The Big Idea
The Big Idea is your central nervous system made up of your brain and spinal cord which is continually monitoring and coordinating every single function in your body. If you think of your brain as a central computer that controls and regulates all the functions of your body, then the nervous system is like a communication network that relays messages back and forth from the brain to different parts of the body through the spinal cord.
The spinal cord is a long bundle of nerve tissue that extends from the lower part of your brain and through your spinal column. Along the way, smaller braids branch off from the cord and pass out from the spine through each of the moveable vertebrae. These braids divide again and again into tiny nerve fibers throughout the entire body into every organ, tissue, and cell. Every human has an estimated 50 billion nerve cells sending and receiving messages through the spinal cord.
Our nervous system is extremely delicate. So what protects it? Our spine. A normal healthy spine has 24 moveable vertebrae each working with the one above and the one below. A disc separates the vertebrae and acts like a shock absorber and a spacer for the nerve. So why is a healthy spine so important? It protects the spinal cord and the delicate nerve tissue. It allows us to bend, flex, twist, and move freely without compromising the nerves.
If the spine is not moving freely, it is referred to as a “vertebral subluxation complex” or just “subluxation” for short. This is when two or more vertebrae have lost their position and motion causing interruption to the normal nerve flow thereby interfering with the communication from the brain to the body and from the body to the brain. It only takes about 8-10mmHg pressure to reduce the nerve supply by up to 60%. That’s about the weight of a small coin! Compression can exist without pain which means the muscles and organs supplied by the nerve can be robbed of up to 60% of its nerve supply without your notice. This is referred to as a “silent subluxation.”
So what happens when you have a subluxation? The region can start to degenerate in as little as two weeks. This degeneration causes scar tissue to develop. This degeneration will continue as long as this immobilization is present. Spinal degeneration has nothing to do with how old you are. You can be 80 years old and have a perfectly healthy spine. Or, you can be 10 years old and have a spine that is already showing signs of degeneration. It all depends on how and when the subluxation occurred. This type of degeneration is preventable in most cases.
If the nerve supply anywhere in the body is disturbed, it may eventually lead to a symptom. Symptoms are the only way for the body to let you know something is wrong. Less than 10% of your nervous system is allotted for pain signals. As such, by the time pain and symptoms appear, the nerve interference could have been present for months or even years.
Subluxations can occur through mechanical means such sports, work, exercise, improper lifting, slips, falls, etc. However, they can also occur through emotional means such as stress and fatigue or through chemical means via drugs, poor diet, and pollutants. Usually an isolated event alone is not to blame but through an accumulation of many of life’s little incidents and accidents.
ROLE OF CHIROPRACTIC CARE in Oakdale
The chiropractor’s job is to locate and correct areas of nerve interference so your nervous system can perform at its own optimal level. By correcting areas of misalignment, the body can begin to slow, stabilize, and reverse the degenerative process. Chiropractors in Oakdale assist the healing process by reestablishing the nerve flow to compressed nerves. This allows proper communication between the brain and body. Chiropractors don’t treat the symptoms. Rather they remove nerve interference, which allows the body to do what it does best: heal itself!