By Mary Ann Wilson,RN
The purpose of neutral spine alignment is to improve posture. Instead of constantly reminding you to bring your “shoulders back and chest up,” the spine is broken down into different areas so we can concentrate on improving one area at a time. The goal of this practice is to put each segment of the spine where it belongs, starting with low back, upper back and head.
Once you find the correct position for your spine, the objective is to keep it there by gently tightening the trunk muscles to form a brace.
Practice neutral spine alignment with Physical Therapist, John McKinnon in the video below or follow these written instructions.
Rock the pelvis back and forth – arch the back, then round it out. Then position the low back right in the middle-where it feels good.
Bend the chest forward and back several times. Then position the upper spine right in the middle where it feels right.
Glide the head forward and back, keeping the chin level – like sliding a dresser drawer in and out. Position the head over shoulders.
Now that all segments are centered, try to maintain this position. Gently tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall.
Breathe in and exhale. The abdominal muscles should stay tight.
If you learn to maintain a centered position, keeping the spine in neutral alignment at all times, your body will reward you with good posture and a healthy spine.