Proper Spinal Alignment

Proper Spinal Alignment

Most people just don’t realize how important proper spinal alignment is to their everyday health and well-being.  Poor spinal alignment can negatively impact your bones and joint and be a cause of fatigue, pain, achiness and other health problems.  The spine not only keeps us upright, but it houses and protects your spinal cord, which is the conduit connecting your brain and nervous system.  Most body movements and functions depend on the spinal cord, so a problem with your spine can have a huge impact on your whole body.

Since you spend about a third of your life in bed, it makes sense then that you be comfortable, part of this comfort should include proper spinal alignment.  If your spine is not aligned and supported properly while sleeping, it can have a large and lasting impact on your health.

Side effects of poor spinal alignment include:

  • Poor Posture– when you have proper posture, your spine is aligned, not pinching your spinal cord.  You appear straight, taller, and confident and your back is strong and supports the rest of your body properly.
  • Sore Muscles– If you slouch, your muscles have to work harder to keep your spine stabilized, which can cause tightness and fatigue.  You may develop chronic issues from your neck all the way to your lower back.
  • Spinal Curvature– Your spine has 3 natural curves that make and ‘S’ shape(4 if you include the non moving curve at the base of the spine).  Poor posture can lead to pressure, influencing those curves to change position.  If the natural curve changes, it compromises the spines ability to act as a shock absorber and for you to keep your balance.
  • Subluxations– Subluxations are when a vertebrae becomes misaligned from the rest of the spine, which affects the overall strength of your spinal column.  This can also lead to chronic stress and irritation of the spinal column and surrounding nerves.
  • Blood Vessel Constriction– If your spine begins to suffer from Subluxations and changes to its curvature, your blood vessels can become constricted- diminishing or cutting off blood supply to muscles, which impacts oxygen flow to these muscles and other areas.
  • Nerve Constriction– Bad posture often leads to nerve constriction.  As your spine changes shape, the subluxations put pressure on the surrounding spinal nerves.  Pinched nerves cause not only neck and back pain, but also pain in other seemingly unrelated areas of your body.
proper spinal alignment s curves

Proper spinal alignment gives your spine an 'S' shape

What is good spinal alignment and posture?

A healthy spine with proper alignment curves inward at the neck, slightly outward in the upper back, and then inward at the lower back.  The curves in the spine act like a spring to absorb shock.  These natural curves of the spine can be called it’s ‘neutral alignment’.

Proper posture while lying down-

Proper spinal alignment and support is important so that your back muscles can fully relax and rest.  A supportive and comfortable mattress is important for achieving this.   A good mattress will conform to the spines natural curves and keep your spine in proper alignment.

  • A mattress that is too soft allows the lower back to sink too far into the mattress, irritating spinal joints and causing lower back pain.
  • A mattress that is too firm leads to unsupported gaps between your bodies curves and the mattress.  Pressure points develop on those parts of your body in contact with the mattress- leading to poor sleep.

Which type of mattress is best for proper spinal alignment?

There is not a best type of mattress for everyone, we are all different and it will depend on you, your body, and your preferences.  Memory foam mattresses have a different feel than an Innerspring mattress.  You should choose a mattress that feels comfortable, gives you proper spinal alignment, and provides adequate support.  Comfort helps you sleep better and adequate sleep is beneficial for back pain.  Consider the different types of mattresses, the different comfort layers, and the different construction materials and processes available, and try them out in person.

Don’t rush in to your purchase, do your due diligence and buy when you are ready and have found what you are looking for and what feels right.

various spinal alignment scenarios

A mattress providing proper spinal alignment is important for good health