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Neutral Spine

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. 

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