you can.
Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.