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The Link Between Your Spine & The Rest of Your Body

Spine Many people understand how Chiropractic addresses back pain through specific adjustments of the spine, but many others have trouble making the link between Chiropractic and how it also helps the healthy function of the rest of their body.

It all comes down to the fact that the spinal cord and the nerve roots through which your brain manages the function of all your bodily processes run through your spine. If the spine is misaligned, it puts these soft tissues under stress, which can impact your body’s function in various ways.

What we learned from 50 dogs

Take a Japanese study that involved 50 dogs. Their spines were put under gradual traction to induce the kinds of misalignments we see in many of our patients. The integrity of the spinal cord was closely monitored throughout. It was evident that a spine that is out of alignment does put stress on the spinal cord and makes it more vulnerable to compressive forces, such as those that may be caused by a bulged or herniated disc.

Many of our patients when they first walk in the door have lost the natural curve in their neck. Their heads are very forward. We call this “anterior head carriage.” The result is that the spinal cord is stretched or “tractioned,” just like the dogs in this study. While the spinal cord is an elastic system, this kind of constant stress does ultimately impair its healthy, normal function.

The scars you can’t see

How? We know that stress on the spinal cord can inhibit the flow of the electrical impulses from the brain to the rest of the body, and limit blood flow. This can increase the risk of damage to the neural and supporting tissues. Constant stress also hinders the ability of the spinal cord, the nerve roots, and your entire nervous system to recover from injury.

Day after day, month after month, year after year, the constant stress on these soft tissues can lead to the buildup of scar tissue. The channels of communication between your brain and the rest of your body are impaired, just like the flow of water through a kinked garden hose.

But another study with dogs showed that, if you ease the stress on the spinal cord, damaged tissue can heal faster. And that’s what we do here at the clinic – by restoring your spine’s natural alignment, we are easing the stress that impairs healing and contributes to that buildup of scar tissue.

Why ‘homeostasis’ matters

Spinal misalignments that are unaddressed long term will lead to degeneration of vertebrae and discs. The result? Impairments to the healthy function of your sensory, motor and autonomic nervous systems.

The healthy function of your body’s sympathetic nerve fibers are most impacted by trauma and continued stress on the nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system’s primary purpose is to stimulate the body’s instinct for “flight or fight” in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival. But what’s most important here is that it’s also constantly active at a basic level to maintain homeostasis – this is the healthy balance of all the biochemical activities that are always taking place in your body.

If your sympathetic nerve fibers are not functioning properly, you will not function properly. This can impact your mood, energy levels, sleep patterns, and organ function.

How these things may or may not be impacted depends on where, how, and to what degree your spinal cord and the nerve roots in question are being stressed.

As you can see, Chiropractic care is more than just back pain

And we do want you to get better, to reduce your need to see us as much as possible. That’s why we also prescribe various other spinal rehabilitative exercises, so you can take control of your recovery, and through this blog, recommend other things you can do to improve your health, through exercise, better ergonomics, and nutrition.

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