For Alex, who builds boats for a living, loves CrossFit, and has been a lifelong surfer and skater, putting the activities that he not only loves but that he has to do to make a living on the back burner due to low back pain was far more than just an inconvenience.

As Alex explained to me when we first met, when his low back was in spams, his abilities to work and make a living were compromised. His love for fitness and using his body in high performance sports such as CrossFit and surfing had to take a back seat due to chronic low back strain.

“On most days I wake up feeling stiff and in pain” he told me. I felt for Alex, having once been in his shoes with lower back pain and back spasms that used to limit me greatly in not only my work, but also in the sports that I love to participate in.

Today my lower back pain is a thing of the past, and my goal in meeting with Alex was to show him how he too could eliminate this chronic pain from his life and continue to participate in the activities he loves.

In my appointment with Alex, after assessing the posture of his entire body, explaining to him where his body was out of alignment, and taking him through a sequence of nine body weight alignment improving exercises, the look on Alex’s face said it all.

He was in disbelief that he felt so much better after just 30 minutes of doing some simple exercises!

I checked in with Alex the next day to see how he was doing and he said that he woke up that morning with no low back pain.

This was huge for Alex. For one, waking up with no low back pain for the first time in years was a victory. Not only that, but Alex now had the tools to continue to keep his body out of pain through his own daily actions.

In this post I would like to illustrate some of the improvements Alex was able to make in his posture by doing some simple alignment-based exercises. Alex gave me permission to use his photos in this post.

The before photo below is one that I took at the beginning of my assessment with Alex:

In the before photo above this line of text you can see that there is a red plumb line that starts at Alex’s ankle joint and goes directly up in a vertical line (this is the thinner, lighter red line that you see towards the back side of Alex’s body). You can also see darker red dots placed at Alex’s ankle joint, knee joint, hip joint, shoulder joint, and ear lobe.

The ideal alignment of the human body from the side view is you should be able to pass a vertical line through the ankle joint, knee joint, hip joint, shoulder joint, and ear lobe. As you can see from the dark red line connecting Alex’s knee, hip, shoulder, and ear lobe that Alex’s hip, shoulder, and ear lobe are all forward of the vertical light red plum line.

I explained to Alex in our appointment that these forward misalignments of his hip, shoulder, and head (as indicated by his ear lobe) were symptomatic of muscular imbalances throughout his body that needed to be addressed in order for his low back pain to go away.

This is exactly what we did that day when we met for his appointment. We addressed the muscular imbalances that were causing Alex’s body to shift forward through the use of simple body weight exercises. As a result of Alex doing these exercises we were not only able to see an immediate visual improvement in Alex’s alignment, but Alex also experienced an immediate reduction in his pain.

The after photo below is one that I took towards the end of my session with Alex, after he completed a 30-minute routine of simple stretches and exercises to realign his body:

In the after photo above this line of text you can see that Alex’s hip, shoulder, and ear lobe are all in a better vertical alignment with the red plumb line.

To this day, Alex is still keeping up with his exercises and he is thrilled by his new-found effectiveness with not only feeling better, but with continuing to maintain his results.

To further explain the relationship between the forward shift in Alex’s alignment shown in the photos and his low back pain along with the subsequent reduction in low back pain when the alignment was improved, here are some key points to keep in mind:

Everything is connected.

The shoulder joints connect with the spine through certain muscles and bones, and the spine connects with the hips through other muscles and bones.

The shoulders, spine, and hips all work together as a unit.

When the shoulders and/or hips are out of their correct alignment, the muscles and bones that connect these structures are impacted. And guess what is caught in the middle of the shoulders and hips? The spine, and all of the muscles that surround the spine are caught in the middle!

So yes, everything is connected, and an imbalance in the shoulders for example can play a role in something like lower back pain, as can an imbalance in the hips.

I encourage everyone to take a global perspective when viewing their body and whatever pain issue they are looking to address.

The moral of the story here is that the site of the pain is hardly ever the source of the pain.

Thank you, Alex, for letting me use your photos for this demonstration, and a big fist bump to you for taking the destiny of your health into your own hands!

Thank you for reading my article. My goal in making posts like these is to explain the relationship between posture and pain in simple, plain English terms that you can relate to personally. If anything in this post is not clear, or needs some further explanation, please let me know! I can be reached at Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.