One question I get asked all the time by people unfamiliar with what I do is the following: "you work with people who have back pain, neck pain or headaches, right?" While the technical answer to that question is "yes," there is a much more lengthy and specific answer to that question. An answer that qualifies millions more people to benefit from what we do! We are not limiting our patient base to just those who have complaints of back pain, but can expand it to anyone who is consistently asking their body to survive in a stressful environment.
Would you believe me if I told you that every time you receive an adjustment, your brain is influenced? Well if you don't want to believe me, then look at the research. The Journal of Chemical Neurology published a study illustrating how the medulla receives significant stimulus from the upper cervical spine (top two bones of the spine, located right beneath the head). The study also found that mechanically influencing the upper cervical spine (AKA ADJUSTMENT) significantly influences the autonomic nervous system, by way of the medulla. So you may be asking, "what the heck is a medulla, and what the heck is my autonomic nervous system?" The medulla is the bottom-most structure of the brain, the brain stem. It controls the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system controls all involuntary functions, ranging from but not limited to: heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, digestion, and even sneezing! These findings are really cool, and further validate the importance of an adjustment.
NOW, if you are anything like me, I would read that & think, "wait a minute, that study states that 'mechanical movement' influences the autonomic nervous system. What if I just push on my upper cervical spine and move my neck around? Is that having the same effect?" Nope! The 2007 Journal of Neurophysiology published a study which measured two study groups. Group 1 received passive motion and palpation (someone holding the neck and turning left and right). Group 2 received a specific, upper cervical chiropractic adjustment. Both groups were monitored by technology measuring the brain function. Findings: Group 2 (those that received the adjustment) had a SIGNIFICANTLY enhanced influence on the brain by way of things called mechanoreceptors. Results to the Group 2 subjects included: lowered stress levels, lowered muscle tone, and lowered salivary amylase. Salivary amylase is a direct marker of stress.
OK, ENOUGH OF THE $3 WORDS, ALREADY! Point taken! (P.S. There is a whole plethora of research reinforcing the aforementioned findings, I chose two for the sake of being concise).
Let's get back to the topic at hand: why YOU need chiropractic in your life!
First off, let's get one thing straight: we, as chiropractors, do not "un-pinch" nerves. The "pinched nerve" concept is a poor analogy that should be expired. During an office visit, we assess and find "stuck" vertebrae (AKA SUBLUXATION). Each vertebrae should move freely, with respect to the one above and below it. If one vertebrae becomes "stuck" (or subluxated) due to an injury, adhesions, muscle imbalance, etc, your body sends inflammation to that site to protect it. Each vertebrae is accompanied by two nerves that exit on either side. Each nerve controls many many functions ranging from organ function to muscle function to pain perception. The inflammation that the body sends to the site of the stuck vertebrae hinders the ability of the corresponding nerves to communicate with central nervous system -- this includes your brain! It can disrupt feedback loops negatively affecting organ function and can sometimes result in pain! Emphasis on "SOMETIMES result in pain." A subluxated spine does not always result in pain.
We find these subluxations within the spine, and remove them. Reintroducing movement to the affected vertebrae with specific adjustments allows the segment to rid itself of the inflammation and return to its fully-functional, unimpeded state!
If you can benefit from relief of these symptoms, those that are in addition to back pain, headaches, and neck pain, please call us today at 402.905.0132, or visit our website: millardoakschiropractic.com. If you feel someone you know could benefit from this information, please take a moment to share with them.
Next month, I'll be returning from 10 days of continuing education & securing my certification in Chiropractic Biophysics (CBP). My blog topic will explain why our office utilizes chiropractic biophysics, how it is different than traditional chiropractic, and why it is advantageous for you to pursue spinal correction. ..Stay tuned.