Why Chiropractic works!
This is actually quite a long story so I’m going to try and explain it with as much detail as possible in its simplest form.
So what is chiropractic and how can it help me?
At its core, chiropractic is a form of manipulative therapy aimed to affect the nervous system and allow it to function at its fullest capacity.
Most people come see us because they are in pain. While we take care of every joint in the body to help heal people’s aches and pains - that is just a beautiful secondary benefit of what chiropractic can do. We try and figure out what the underlying cause of pain is to try and help the individual overcome it.
Locally, when joints are not moving properly a few things can happen:
Mechanoreceptors, the types which are located in the joint do not fire properly (or at all) thereby allowing our pain sensitive fibers to override and go to our brain. An example would be when you stub your toe and to combat the pain you rub it. The stimulation of mechanoreceptors by your touch takes over the pain receptor’s path and stops the firing to your brain. When pain fibers get to our brain, it’s a signal that something is wrong, which then tells our body to feel “pain”. This is a signal to do something because something isn’t right - kind of like a last ditch to get your sh** together.
The nerve plexuses surrounding the joint (especially in the spine) may not be functioning as well as it could be. There are many nerves and plexuses on our spine - from the neck to the pelvis and sacrum, and if there are “subluxations” detected, it can disturb the flow of our nervous system. Nerves carry information necessary for all aspects of life - communication between our systems, muscle movement, organ function and much more! *A note on organ function below… because I can feel eye rolls already*
No blood flow! Our joints need nutrients in order to survive and need blood flow to the joint. Movement allows the flow of blood through the joint which is filled with oxygen and nutrients.
Muscles and fascia get tight and cause adhesions and possible scar tissue build up which can also cause pain if left untreated.
Chiropractors are highly trained to detect these subluxations (lack of joint movement) and there are a variety of techniques to do so. With a quick and gentle adjustment, we can help realign our spine and allow the body to work in its optimal capacity - letting nerve impulses flow without interference and restoring movement in joints. We also know exercises to stretch out fascia and get rid of any tissue imbalances.
Why do we care about the nervous system?
As mentioned above, the nervous system is in charge of our bodily functions. Spinal nerves can be impinged between joints, fascia, and/or muscles. If this continues to be untreated, it can cause pain, numbness & tingling, or weakness - think of Carpal tunnel syndrome, Thoracic outlet syndrome, sciatica, meralgia paresthetica, disc herniations and degeneration. We can help figure out its root cause and restore functionality through movement patterns and repatterning.
Organ debacle: The autonomic nervous system is in charge of blood vessels, liver, kidneys, intestines, heart, sweat glands and more. The 2 subdivisions in its simplest form can be thought of a stimulator (sympathetic) and an inhibitor (parasympathetic), with processes unique to each one. Nerves that leave the spinal cord can traverse up or down to the sympathetic ganglia which are located on the sides of the vertebrae and from there they can go through various pathways to innervate the internal organs.
Therefore, if there is something obstructing the nerve before it gets to the sympathetic ganglia, there may be a lack of function. Ever heard of practitioners saying that a specific vertebra is related to your sinus? Or lung function? Or bowel? While I personally do not believe that a specific vertebra is related to a specific organ function, it can be used a guide in that correcting a subluxation in the general area might be able to affect that visceral concern.
Have you ever been adjusted and felt your bowels grumble or heard a baby pass gas or stop crying after their adjustment? Sinuses released or felt it easier to breathe? This could be an effect by the adjustment to the organ or surrounding musculature. Chiropractors cannot cure visceral concerns (nor is it in our scope of practice) but we can definitely clear out any nerve obstructions which may have an indirect effect on those symptoms.
Why not give it a try before heading to get nasal spray, tylenol, or pepto bismol? Wouldn’t you want your body to be able function and figure out how to fix itself by itself? Why would you want to rely on external forces to get you through your life? Do you want to always wear a knee/ankle brace? Always tape up your body for athletic events? Invest in something that will provide you the best return on your quality of life.
Come and see a chiropractor today! We are all cool and knowledgeable people. Not biased at all.
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