When you think of chiropractic, what is the first thing that comes to mind? For most it is back pain, neck pain, some may think of headache, arm symptoms or sciatica. But, would you think of chiropractic when you are tired, feeling a cold coming on or having digestive issues? Probably not. But how are all of these Symptoms related and how does chiropractic help?
Chiropractic has been well researched when it comes to neck and low back pain and continued study is showing that it is often the best choice for conservative care:
“[Chiropractic Manipulative Therapy] in conjunction with [standard medical care] offers a significant advantage for decreasing pain and improving physical functioning when compared with only standard care, for men and women between 18 and 35 years of age with acute low back pain.”
--Goertz et al. (2013), Spine
In a Randomized controlled trial, 183 patients with neck pain were randomly allocated to manual therapy (spinal mobilization), physiotherapy (mainly exercise) or general practitioner care (counseling, education and drugs) in a 52-week study. The clinical outcomes measures showed that manual therapy resulted in faster recovery than physiotherapy and general practitioner care. Moreover, total costs of the manual therapy-treated patients were about one-third of the costs of physiotherapy or general practitioner care.
-- Korthals-de Bos et al (2003), British Medical Journal
“Patients with chronic low-back pain treated by chiropractors showed greater improvement and satisfaction at one month than patients treated by family physicians. Satisfaction scores were higher for chiropractic patients. A higher proportion of chiropractic patients (56 percent vs. 13 percent) reported that their low-back pain was better or much better, whereas nearly one-third of medical patients reported their low-back pain was worse or much worse.”
– Nyiendo et al (2000), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
But what is lesser known is the effect that the chiropractic adjustment has on the autonomic nervous system, our "fight or flight" if you will. The Nervous System is comprised of the following subsystems which control all activity in our body.
1. Central Nervous System
2. Spinal Cord
2. Peripheral Nervous System - connections to muscles and organs of the body.
1. Somatic or Skeletal - controls our voluntary muscles.
2. Autonomic - Controls autonomic functions that we have no voluntary control over such as breathing, heart rate etc.
1. Sympathetic - Responds to stress or demands put upon the body.
2. Parasympathetic - Work in opposition to the sympathetic NS to return body to homeostasis.
When our body is stressed, chemically, physically or mentally, our sympathetic system fires and our parasympathetic is inhibited - This is our fight or flight. What causes these stresses? The obvious traumas such as auto accidents and falls, but also birth trauma has been shown to cause problems. More importantly are the more chronic stresses such as bad posture, poor diet, lack of and improper exercise, and mental and emotional stress. What people fail to realize is the effect of poor movement in the segments of the spine. These “subluxations” are not only a stressor, but also impede the body’s ability to communicate with the brain and respond appropriately to the world around us-chemically, physically and mentally.
In 1976, PhD Neurophysiologist Irvin Korr published a series of papers with many references pointing to the fact that an alteration in a segment or area of the spine absolutely negatively affected nervous system function. The article was titled “The spinal cord as the organizer of disease processes. (1) Dr. Korr was not a chiropractor, but his work on the connection between the spinal cord and the brain was profound.
Korr helped prove that the spine was much more than just a structure that helped us stand more erect and protected the spinal cord. He was also unique and inspiring as he always pointed out that we as humans express our humanness by choosing to do such things as play the piano, ski, walk, etc....
Roger Sperry, a Nobel Prize winner on brain research, said “90% of the stimulation and nutrition to the brain is generated by movement of the spine”!!
Together they point out the importance of taking care of the “whole person” in healthcare instead of the reductionist viewpoint of picking out just a diseased organ or part like the allopathic physicians practice.
Since the vast majority of our body’s functions occurs at a sub conscious level, without knowing what is going on, we can have decreased function and therefore decreased health without symptoms.
How can you find out if you have health issues before they become symptomatic? See the chiropractor who is trained in detection and correction of the subluxation. With a chiropractor on your health care team you can achieve optimal health and bring prosperity to the canvas of your life.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Doug at The Art of Chiropractic contact us through the website www.aocdoc.com or call the office at (503) 572-5709
Yours in health,
Dr. Doug Davies has been practicing the art of chiropractic for over 10 years and brings his skills to the downtown Gresham, OR area focusing on achieving and maintaining the innate lifestyle...