Spinal adjustments can have a major impact on how the body functions. The brain is the command center of the body. It tells every cell, tissue & organ what to do, when & how to do it. For organs like the heart, the brain is constantly sending signals to increase or decrease heart rate & blood pressure when appropriate. An appropriate time to increase both would be lifting weights or playing sports and an appropriate time to decrease both is getting ready for bed.
The Human Body
The human body was built intelligently, the brain and spinal cord are protected by some of the strongest bones in the body, the skull and vertebrae. This is important because they protect the most delicate tissue in the body, Nerve tissue. The importance of proper communication of the messages that are being sent and received between the brain & body constantly should not be taken lightly. When these signals are interrupted or obstructed, the messages are disrupted causing dis-ease of the muscle or organ which may result in hypo or hyperthyroidism, high or low blood pressures or even digestive issues. Over time the body struggles to function properly causing wear & tear and eventually leading to disease.
The Spinal cord is protected by the spinal column which is made up of a series of moveable vertebrae (bones). The function of proper movement of these bones allows people to twist, bend & turn athletically. Proper movement of the vertebrae also keep the discs healthy. Discs sit between each vertebra and act as a spacer to create room for the nerves to exit the spine and travel to different areas of the body: The Heart, Lungs, Stomach, Arms, Legs, Bladder & Reproductive organs just to name a few. Because there is very little blood that reaches the discs, movement of the vertebrae are what allows the discs to pump out toxins and pump in healthy nutrients.
Since these vertebrae are moveable, they are also susceptible & vulnerable to shifting out of proper alignment. As stress and forces are placed on the spinal column, the bones can shift and get stuck. When vertebrae are stuck out of alignment, toxins build up in the disc and normal wear & tear occurs leading to arthritis. Additionally, when the bones of the spine shift outside of a normal functional range, rather than protecting the nerve system they injure it. This leads to an obstruction of messages that are sent between the brain & body causing the body to function with dis-ease and may eventually lead to a disease.
The Life Line
One of my favorite quotes is from the Father of Medicine Hippocrates, “Look well to the spine for the cause of disease”. The ancient Greeks understood the importance of maintaining the spinal column & spinal cord… they understood that the spinal cord is the life line of the body.
The goal of Chiropractic is to restore, improve & maintain the integrity of the spine with the purpose of protecting & healing the nerve system. This is something that only Chiropractors are trained to do and sadly less and less are focusing their skills on spinal adjustments. Many physical therapists and other chiropractors have focused on manipulations of the spine. They are changing the structure of the spine to decrease muscle spasms & increase range of motion.
While spinal manipulations are a nice service for many people, those who are looking for a more profound result should be investigating the difference between a spinal manipulation & spinal adjustments.
Spinal adjustments should follow a careful assessment of a patient’s nerve function & spinal structure. Using objective measurements to pair the structural configuration of the spine & pin pointing nerve injuries, one is able to identify specifically how the spine needs to be corrected to repair the communication between the brain & the body as well as how to prevent future arthritis from forming.
Objective measurements should be used at each and every visit. Your spine is different than other people’s so you should NOT be getting the same spinal manipulation as the person ahead or behind you & you should not be getting the same manipulation each and ever visit.
Structural Shifts and Nerve Inflammation
Structural shifts of the spine cause the bone to get STUCK out of proper alignment injuring a nerve. There are multiple issues that occur when this happens. One of the problems is that the nerve system is injured causing a nerve inflammation. When a nerve is injured and inflamed it prevents the nerve system from functioning properly.
The Nerve System
The function of the nerve system is to act as the roadways for communication between the brain and the body. Different nerves travel to every cell and tissue in the body so a patient will experience different secondary conditions depending on which nerve is injured and where that nerve is traveling to in the body. A nerve in the lower back will travel down the leg and may cause Sciatic Nerve Pain but nerves in the lower back also travel to the bladder, lower digestive tract and reproductive organs. This means someone with an injury in their lower back can experience a variety of secondary conditions based upon which nerve is injured.
Chiropractic and XRay
Chiropractors should be using Xray to identify how the structure of the spine has shifted away from a normal range. When this happens, the bones get stuck out of place, causing more stress to be placed on the bones above and below the stuck joint and the stuck bone itself may cause a nerve injury. Xray is paramount in knowing that the patient does not have any abnormal variations of their spine. Roughly 10% of the population has congenital anomalies, meaning they were born with a variation in their spine. It may be an extra bone, one bone less than a normal person, they may have been born with an extra rib or missing a rib.
Knowing this information is paramount when taking care of a patient as a chiropractor. Would you want your doctor guessing as to which bone, he or she is adjusting because if he or she is not taking an Xray or using other imaging, they may be adjusting the wrong bone simply because their counting one too many or one too few bones in the spine.
Chiropractic and MRI
MRI’s are generally not the first diagnostic image that clinicians use as they are move invasive than Xray but MRI is able to obtain information about a patient that an Xray cannot. In most chiropractic cases an MRI is going to be ordered after a two-week period of conservative treatment that has not showed any benefits of care. Although it takes time for the body to heal itself there should be some sort of positive signs that the treatment is working. The reason that MRI’s are not ordered until after a two-week conservative treatment period is due to the fact that the treatment for many cases that need an MRI is actually the exact same treatment as would be recommended even after an MRI is ordered. MRI’s will help a doctor identify which disc (ligament) is injured as well as which nerve is injured. This information can play a major role in how quickly a patient recover.
Chiropractor Colorado Springs
As a Chiropractor in Colorado Springs, I use an objective and conservative health care approach focused on the spine and nerve system. We assess how the structure of the spine is directly affecting the nerve system. In our office we run a premium model similar to Luis Vuitton as opposed to a model like Massage Envy. Our office uses objective indicators to identify structural shifts of the spine outside of a normal structural range, similarly to how an engineer assesses the structural integrity of a building. Then we use instrumentation to identify nerve inflammation as the nerve system are exits the spine. Information is paired to create a well-rounded assessment of a patient’s condition which is used to generate a plan to correct the issue. In our office we identify symptoms that are really a secondary condition caused an injured nerve that resulted from a structural shift of the spine.