Spinal Structure and Alignment

Spinal Health 101: A quick look at your first appointment with Dr. Betty Callen.


“So today I’m going to be looking for the alignment of your spine. It’s called the biomechanics of your spine, which is a really fancy word for your posture alignment in space or in motion. And from the front of your spine you should be straight up and down, because we’re looking for gravity to load on the spinal structure straight through.

When you have a strong structure, your brain can send electrical signals very efficiently and effectively through the spinal cord that’s inside the spine, and then out your nerves come. From the side, we want a nice curve in your low back, a curve in your mid-back, and a curve in your neck coming back. When this is all lined up in space and gravity is loading through, then again your brain is going to have really clear electrical signals to go through the spinal cord, out your nerves. When you have the straight spine from the front, and you have the curves lined up from the side, your joints will line at about a 30-degree angle. That 30 degree angle will allow the holes to be really big and open where those nerves go through, then you get to talk and communicate and heal really fast.

Now life happens, and you can have microtraumas or macrotraumas that can actually move our spinal alignment out of place which can put pressure on these delicate nerves. So if you think about a microtrauma, that’s doing something over and over again repetitive, your muscles can get fatigued. And when you have fatigued muscles over a period of time, you can move that thick band a ligament holding your joints together out of place. The other way you can move things out of place is through something called a macrotrauma, something really fast that happens quick, like maybe a minor or a major auto accident, or a slip or a fall that happens so fast that your muscles have a hard time protecting you quickly. So then again you bypass those muscles, you get to the thick band the ligament, and you can move things out of place. So my job is to find out where your postural alignment is, or your biomechanics is lining up in space, so then I can come up with a plan to take those ligaments, move them nice and slow back to the neutral position to unload the pressure off the nervous system. When you take the pressure off your nerves, then your body gets to talk, communicate, and heal much faster. And then you get to be out of pain, then you get to do all the things you love to do in life, and your body just gets to talk to all those organ systems a whole lot more efficiently.”

*Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed and vary from person to person

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