Why Does My Spine Get Misaligned?
From the day you were born, and even before then, your spine had subtle misalignments. The way you were positioned in the womb wasn’t perfectly symmetrical. The birth process doesn’t help either, as doctors struggle to get you in the right position so you can come into the world and say, ”Hi.”
This is why most babies’ heads drop to one side when they’re lying on their backs. This is why they tend to grab the same foot to put in their mouth over and over.
Why does their head fall to that side and not the other side? Why do they choose that foot to put into their mouth and not the other foot? It’s because of the subtle misalignments in the neck and pelvis that cause the body to favor one side over the other. Over time those subtle misalignments are magnified by impacts and traumas.
By the time you were five years old, you’d had about 200 (or more) falls that were serious enough to misalign your spine. The first falls you had while learning to walk, the ones you had on the playground running around and the crashes you had on your bike all had an impact on your spinal alignment.
Your body doesn’t initially heal itself from these traumas—it just compensates. It compensates by dropping your head down on one side, by carrying one shoulder higher than the other, by rotating one of your hips forward and the other one backward. You can see this clearly on your X-rays.
One of ways your body compensates is by laying down scar tissue in the area of the original injury. This makes the muscles in that area tighter and weaker, and an imbalance develops between that muscle and its counterpart on the other side of your body.
The problem of the misaligned vertebrae becomes cyclical, then, as the left-right muscle imbalance prevents the original area of injury from healing itself. You may end up with one shoulder muscle stronger than the other, one bicep stronger than the other and so on. Anyone who has lifted weights in the gym for a period of time can feel this left-right strength imbalance.
A misaligned vertebra disrupts the body’s healing process, causing muscle-imbalances and scar tissue to form in an area of strain or injury—in turn, this worsens the condition of that misaligned vertebra and creates a cycle.
So in order to reduce the frequency and severity of spinal misalignments, we have to follow the ABCs:
- Align your vertebrae
- Break up old scar tissue
- Correct left-right muscle imbalances
And always remember, because sitting is the number one thing we do that misaligns our spines—and we all sit in cars, couches, chairs, airplanes, bleachers and benches—our spines will always need to be realigned.
By following the ABCs, we can reduce how often and how severely our misalignments affect our mind and body.