Our spines can get out of alignment for a number of different reasons. Some of these causes of misalignment are obvious, like when they occur as a result of an acute injury. However, some other causes are much more minute, and you might not even realize your spine is misaligned. Below, we take a look at five ways you can check to see if you spine is out of alignment.
Here are five signs or tests you can perform to see if your spine is out of alignment.
1. Look at your Legs – Spine misalignment can cause one leg to feel or actually extend longer than the other. Sit on the edge of your bed or lie down in your bed and see if one of your legs extends further than the other. This is a sign that your spine is out of alignment.
2. The Shoe Test – When your spine is out of alignment, you’ll tend to put unequal weight on one of your legs. One way to see if you misaligned spine is causing leg issues is to look at your shoes. If you are putting abnormal pressure on one leg, one shoe may show a lot more wear and tear than the other.
3. Check your Neck – Cervical spine misalignment can inhibit full range of motion in your neck. If you can’t seem to twist your neck fully to your left or right, or pain develops when you turn in one direction, odds are you’re dealing with an alignment issue.
4. Posture Check – Another way to look for spinal alignment issues is by standing in front of a mirror and looking to see if everything is level on a horizontal plane. See if your shoulders, hips, knees and ankles all on the same horizontal plane, or if one side dipping. If it’s easier, have a friend help by using a washable marker on the mirror to mark the points on the mirror so you can have a visual representation of where these areas are in relation to one another.
5. Hitch in Your Step – A spinal misalignment can affect your gait. The easiest way to determine if your spine is inhibiting your gait is to walk in straight line for 10-20 yards. See if you notice any limping or hobbling. Have a friend or family member observe your walk to see if they can tell if anything looks disjointed.
If you fail any of these tests, or you’ve just been dealing with back discomfort for some time, reach out to a spine specialist like Dr. Chang to undergo an evaluation.