Base-Line Healing logo. Stick figure with arms outstretched above shoulder height, legs apart. Rainbow of colours up midline. Red at pelvic floor Base then a line of orange, yellow, green blue extending to the head. Showing the body aligned and balanced, the natural way to treat fibromyalgia. Use your body better slogan.

A Neutral Spine.

The position of the spine is commonly discussed in relation to a good posture, with a "neutral" spine position being the ideal.

good posture

A neutral spine is when the all the vertebrae are in a natural position, under the minimal amount of stress.

Front/Back View Of A Neutral Spine.

When seen from the front or back, all vertebrae in a neutral spine form a straight line.

The skull and spine seen from the back and front.  All vertebrae are vertically aligned so that a straight line can be drawn from head to tailbone through the middle of each vertebra. This is a neutral spine position.

All vertebrae are aligned to create the median plane, with the body balanced either side.

the median plane

The nuchal and supraspinous ligaments that attach to the posterior (back) of the spine are also aligned.

nuchal & supraspinous ligaments

Side View Of A Neutral Spine.

When seen from the side, a neutral spine is curved.

  • The cervical (neck) spine curves inward.
  • The thoracic (upper back) spine curves outwards.
  • The lumbar (lower back) spine curves inward.
  • The sacrum curves outwards.
  • The coccyx (tailbone) is almost on the vertical.
Skull and spine seen from the side demonstrating the curvature of a neutral spine. The cervical vertebrae curve inwards with the nuchal ligament at the posterior. The thoracic vertebrae curve outwards, the lumbar vertebrae curve inwards and the sacrum curves outwards with the coccyx on the vertical.

The Main Muscles of Movement Create A Neutral Spine.

For a neutral spine, the rectus abdominis muscles need to be "long and strong", fully extended and taking the strain between pelvis and chest. If the rectus abdominis muscles are not fully utilised the lateral abdominal, psoas and other muscles of the lower back bear the burden which has negative effects on the positioning of the lumbar spine.

The gluteus maximus positions the sacrum, linking the base of the spine to the pelvis.

The trapezius muscles must be free of physical restrictions to allow the correct positioning of the thoracic and cervical spine and alignment of the nuchal and supraspinous ligaments.

Skeleton seen from the side. Showing the rectus abdominis muscles running up the front of the abdomen, a band of muscle that is attached to the pubic symphysis of the pelvis at the bottom, and the lower ribs at the top. These are the muscles that should support the body, not the spine. When the rectus abdominis muscles are fully active and extended, they stabilise the pelvis to the chest, allowing the lower spine to be positioned correctly and to not be under undue tension or stress. The rectus femoris muscles run down the front of each thigh, crossing the hip and knee joints. Strong poles of muscle that connect the legs to the torso, aligning the hip and knee joints. The rectus abdominis and rectus femoris muscles attach to the pelvis at the front at approximately the same level when viewed from the side. The gluteus maximus muscles, large and powerful at the back of the pelvis, extending above and below the level of where the rectus abdominis and rectus femoris attach to provide the link between base-line and legs. The trapezius muscles from the back of the head to midback, sculpted muscles that influence the positioning of the upper spine.

Back To Top