Dr. Scott Collie D.C.C.N

Categorized | Featured, Getting Fit

Why Get Chiropractic Spinal Adjustments? (Part 1)

Most people think that when you go to a Chiropractor you get a good “crack”, feel good and loose and call it a day OR you walk away hurting more than when you came in, unfortunately. Well there is much more to what chiropractic spinal adjusting is then that. You see the spine is the framework of our bodies. If that frame is distorted, twisted or imbalanced in any way, this causes an array of dysfunction which entails, pain, stiffness, inflammation, degeneration, nerve interference and even organ dysfunction. Our spines are at optimal balance and integrity when each individual vertebra is properly aligned and set upon the vertebrae below. There are 24 of these bones that make up the spinal column (not including the sacrum and coccyx or tailbone) that make up the protective “house” for the all so precious and fragile spinal cord. The spinal cord is just an extension of the brain, a neurological highway that connects the brain to the body and all aspects of it such as the organs, muscles, glands, skin etc… so it will function. So this protective “house” is quite important. When there is a disruption in the normal balance of this spinal column between two individual vertebras or several, such as in the case of scoliosis, then there are problems.  This initiates the beginning of what is called the subluxation process.

A subluxation is when the orientation of one vertebra will fall out of balance upon the one below in up to four dimensions. It will go back or forward (posterior or anterior), rotate left or right and bend to the left or right and most of the time it is a combination of all three dimensions. There is a fourth dimension along the superior and inferior axis that is the result of disc degeneration. These subluxations place a lot of stress upon the disc which is the “cushion” or “shock absorber” between the two vertebrae. Now the disc is a cartilaginous substance with a jelly like substance in the middle. I like to compare it to a jelly donut. If you place pressure on one side of the “donut” the jelly will protrude out the side. This is what happens with the disc as it is wedged between two vertebras and there becomes an imbalance of pressure on one side as opposed to directly upon the entire disc. This is called disc pressure and can interfere with the spinal nerves which extend out of the spinal column from the spinal cord, placing pressure on them. Sometimes these discs will even rupture spilling out the inside material onto the nerves and spinal column which is an immediate chemical irritant to the nerves and the spinal cord. This will spark an inflammatory response from the immune system and a tightening of the muscles around the entire structure thus giving birth to pain and muscle spasm. This pressure on the nerve also compromises the function of the tissue, weather muscle, organ, skin, etc…, which the nerve innervates, or “feeds”.  These are the actual “symptoms” we feel and finally push us to take a pain pill or go to the chiropractor. But remember pain, inflammation and muscle spasms are just the “symptoms” of the problem. You can take all the pain pills and muscle relaxers you want but as you can see the problem will not be solved until that vertebra is replaced and balanced upon the one below taking the pressure off the disc thus reducing the pressure on the nerve, thus reducing the inflammatory response, thus reducing the muscle spasm and pain.

We’ve covered a lot of technical information in this post, so in our next post we’ll be covering some more information pertaining to the shape and structure of the spine as well overall spinal health!

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