Skip to main content
Nurse smiling at a patient Nurse smiling at a patient

What Is A Neutral Spine?

Woman with a neutral spine

It will help you to know a little about how your spine works so that you can understand how to reduce pain when you move. Think of your spine as a tower of bony blocks that are stacked one on top of the other and interlock with each other like Lego blocks.

There are 24 bones altogether and a break can happen to one or several of these bones. Every one of these 24 bony blocks has a different shape and size. When they are all stacked one on top of the other they form three gentle natural curves that create a strong support post for the head. This alignment is called the neutral spine; it is the strongest and safest position for the spine. In neutral spine the head is positioned so the ear is directly over the shoulder.

A rounded spine may be a sign of a spine fracture
Rounded spine

Although it may be painful to get into the neutral spine position because of your stiff or weak back muscles, it is the best position to protect your spine. By training your muscles, you can help to reduce the strain on your spine.

Even small corrections of alignment can help to reduce pain and strain. When you hunch over or twist your spine, you are putting a lot of strain on the spine that may cause more pain and will cause more strain on your vertebrae. More strain increases the risk of additional spine fractures.

© Osteoporosis Canada, 2024
Charitable Registration No. 89551 0931 RR 0001