WHAT IS NEUTRAL SPINE?
Neutral spine is a position (that you can find standing, sitting, on all fours, or lying on your back, side, or front) in which the loads are optimally distributed through the spine, minimizing the load on each individual vertebra and intervertebral disc, and reducing the amount of work your muscles have to do to maintain your posture.
When your spine is in a neutral position, your core muscles are optimally positioned to support healthy breathing, posture, and movement. This is why people are advised to “lift with the knees” while keeping the spine neutral rather than bending the spine to lift loads.
“Why do I find neutral spine uncomfortable?”
There are often two things happening here:
1. If your body is used to a different posture, some of your trunk muscles may be overly strong, while others are overly weak, making it difficult for them to support a neutral spinal alignment.
2. If your body is used to a different posture, and/or if you have chronic pain or tension in your back, shoulders, or pelvis, some of your muscles and other tissues
may be tight, making it feel like you have to strain to get into a neutral spinal alignment.
Neither of these things means that neutral spine is not a good position for you – however, it may mean that it will take some time for you to be able to naturally achieve a neutral spinal alignment, or for you to maintain this position for extended periods of time.