How to improve your spinal alignment

Updated February 21, 2017

Correct spinal alignment can reduce back pain and decrease the odds of developing back problems later in life. There are various situations that can cause problems with spinal alignment. Spinal misalignment typically falls into two groups, scoliosis and lordosis. Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine away from the body. Lordosis is a curvature of the spine toward the body. Lordosis is the official name for a swayback condition. Medical treatment is the best way to see results in treating spinal misalignment, but there are ways to improve the effect of your treatment plan. Discuss any new activities with your doctor before adding them to your routine.

Focus on posture. Imagine your head pulled gently toward the ceiling by a string. This will help lift your head and neck and relax your shoulders. With proper spinal alignment, your head will generally be in line with your hips, not projecting in front of the body. With time, good posture becomes a habit, but it initially requires a good deal of concentration.

Change positions often. Sitting or standing in one position leads to muscle pain and fatigue. In an effort to relieve stress on the tense body part, it is common to fidget, slouch or lean. Instead, change your body position completely, whilst maintaining proper posture. Change from a seated position to a standing one, or if you normally stand, go for a walk.

Lose excess weight. Being overweight causes a variety of health problems. Additional weight, particularly in the stomach area, leads to unnecessary strain on the spine. Excess weight anywhere in the body places an extra burden on your joints.

Practice yoga or pilates. Yoga and pilates increase flexibility and strengthen the core muscles that support the spine. Take classes from an instructor when you begin either of these exercise programs. When done incorrectly, pilates and yoga can cause more problems than they prevent.

Strengthen your muscles. Lift weights to strengthen muscles in the abdomen, hamstrings and back. Strengthening these muscles provides support for the spine, relieves pressure and encourages proper alignment.


Listen to your body. None of these activities should cause pain.


When lifting weights, increase weight slowly to reduce the risk of straining a muscle.

Things You'll Need

  • Fitness instructor
  • Weights
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