MAY 2009


Local and Global Effects of Vertebral Subluxations

Just about everyone can associate neck pain, back pain and similar issues when you have a vertebral subluxation. Some chiropractic patients start care because of problems like these. Yet obvious symptoms like these rarely occur when you have a subluxation. In fact, since only about 4% of our nerves register pain, if a subluxation is effecting that other 96% of the nerves in your body you may have subluxations and not even feel it. There is more to subluxations than back pain, neck pain and similar problems.


Some of the scariest consequences of subluxations come from the possible global effects on your body. When most practice members investigate their subluxations they are often concerned about the potential health problems that may arise in the tissues that the specific nerve supplies at the level of their subluxations. For example: if they have a T1 subluxation, the nerve at that level supplies the heart and lung tissue. Their concern, and rightly so, is will this subluxation cause heart or lung problems? The research and case studies indicate that this is a possibility but even more importantly, subluxations may cause even more serious global health problems in your body.


Some Global Effects of Subluxations:
Impaired Immune Function: Arguably, one of the most important keys to a long healthy life is a healthy immune system. Research now reveals that your subluxations may seriously impair the function of your immune system. Dr. Ron Pero's preliminary research indicated that one's immune response and susceptibility to serious disease are negatively affected by subluxations and improved by regular chiropractic care. Another study reveals that the quantity and quality of your white blood cells are negatively affected by subluxations.


Decreased Mental Function: Nobody would want their mind to be clouded and not be able to process information and think clearly. A chiropractic study demonstrated that an individual's mental efficiency may improve 1,500-3,000% after a chiropractic adjustment. In another study, researchers discovered that brain stem function improved following a chiropractic adjustment. And what do we call someone whose brain works more efficiently? Smarter!


Altered Emotional Stability: We usually don't relate our emotional states to whether we need an adjustment or not, however, our emotions are intimately related to our nerve system function. Studies reveal an amazing connection between altered neurochemistry and emotional states to the subluxation. Chiropractic care can offer some amazing results for patients with certain emotional issues.


Loss of Energy and Stamina: The brain houses all control centers for every part of the body. The brain sends and receives communication from the body by way of the spinal cord and spinal nerves. Interference to the communication system causes the body to function less efficiently resulting in less energy and stamina. That is why new practice members most often report increased energy, greater stamina, and better sleep when nerve interference is removed and the body begins to function more efficiently.


Damaged Genetic Potential: Research is now indicating that subluxations can alter the genetic expression of your genes. Regular chiropractic care has been shown to positively influence basic physiological processes affecting oxidative stress and DNA repair. Oxidative stress is a condition characterized by the release of free radicals that then help cause cellular degeneration. Oxidative stress is now a broadly accepted theory of how we age and develop disease. Oxidative stress results in DNA damage, and inhibits DNA repair. DNA repair is the mechanism which fixes the damage caused by environmental impact. Chiropractic care appears to improve the ability of the body to adapt to stress. What this means for you is that chiropractic care, by allowing you to better adapt to stress, can potentially decrease or slow down the negative effects of DNA damage and aging and increase the quantity and quality of your life.


Reduced Health of Children: Chiropractic care for subluxations has often been greatly overlooked for children. Studies show that children raised receiving regular chiropractic tended to be healthier overall than those who did not receive chiropractic. They also tend to have fewer emotional, learning, and neurological difficulties. There are certain windows of opportunity in children when we can positively impact their nerve system and body function. Once those windows pass, they are gone and it becomes harder, if not impossible, to help them live to their potential. Just imagine the impact on a child's education if they are able to have the more efficient brain function discussed above, let alone all the other benefits


Accelerated Aging, Arthritis, and Degeneration: When spinal subluxations exist, one of the major problems arising is the affects on the spinal joints, muscles, ligaments, discs, and bones. A subluxation creates abnormal alignment that causes wear and tear on the spinal structures and can lead to arthritis of the joints, disc degeneration, muscle loss, and spinal canal narrowing (stenosis). Studies indicate that regular chiropractic care can halt the progression of spinal degeneration/deterioration/decay and can even reverse some of the damages. 


An Early Unnecessary Demise: In 1994 Dr. Lee authored a lengthy article that postulates that the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) is involved in all disease processes and explains that the causes and cures of all diseases are mediated by our central nerve system. Everyone must be checked on a routine basis for neurological interference caused by subluxations at a chiropractic office if they desire to stay healthy. Another study reveals that subluxations negatively effect the visceral (organ) input centers and output centers in your brain stem. This indicates that almost any subluxation at any level of the spine may result in almost any kind of health challenge. Finally, the autopsies performed by Dr. Windsor M.D., correlated that nearly 100% of diseases these people suffered from were related to a curvature in the spine or a spinal problem that damaged the nerve that supplied that specific organ.



What is Your Range of Adaptability to Stress?

Stresses are changes in your internal or external environment that require changes in your body in order for your body to adapt successfully. What makes adaptation to stress possible? Gray's Anatomy says that "it is the purpose of the brain and nerve system to control and coordinate the function of all the tissues and organs of the body and to adapt them to the environment." Adaptation is possible because you have a nerve system.


Let's use a simple example of a change in your environment. Imagine walking into a very cold room. How does your brain become aware that the temperature is suddenly very cold? Sensory nerves signal the brain of the temperature change. Your brain analyzes and processes that information. Is the cold temperature a potential danger to your health and survival? Of course, we all know about hypothermia. The brain then sends signals through your autonomic nerves to the glands of the skin to produce "goose bumps" which insulate your body from heat loss. The brain also sends signals through your motor nerves to your muscles to produce "shivering" which produces heat. The nerve system responded to the stress of cold and adapted by providing mechanisms that would ensure the health and survival of your body.


Dr. Hans Selye, a pioneer of modern stress research, explained that we each have a range of adaptability to stress. Our ability to adapt to stress is managed by our nerve system. Even though we may be born with an inherently wide range of adaptability, that range can become narrowed. If our nerve system is disturbed by a subluxation, our ability and potential to adapt to stress is diminished progressively.


Note the diagrams below. The "squiggly" line that looks like the Dow Jones Average represents the stress in a normal life over time. The time could be a day, a month, a year, or a whole lifetime. The peaks are events or times of high stress; the valleys are times of lower stress. The parallel lines in each diagram represent three different ranges of adaptability to stress.


In Range 1 you will see that stress greatly exceeds that person's ability to cope most of the time. What kind of health problems do these people develop? They can most likely develop serious, debilitating health problems like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.


In Range 2 the stress levels occasionally exceed, for a short time, their ability to adapt or cope. What kind of health problems do people in Range 2 develop? They can probably develop annoying, chronic health problems like back pain, neck pain, headaches, digestive problems, breathing problems, allergies, and numbness and tingling.


The people in Range 3 experience the same stress as the other two people, but their range of adaptability is so wide that stress has little or no effect on their health.


Which range are you? Are you widening your range of adaptability or narrowing it? Since regular chiropractic care helps the nerve system function at its best, you can help to keep your range as high as possible, allowing you to better deal with stress. In the crazy economic times we live in now, that's a pretty good thing. Don't you think?

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