Science Behind Chiropractic Care

Everyone has that image from television, movies, and possibly real chiropractic experiences of a chiropractor cracking a patient’s back, but what does this really do?  How does correcting the positioning of the spine affect the body in any appreciable way?  To grasp the purpose of spinal realignment, you must first understand the basic way in which the body works and how the brain and the rest of the body are connected.

Think of the basic science of the body.  The brain is the start of it all.  The brain sends out a signal every time a part of the body needs to do anything.  If you want to lift your arm then the brain sends a signal down to your arm to tell it to move.  If there is food in your stomach then the brain send a signal to tell your stomach to produce digestive juices.  If your brain is going to know what is going on in the body so that it can send out the appropriate signals then it has to be able to receive signals back from the body as well.

This is clearly an oversimplified explanation but more than adequate to illustrate the following point.  The brain sends signals for the production of neurotransmitters, the operation of various organs, the secretion of digestive juices, and everything else that goes on in the body basically, but how do these messages get where they are going?

They are sent through the spinal cord.  The spinal cord is the route that these messages take to make their way to various parts of the body so that they can be received and carried out.  A spine that is in perfect health and that is perfectly aligned allows for an unobstructed pathway through which these signals from the brain can be transmitted. 

If, however, the spine is not in proper alignment then these signals cannot travel as efficiently or even as effectively to their chosen destinations.  Orders sent from the brain may not be carried out as quickly or as effectively.  In severe cases, they may not be carried out at all.

Usually, these messages seem to be transmitted instantaneously.  You do not need to think about wanting to move your arm and then wait for the signal to travel.  It happens so quickly that you lift your arm with barely a thought and without hesitation. 

The messages sent from the brain travel so quickly that you do not think about how a signal gets from your brain to another part of your body.  It just does.  The slowing of the signals sent from the brain is a common and inevitable occurrence with spinal misalignment.  This means that every part of the body that receives signals from or sends signals to the brain will be adversely affected.  That basically means every part of the body.

When considering this, you can understand how a misaligned spine could lead to problems in various parts of the body.  Because the messages that are sent through the spinal cord make their way to all parts of the body, a multitude of problems in the body could find their causation, totally or partially, within the spinal cord itself.

The realignment of the spinal cord, such as that done through chiropractic care, could serve to ameliorate or to reverse any conditions caused by this misalignment.  A pain in one part of the body may seem to be located solely in that part, but the affliction may actually find its cause in the spinal cord.  If the cause does indeed exist in the spinal cord then any other treatment that ignores this causation could prove to be ineffective or may merely serve as a way to mask symptoms while allowing the true cause to go untreated.

The specifics of this process may be best left to the professionals, but this general overview allows you to imagine the extent to which the alignment of your spine may be affecting your health. 

Even if the spine is not causing a particular condition then the natural action that your body would take to heal itself could be impeded by problems with or misalignment of your spine.  The body’s ability to heal depends upon these signals because that is another action that is carried out by the body, albeit an often invisible one.

When the body is without its natural healing capabilities, problems are bound to manifest, and conditions seem destined to deteriorate.  To put it simply, spinal misalignment places pressure on the nerves, disrupting signals and keeping the body from working and healing as it should.

On the other hand, a properly aligned spine sends signals quickly and easily.  The body functions at peak efficiency, and no problems result from poor spinal positioning.  The body can perform its duties, both seen and unseen, and can exercise its remarkable capacity to heal itself.  The importance of this clear communication and the resultant proper functioning of the body cannot be overestimated.

The implications of this knowledge are far reaching.  The domino effect that could find its beginning in the spine makes this an important aspect of health care.  A misaligned spine could be creating problems in the body, and it may be preventing the body from effectively healing itself.  This would indicate that the need for outside measures could be created, and possibly eliminated, by a resolution of these precipitating factors.  The very cause of a problem may also be inhibiting the recovery from that problem.  By taking care of the cause, you may be speeding up recovery and preventing not only that problem but future problems as well.

On the other hand, if signals sent from the brain are not received or are not received as efficiently as they should be then the body cannot hope to operate at its best.  This leaves the body in a more vulnerable state and increases the chances that minor conditions will become major and that major conditions will require extensive intervention from outside of the body.

Without its unencumbered capacity to protect itself, the body becomes predisposed towards all manner of unfortunate conditions.  More than that, without its ability to heal itself, those unfortunate conditions become threats that the body is ill-equipped to deal with.  The body can progress to a state where it is just short of being defenseless.

The lesson that can be learned from this is that the health of the spine can serve as an indication of the health of the entire body.  Chiropractic care takes this knowledge and works toward a resolution of not only immediate issues but also toward a restoration of overall proper spinal alignment.