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Spinal Adjustemtn in Atlanta, GA
Dr. Summer TurnerMay 16, 2019 4:06:10 PM5 min read

How Do Chiropractors Know If Your Spine is Out of Alignment?

5 Common Signs Chiropractors Use to Determine That Your Spine is Out of Alignment 



Some common signs that your Chiropractor will look out for when determining if your spine is misaligned, include: 

  1. Leg Length 
  2. Range of Motion 
  3. Posture
  4. Heels 
  5. Gait 

Signs of a Misaligned Spine 

Your back is a very complex structure that houses the spinal cord and spinal nerves that carry information throughout our entire bodies. The spinal column is made up of bones called vertebrae. Attached to the spine are muscles that allow strength and movement to your back. 

When the spine becomes misaligned, also known as a subluxation, it can cause a wide variety of malfunctions within the body. 

Misalignment within the spine can affect our daily lives, causing neck and back pain, as well as pain throughout the rest of our bodies. This pain typically has to do with the misaligned vertebrae adding pressure to the nerves in the spinal column. 

The spine can become misaligned for any number of reasons. Some of which are obvious, like being involved in a serious accident. However, there are other reasons that may not be as clear, and it may not be obvious that there is a misalignment at all. 

Here are some tips for a healthy spine.

Here are some common signs that your Chiropractor will look out for when determining if you're misaligned. 

There are several ways a chiropractor can tell if your spine is out of alignment.
Leg Length

Most people know that our legs should be the same length, and under normal circumstances they are. One side should not be longer than the other.

This isn't an issue for many people. But if you have one foot that is higher off the ground than the other, this is a sign of dysfunction in your back pelvis. 

Checking the length of your legs is often one of the first things a chiropractor look for when diagnosing spinal function. 

When the lumbar joints are not functioning properly they can give the appearance of one leg being longer than the other. Sometimes the difference in length can be up to an inch! 

When the spine's alignment is restored, the discrepancy in the length of your legs will also be restored. 

Range of Motion

If your back is out of alignment, your range of motion can become more restricted, with or without accompanying pain.

The inability to fully move the head, neck, or back, is likely because the vertebrae in the spine are not in proper alignment. A cervical misalignment can inhibit full range of motion in the neck. This often causes pain anytime the neck is moved to the left or right. 

Some people may not realize that their range of motion is lacking until it's being tested by a chiropractor. 


To test your posture, stand on two bathroom scales. The weight distribution should be about the same over each foot. If it is not, that’s a good sign that you have a misaligned spine and your hips are off-center.

A chiropractor will normally be able to spot a subluxation in the spine just by observing body posture. 

When a patient has a misalignment, the body may have a tendency to lean to one side, a shoulder or hip may appear higher than the other, the head might tilt to the left or right, or body weight may be distributed unequally between feet. 

It's very likely that when someone's posture is not properly balanced, it's because the spinal joints are not aligned correctly. 


When you're out of alignment, checking the wear on the heels of the shoes may actually provide some insight into the spines alignment. 

Those with a spinal misalignment will tend to put an unequal amount of weight on one leg compared to the other, because of this, one shoe may have a lot more wear and tear than the other. 

When the lumbar spine or pelvis is out of alignment, the body will compensate by putting added stress in other places, which is what causes some people to walk differently with unequal weight distribution. 


Another way for the chiropractor to tell if there is a spinal misalignment is by a person's gait. 

During a patient's initial exam, the chiropractor may ask the patient to walk 10 to 20 yards in a straight line. They will be looking to see if the patient can walk in a straight line without limping or hobbling. 

If the spine is inhibiting a patient's gait, the chiropractor will be able to tell quite easily just by performing this one simple test. 

e test. 

Contact an Experienced Chiropractor for Spinal Misalignment Treatment 

Spinal misalignment can happen to anyone, and for any number of reasons. You do not have to be involved in a serious accident to have a misalignment. Just because there was no serious cause does not mean you won't suffer from serious pain. 

If you have headaches, backaches, sore or tender spots in muscles or joints, these are common signs of subluxation.

When you visit a chiropractor, the first thing they will do after your consultation is perform a series of tests to check your range of motion, posture, heels, and gait to determine whether or not there's a misalignment in the spine.

Once a diagnosis is made, your chiropractor will perform a spinal adjustment to realign your back.

At Arrowhead Clinic, we have a team of highly trained and experienced Chiropractors who have years of experience diagnosing and treating patients with spinal misalignments. 

Chiropractors are trained to understand the musculoskeletal system, and they work diligently to restore the body to its normal function without prescribing pain medications or conducting invasive surgeries. 

Spinal Adjustment being performed by a chiropractor from Arrowhead Clinic

Chiropractic Care is an all natural form to treatment and wellness. Chiropractors are specifically trained to correct misalignments in the spine and help to restore the body to its natural function. 

If you believe your spine is not in proper alignment, do not put off chiropractic care. Don't wait for your pain to get worse because you are hoping it will feel better on its own.

The quicker you are diagnosed and you can receive a spinal adjustment, the quicker you can return to your normal lifestyle and wellness. 

The Arrowhead Clinic offers a free consultation so we can find out the best way to help with your treatment and pain relief. 

If you have neck pain or back pain and need help correcting the misalignment in your spine, click below to schedule a free consultation with our expert Chiropractors today.

Free Chiropractic Consultation | Arrowhead Clinic

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Dr. Summer Turner

Dr. Turner is Arrowhead Clinic’s Atlanta Chiropractor. She is originally from North Carolina but has traveled all over the country pursuing her career as a Chiropractor by treating people who have been injured in accidents and people who suffer from chronic pain. She has been with Arrowhead for many years, fulfilling her desire to help accident victims and patients who suffer from chronic pain conditions. Dr. Turner is well-versed in chiropractic care with an emphasis on sports-related therapies. She had the opportunity to train under the chiropractor for the Carolina Panthers to complete her Master's in Sports Rehabilitation. She studied under two more chiropractors, which allowed her to sharpen her skills and adjusting techniques. Dr. Turner is certified in several soft tissue techniques, including Active Release Technique (ART) and Fascial Distortion Model (FDM), as well as a movement diagnosis technique called Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA). Dr. Turner believes that movement is life and, as such, plays a critical role in overall health. She has always been passionate about helping people improve their quality of life, be it through chiropractic care, nutritional counseling, and/or a variation of physical modalities. She has helped many individuals achieve a healthier life. A recent review left by one of Dr. Turner’s patients stated, “Great customer service from staff. Quick and effective service from the doctor.” Dr. Turner offers free, same-day consultations to anyone in pain. She is available for appointments Monday-Friday from 9 a.m to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.