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My low back hurts- why did you adjust my neck?

Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and noticed a tilt in your shoulders? Maybe on hip looks higher than the other? You've probably tried to correct this problem yourself by pulling that shoulder down or raising the other. But that's only a temporary solution and one you would have to be consciously doing all of the time.

So why does this happen? Were you born with crooked shoulders? Maybe. But the most likely answer is something called the righting reflex.

Your brain receives afferent signals from your body all the time. Muscles and joints send proprioceptive signals to the brain to let your central nervous system know where it is in space at all times. Here's a fun activity to test your proprioception:

Stand with your arms out. Close your eyes and bring your finger straight to your nose. Your ability to know where your nose is without seeing it in a mirror is called proprioception.

Proprioception is so important to the brain that when the upper cervical spine is misaligned and causing the head to tilt one way or the other, your brain will do incredible things to level your eyes with the horizon. The brain sends signals (efferent) back out to the skeletal muscles to contract or relax on one side or the other, causing one shoulder to drop lower than the other. The hips then have to compensate for this and so on. This cascade of events is called the righting reflex:

This is a big reason why people suffer from low back, hip or knee pain on only one side. It's not because that hip or knee is older than the other one, it's because that joint is experiencing more wear and tear from bearing more of the load from the spine.

Rather than adjusting areas only because they are in pain, it's important to start at the top and correct the spinal alignment issues that are the root cause. That's why we always start at the top- to correct the cause of the pain happening below.

If this diagram looks similar to what you're seeing in the mirror, it's time to get your upper cervical spine analyzed for misalignment. You can find a doctor near you by visiting

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