This is pure speculation on my part, but I have an old back injury in my left lower back. I have no idea what it is and neither do a ton of doctors that looked at it.

I know that stretching my lower back (toe reach, toe reach with one foot over the other, especially when stretching the affected side) helps immensely.

I noticed that when I wake up with my back stretched out (i.e. don't feel a stretch on trying it) I feel very well rested. On other days, I feel completely tired. This does NOT seem to be related to amount of sleep, but to the position my back was in when I slept (avoiding lordosis).

I know this is a vague, but is there any evidence to support my theory that my back alignment is affecting how "tired" I feel?

  • It may also be affecting the quality of your sleep if there is pain or discomfort or restlessness.
    – DoctorWhom
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 16:51
  • I don't have any pain or discomfort that prevents me from sleeping. I don't believe it affects my ability to fall or stay asleep at all.
    – VSO
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 17:01

2 Answers 2



Yes indeed it can. Even very subtle misalignment can cause a variety of issues. Most commonly it's early joint degradation and odd sensations in the legs due to tension that isn't evenly dispersed. This is somewhat of a controversial topic though, there's limited research on somewhat benign misalignment. Usually more severe cases are studied. You'd need measurements and scans done to determine if it's actually misaligned.


Unfortunately the answer to this question is at this time purely anecdotal. Unless someone can find research studies to back up some of these observations you will have to rely on biased answers such as this one. In my experience as a clinician, the answer is yes. However, in my view spinal misalignment is a laypersons description of what I would call a somatic dysfunction, from the osteopathic field, or a neuromuscular dysfunction, from the physical therapy view point. I have personally experienced and have witnessed in my patients improved wellbeing and decreased pain levels after resolving these dysfunctions. Additional benefits include improved efficiency with balance and force production by athletes. My frustration with the misalignment language is clinicians desire to 'realign' the spine through manipulation. Manipulation can be useful with extremely hypomobile joints. However, since bones do not move themselves and muscles are merely the actuators, the real problem is primarily one of the peripheral nervous system. Manipulation and stretching do help reset the PNS but only for a short time. Techniques such as functional/indirect, muscle energy, and strain counterstrain are much more effective as they deal with directly effecting the underlying tone characteristics of an entire joint. Integrating this joint into a functional chain then becomes possible using neuromuscular reeducation. All of these techniques are only as effective as the practitioner applying them. Hope this helps.


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