Most people have an intuitive understanding that their spine is important, but most people do not understand how important their spine is for their overall health and life. The health of your spine is the foundation of your overall health and needs to be at the center of your health optimization efforts.
The importance of your spine is one of the best kept secrets in the world of healthcare.
Here is why a natural, spinal-focused healthcare approachmay be the missing ingredient for you need to feel better and to take your vitality to the next level.
Spinal Health 101
Your spine is critical for your health for two important reasons.
- Provides structural strength and stability for your body
- Protects your nervous system
Here is a picture of your nervous system:
Your spine’s main job is to protect this vital communication network of your nervous system. Think of your spine as a container for your extremely delicate nervous system. Nerves sit in a space in between each spinal bone that is created by the proper alignment of those bones.
Your Spine Affects your Brain
Your spine needs to be aligned and flexible in order to be healthy. The movement of your spinal joints sends electrical signals to your brain and, in a sense, “charges” your brain cells with these continuous incoming stimuli.
Your brain has two halves know as hemispheres; each hemisphere needs to have an equal level of excitation or “charge” in order to function properly. This charge is primarily achieved by the continual input of activity coming into your brain from the movement of your spinal joints.
If you have a problem with the movement or the alignment of your spine, especially in your neck region, this will send distorted or weakened signals to your brain, throwing your brain out of balance, and weakening your brain’s ability to coordinate and control your body functions. This is not a small problem.
An imbalance in your brain function can have widespread, global effects on your overall health.
Your Spine Can Misalign
Stresses, injuries, and traumas can cause your spine to become injured and misaligned. Spinal misalignments are very serious problems and are known as Subluxations. Even small, subtle distortions in the alignment or motion of your spine can lead to dysfunction in a variety of ways.
Here’s a picture of a spinal subluxation:
Subluxations may be painless at first, but they may lead to:
- Reduced or abnormal movement
- Restricted flexibility
- Tight and tense muscles
- Inflammation in the joints
- Muscle pain
- Weakened ligaments
- Disc injury
- Bad posture like hunching, slouching, head tilting
- Nerve irritation
Often the damage, stress, and irritation to the nerves, will lead to pain in some form, like neck pain,shoulder stiffness, headaches, low back pain, and possibly numbness and tingling. In many cases your posture will be affected as well.
The main take home message is this: spinal misalignments weaken your nerve system—especially your brain function, and can have a profound effect on your overall health.
What Causes Subluxations?
- Physical traumas like slips and falls, car accidents, sports injuries
- Bending, lifting, twisting injuries
- Sitting for long hours looking down at a computer
- National Service traumas
- Excessive mobile phone usage
- Mental and emotional stress
- Bad posture
- Trauma at birth or very early in life
Spinal x-rays are often a very important test in assessing you for spinal misalignment.
Here’s an example of an x-ray of a person suffering from neck pain and shoulder stiffness:
This example shows a very severe misalignment in the upper neck region causing significant irritation to the nerves in that area.
This person also had very bad hunching posture and upper back pain, and experienced difficulty in bending their head back or rotating their head from side to side.
In this case, the cause of their migraines was the misalignment in their cervical spine and the damage to their nerves.
Restriction in movement, especially bending your head back (or, elevating your chin), is one of the leading indicators of having a spinal misalignment problem.
Doctors of Chiropractic specialize in recognizing spinal misalignments, and correcting the subluxations and restoring nerve function through chiropractic adjustments.
Exercises are Usually Not Enough
Exercises and stretches can be helpful, but often, they are not enough to fully restore the alignment of your spine.
If the cause of your body’s negative signal is that your spine is physically out of alignment and irritating your nerves, then you need to be adjusted by a Doctor of Chiropractic.
We recommend that you do spinal exercises and stretches on a regular basis to reduce muscle tension and manage stress, but this may not be the complete solution that you require. You likely need to beadjusted.
What are Chiropractic Adjustments?
An adjustment is a very specific, precise, and gentle input of force into a misaligned area(s) of your spine. Adjustments restore alignment, enhance movement, and improve the health of your nervous system.
The positive effect on your nervous system is what allows chiropractic care to be so effective. Adjustments are usually done by hand and are ONLY delivered by qualified chiropractors.
Adjustments have been shown to consistently help people feel better and function better in a wide variety of ways.
Adjustments Supercharge Your Nerve System
Chiropractic adjustments are gently done by hand to move your spine back to the normal alignment and to relieve the stress on your nerve system. Doctors of Chiropractic specialize in correcting misalignments through adjustments.
Adjustments remove interference to your nervous system, allowing your nervous system to do its job more effectively so you can heal from the inside-out.
Also, stretches, exercises, and traction may be given to support adjustments and aid in the realignment process. Often a comprehensive approach is required to solve a headache or migraine problem.
If you are dealing with low back pain, headaches, neck pain, or spinal pain of any kind, then schedule a spinal checkup to see if chiropractic can help you.
A comprehensive chiropractic spinal checkup is the first step to see if chiropractic is right for you.
Learn more about the checkup here.
An Optimal Spine Equals Optimal Health
The health of your spine is the foundation of your overall health because your spine directly affects the performance of your nervous system. Chiropractors are specialists in improving your spine alignment and restoring your nervous system to optimal function.
Nerve supply is life supply!