Many of us sit at desks all day, in front of a computer or laptop, or working in a way that creates repetitive stress on our bodies and spines. We hunch over to use our smartphones and do the same while we drive our cars. The amount of time we spend in these positions is more than ever before. When your spine cannot extend and rotate properly, the need for mobility is often shifted into areas that create incorrect compensation patterns for our typical daily posture.
What is correct neutral spine alignment?
Neutral spine alignment is when your pelvis, your ribcage and skull are all lined up in neutral. To get into neutral – your pelvis will roll back a little bit, you’ll stack your upper back, and you give a slight head nod. When your pelvis, ribcage, and skull are all lined up in neutral, the maximum force distribution is restored through the spine. The hips, shoulders and shoulder blades can then fall into their neutral -maximizing efficiency of all movement.
Why is Neutral Spine Alignment so important, anyway?
Neutral spine alignment is important because the consequence of going about your day from collapsed posture and rounded shoulder posture is that you are ‘loading’ too much pressure into critical parts of your lower, mid and upper back all day as you move. Rather than distributing the pressure evenly, you are putting too much weight into smaller areas of your spine, leading to back issues, overuse, and pain.
When you have force distribution across the whole spine you create more stability and force attenuation.
How do I correct this issue to maintain my back for pain-free, healthy living?
The short answer is - practicing movement within exercises or learned awareness of where your upper body needs to be organized as you move. Stacking your upper back, connecting rib cage and pelvis and going into a slight head nod, restores maximum force distribution through whole spine. Watch our short video HERE to gain insight into what this looks like.
PRO TIP: Why Massage Doesn’t Get You Long-Term Results
Although massage is relaxing, you may find the same area bothering you again shortly after you leave the massage office. This is because the area that hurts is often a compensatory or secondary issue.
You may have back pain because you’re not getting the proper support from your feet, or because your pelvis is askew, or because your shoulders are rounding forward (or all of these). Until we balance the entire structure, that back is going to stay strained trying to keep your head and body upright. Focusing where it hurts goes after the symptom, not the problem.
Athletic and Physical Performance
Our neutral spine conditioning program, exercises and physical therapy work, is where we use many SymFit tools including home exercises, Pilates machines, and one-on-one training - a fitness program that returns the power, stability and strength neutral spine alignment. We condition you to do functional activities like gardening, hiking and your sport and fitness activities with the solid foundation of spinal alignment you need for many more years of health.
So – it all starts with you. Create a self-care program or give your fitness routine a boost. Focusing on your form and gain insight into the things that can give you pain-free longevity, and as a byproduct – greater overall happiness with your life.
And, if you need added support – Your SymFit family is here. Start by filling out our easy intake so we can set up goals and an education that will get you there quickly and with some easy exercises.