When your spine is
out of alignment inflammation sets in. There are 5 cardinal signs of
inflammation: heat, pain, redness, swelling, and loss of function.
Most of the time it is the swelling rather than the misaligned bone
that puts pressure on the nerve and causes it to malfunction. When a
nerve is not working properly the organ, tissue or cell it supplies
will not work properly either. This cannot only lead to pain but
other things you may not readily associate with your spine. For
example, irritation of the nerve supply to the lungs can make it
difficult to breathe and may even lower your resistance to lung
infections. An article by Ader on neuro-immune connections shows
nerve endings in direct contact with lymphocytes and macrophages.
These immune cells are one of our first lines of defense against
infection. This is why regular chiropractic care has been proven to
boost immune function.
As you can
see, chiropractic care is not just for back pain and headaches, it is
for over all health!
There are a number of things in
person's life that can cause subluxation to occur and reoccur after
they have been corrected. All sorts of stress to the body can cause
us to need adjustments, sometimes even before we have symptoms. The
kinds of stress that are most often incurred are mechanical,
emotional and chemical. Often referred to as 3 the T's - Trauma,
Thoughts and Toxins that we encounter everyday play an important role
in spinal health and therefore our overall health.
Trauma can be subdivided into two
categories: Macrotrauma and Microtrauma. Macrotrauma is a force of
significant injury to the body as a one time event. A few examples
are falls, accidents, surgery, jarring sports, amusement park rides,
and child birth (both mom and baby). Microtrauma is mechanical stress
that is repetitive or unevenly distributed. Even though small, over
time these habits can cause serious problems. Examples are poor
posture, worn out shoes, text and telephone use, sleeping position,
leg crossing, and computer use.
Toxins are foreign to the body and must
be processed by detoxifying centers, mainly the liver. The added
stress to the body can settle in weak areas leading to subluxation.
Examples of this are low-fiber diet, excessive alcohol, pop or
coffee, cigarette smoking (smokers have been found to have 20% more
back problems), and inhalation of strong fumes.
Negative thoughts, mental or
emotional stress effect us in more ways than we realize. Muscle
tension, headaches, and stomach aches are most recognizable, but know
that others do exist. Ex) chronic anxiety, post traumatic stress
disorder, repressed memories, suppressed hostility, job stress
(includes excessive work load, loss of job or change in duties),
financial burdens, death, and difficult personal relationships.
It is important to realize that
although the original causes of a person's subluxation may have been
trauma, the cause of a relapse or length of recovery is dependent
upon a combination of all these stresses.