JOINTS AND NERVES: WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM WHEN YOU RECEIVE A CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENT?
Most patients understand how the spine can become misaligned and need correction, or how joints can become fixated and alter the way a person moves. They know that getting adjusted improves alignment, posture, and joint motion. But, most patients are unaware of the effects that a chiropractic adjustment has on the nervous system. How does the chiropractic adjustment keep the nervous system healthy?
Each joint, whether it be your shoulder joint, hip joint, or one of the many joints within your spine, contain sensory nerve endings that are providing constant feedback to your brain concerning both the motion and position of a given joint. Think of the nerve endings in joints as monitoring the state of affairs at each joint and giving the brain, the master controller, a status report of how well things are going in that joint. When a joint gets subluxated, or fixated, and doesn’t move well, or becomes malpositioned, a nerve ending’s ability to give an accurate or complete status report to the brain about the joint the nerve ending serves becomes inhibited. Your brain, then, has a fuzzy picture of what is happening at that joint.
This means that the brain cannot coordinate and control motion at that joint as well as it should. This will result in a poor movement pattern, dysfunction, degeneration (arthritis), and eventually pain in that joint. Please, notice that I said, “eventually pain.” Dysfunction in a joint often occurs months, years, or decades before your body produces pain symptoms.
Not only are your joints served by sensory nerve endings, but the muscles that surround your joints, whether located in your spine or extremities, also have very sensitive nerve endings in them. This allows the muscles that control a joint to provide additional feedback to the brain about how well the joint is moving and the position of the bones that make up the joint. When a joint is subluxated, those muscles can’t provide accurate information about the state of affairs at that joint, meaning the brain has a fuzzy picture of what is happening at that joint. As a result, the brain can’t coordinate the tone of the involved muscles to then coordinate the motion of that joint. This will, again, result in a poor movement pattern, dysfunction, degeneration (arthritis), and eventually pain in that joint.
So, when your subluxations are located and corrected, your nervous system can provide your brain with an accurate picture of the state of your joints. This allows your brain to properly coordinate the movement of your joints, creating good movement patterns, improving function, and, therefore, preventing pain, while also preventing degeneration (arthritis).
If you have any more questions about chiropractic care, the nervous system, or the movement of your spine and extremities, please contact the Ollis Chiropractic team at [email protected] or (502) 412-8580.