An integral part of normal human function is the brain's ability to communicate with the body through the nervous system. This is a well-known scientific fact that all medical and allied health practitioners around the world agree on. We also know that during our lifetime the body is exposed to stressful situations that have the potential to compromise the nervous system (when your spine is misaligned or 'out'). This may result in nerve interference that compromises our health and prevents the body from functioning at its best.
Symptons of subluxation or spinal misalignment
If the nervous system supplies every single part of our body, what symptoms might you expect if you have a subluxation or spinal misalignment? Early on you might not 'feel' anything at all. If the subluxation or misalignment remains over time then you could experience anything from colic and reflux in babies, to ear infections, asthma, learning disorders, behavioural problems in children or teenagers, and dizziness, period pains, headaches, spinal aches/pains, reduction in energy and metabolism, irritable bowel syndrome, accelerated osteoarthritis/degeneration in adults.
Disharmony of the body system
Any interference to the nervous system as a result of spinal subluxations or spinal misalignment has the potential to cause disharmony with any organ or body system and consequently cause less than optimal health. Components to a subluxation or misalignment are not limited to altered movement of a joint but also include hormonal and chemical changes to surrounding nerves, muscle and other tissues, as the body attempts to heal the affected region. We know that symptoms which accompany a subluxation or misalignment vary enormously between people and are largely dependent on the cause, location and length of time that a subluxation or misalignment has been present. This article will look at the mechanisms of acute (sudden onset) and chronic (long standing) subluxations or misalignments.
Each spinal joint is composed of two adjoining vertebrae (spinal bones) that are separated by an intervertebral disc (except the first and second neck vertebrae and the pelvis, which do not have discs).
Acute spinal subluxation or spinal misalignment
An Acute spinal subluxation or spinal misalignment results from a sudden disruption to the normal movement patterns that occur at a particular joint. Chemical changes resulting from altered joint function can cause inflammation in the immediate area surrounding the subluxed or misaligned joint. Inflammation at the scene of an injury plays an important role in creating an environment favourable to natural healing. Swelling in and around the joint also makes it harder (and often more painful!) to move, protecting the joint from further damage.
The cause of pain associated with subluxation or misalignment
Surrounding muscles help further stabilize the region and reduce movement. Joint ligaments and tightened muscles have an abundance of pain receptors, and are often the cause of pain associated with an acute subluxation or misalignment. Irritation to nerves, particularly as they exit the spine is the most harmful consequence of spinal subluxation or misalignment. Nerve irritation can be due to inflammation and swelling exerting pressure on the involved nerves and their protective coverings (meninges), or it may result from direct physical pressure from either a vertebra or, more commonly, a bulging or inflamed disc in contact with the nerve or spinal cord.
Permanent changes to the body without treatment
Chronic spinal subluxations or spinal misalignments involve similar changes as their acute counterparts. However the body recognizes that the temporary measures such as inflammation and swelling that were activated in the acute subluxation or misalignment need to be replaced by more permanent changes in an effort to stabilize the affected joint. These modifications, such as shortened muscles, degenerated joints and scar tissue formation, are adaptations the body makes when it is forced into choosing joint stability over joint mobility.
Chronic subluxation or misalignment
The reasons for a subluxation or misalignment to become chronic vary. Ignoring the symptoms of an acute subluxation or misalignment, through taking pain relievers or using heat bags or hot showers may help remove the discomfort of subluxations but does little to correct the underlying cause. When this pattern is continued, pain and other symptoms will either go away or, even worse, the individual will 'learn to live with it'. However, the body will continue adapting to the incorrectly functioning joint.
Chronic subluxations or spinal misalignments also result from repetitive activities that cause minor alterations to joint function. Poor work postures, habits such as crossing your legs when seated, or sitting on your wallet, are examples of activities that are unlikely to cause you immediate pain or discomfort. These chronic subluxations or misalignment often lack obvious symptoms and therefore accumulate over time to cause joint dysfunction and nerve irritation.
Whilst pain and joint restriction might be easily recognized as symptoms, it is often the far more subtle changes that accompany spinal subluxations or misalignment that have the greatest effect on our overall health.
Chiropractors are the health professionals that treat these nerve interferences, which are known as subluxations or misalignments. This is why it has been around for over a hundred years and are the third largest health profession in the world, and still growing. Why? Because it works, and it's drug free.
People of all ages are searching for quality of life not simply longer lives. They don't want to be preserved through medication just to stay alive.
By having a fully functioning nervous system, combined with good nutrition and exercise, we have the ability to reach our full potential. This means living a long, active, healthy life that doesn't restrict our choices as we age naturally.
Please contact us at Centenary Chiro if you are experiencing spinal subluxations or spinal misalignment: Book Online or call on 07 3381 0440