By Dr. Paul Oh
Neutral spine is the best way that I know to protect your spine. When your spine is in good alignment is distributes force along it well. Think of a water hose analogy. When the spine is in good alignment water flows through it with ease. A mis-alignment may create a leak. That leak is often where we get injured.
The main issues with most back injuries is that most people are not aware of the leak. Most people think my back is not strong enough. However it is often the leaky segment is not strong enough because it used it too much. Most often people move too much through teh segment that causes pain. Instead they should be fixating the spine as on unit so forces can be distributed to the hips and gluts. Low back disc herniations most commonly occur at the L4-5 or L5-S1 level, but why?
These discs are oriented in a way that it is easier to move through these segments. Because we move through these segments too much we put them at more risk of being injured. This is especially true during squats, deadlifts or anything for that matter.
Let’s bring another anology into the mix. Think of our body as a growing tree and the hose is our spine that feeds us. We need to maintain neutral to allow the water to flow through the hose (our spine). As more water flows through the hose we can water the roots of the tree which is our gluts and core. We need to learn to drive movement from this area. In general, a neutral spine feeds better glut and core activation. You may ask yourself I never feel my gluts during a squat or deadlift, you may want to check your alignment. I find when I can lock my spine into neutral I can get more out of my gluts.
Here are a few videos about how to get into neutral spine and how to move with it. In my practice, I teach people how to hold neutral spine and get more out of their glut and core. My workshops, courses, therapy and posts always have this concept in mind. Watch the following videos to learn about neutral spine and how to use it.
How to achieve neutral… https://youtu.be/P1zyL3iHQds
How to move with neutral …. https://youtu.be/di4Zh5YTPlA