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Understanding Chiropractic Adjustments: A Window into Your Nervous System

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Introduction: At Life in Balance Wellness in Travelers Rest, SC, we often hear questions like, “Doc, why did my back go into spasm when all I did was bend over to pet my dog?” or “Doc, why is it always the left side of my body that hurts?” These common concerns resonate with individuals seeking relief from pain and discomfort. The intriguing answers to these questions go beyond the surface of spinal issues – they delve into the intricacies of our nervous system.

The Role of Proprioception: The key to unraveling these mysteries lies in understanding proprioception, the sense that allows us to perceive the location, movement, and action of different parts of our body. Proprioception is like an internal GPS system, constantly providing feedback to our brain about where we are in space. Think about closing your eyes and moving your hand – you inherently know its location without seeing it. This awareness is made possible by proprioceptive sensors embedded in our joints, skin, and muscles.

The Spine and Intrinsic Muscles: The joints in our spine are intricately controlled by tiny “intrinsic” muscles that attach to each vertebra. These muscles play a crucial role in every movement our spine makes throughout the day. Importantly, they are under the command of our nervous system. Proprioceptive sensors in these spinal muscles and joints continuously send signals to our brain, fostering communication that enables our brain to understand what’s happening in our body. This communication is vital for maintaining proper muscle tone.

Impact of Poor Approprioceptive Input: When there’s poor communication, or proprioceptive input, between the spine and the brain, it increases the risk of chronic spine pain and acute injury. This deficiency is often noticeable in individuals who are perceived as clumsy or accident-prone, as well as in the elderly.

Chronic Lower Back Pain Example: Consider the scenario of sitting at a desk for long hours without engaging in physical activity like movement or strength training. In this case, the intrinsic spinal muscles weaken, leading to dysfunctional spinal motion. These aberrant spinal mechanics negatively affect proprioceptive signaling to the brain. When the brain receives abnormal signals from the spinal vertebrae, it struggles to maintain proper muscle tone in that region. For those experiencing chronic spinal pain, this abnormal joint, muscle, and neurological signaling becomes the norm, hindering the body’s ability to self-correct.

The Role of Chiropractic Adjustments: This is where chiropractic adjustments come into play. By adjusting the spinal vertebrae, chiropractors reset joint mobility and flood the brain with proprioceptive input, initiating the process of re-establishing normal spinal mechanics. Correcting the underlying cause of the problem takes time, as the root issue often persists longer than the pain itself. Regular chiropractic adjustments, combined with exercise and movement, are recommended to promote overall well-being and address the fundamental causes of pain.

Conclusion: Understanding the connection between chiropractic adjustments and the nervous system provides valuable insights into why certain movements or positions trigger discomfort. By focusing on improving proprioceptive input and restoring normal spinal mechanics, individuals can experience relief from chronic pain and reduce the risk of acute injuries. At Life in Balance Wellness, we emphasize the importance of regular chiropractic care, exercise, and movement to support a healthy and balanced life.

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