A misaligned spine can cause pain and stiffness and is one of the leading reasons that patients seek chiropractic care. Maintaining proper spine alignment is crucial, as the musculoskeletal system affects many of your body’s major systems and functions.
There are many signs that your spine is misaligned. Many are so common that most people don’t give a second thought especially if they are experiencing mild or occasional aches, and stiffness. With the right treatment however patients can live pain free lives.
Common symptoms of a spine misalignment can take many forms. These symptoms include repeated headaches or those that persist for several days on end. Other common symptoms include fatigue, stiffness in the neck or back, or pain when lifting, twisting or bending. Some others will experience pain in their backs when they wake up in the morning, after sitting for extended periods of time, or suffer from sore, achy muscles.
There are quick self-exams that you can do at home to see if you might need to be checked out.
Simple tests you can do at home
- This may seem odd but watch the direction your feet face when you walk can tell you a lot about your pelvis. Observe their positioning. Both feet should face straight ahead of you with each step. If one or both faces either outward or inward, there may be a problem in your spine.
- Check for uneven shoulders, place yourself in front of a mirror standing straight, see if one shoulder is higher than the other, if your body is correctly aligned, your shoulders will be at the same height and facing forward. Uneven shoulders might cause neck and lower back pain.
- Pull out the pair of shoes you wear most often, turn them over, and take a good look at the soles. Are they worn areas fairly balanced? Or are they worn more on the inner or outer side of the foot? If the wearing is pretty even and balanced, your food strikes the ground with a neutral force. If shoes are wearing more on the insides there is more inner force or pressure as the foot strikes the ground; this is called pronation. Finally if your shoes are wearing more on the outsides of the soles this is called supination. This could be a red flag, signaling that you have irritated nerves in your low back.
- Place two scales side by side, making sure they have been centered and set to zero. Step one scale on each foot, at the same time, and read the final weight a 3-4 lbs difference is normal. Anything more means you may be favoring one leg over other, a sign that your spine is misaligned.
If you are experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms, you might want to seek chiropractic treatment.