Many people are unaware of the importance of spinal alignment and how it affects our body. If you are experiencing ongoing pain or discomfort in your back or extremities, or even feeling fatigued, it may be time to see a chiropractor. Misalignment of the spine can display many symptoms that would seem unrelated to its underlying cause. Unfortunately, most people are uninformed of these correlations and treat their problems short term through medicinal relief. Therefore, the root of the true issue may be left undiscovered.
According to Dr. Roger Sperry (A Nobel Prize recipient for brain research), “90% of the stimulation and nutrition to the brain is generated by the movement of the spine.” Try and think of your spine as a garden hose. When this hose is stepped on or twisted, the flow is disrupted and you receive only a small percentage of water at the end. When you remove your foot from the hose and the flow is unrestricted, you receive the normal amount of water. The same scenario can be applied to your brain and spinal cord. If one of your nerves is pinched or under pressure, the flow of neural impulses to your brain becomes restricted and your reaction time may slow. Therefore, in order for your brain and nervous system function properly, you must have proper spinal alignment. Also, according to Dr. Sperry’s research, 90% of the brain’s energy output is used in relating the body to gravity. Only 10% of this output has to do with metabolism, thinking, and healing. Therefore, when your posture or spinal alignment is abnormal, your brain is forced to rob energy from your immune function, thinking, and metabolism to deal with unusual posture and processing.
So, what is normal spinal alignment? When many people think of the word aligned, they think of a spine that is straight. Alignment does NOT mean a straight spine. In fact, the healthy spine has a number of gentle curves which are normal. When these curves are irregular in any way, the spine is considered to be out of alignment. Misalignment can be caused by injuries, accidents, poor sleeping posture, disease, and even cumulative trauma disorders.
How can a chiropractor help me? The goal of a chiropractic doctor is to restore function, prevent future injury, and relieve pain. A chiropractor usually starts by looking at your medical history, performing a physical examination, and may also use lab tests or diagnostic imaging (X-ray) to determine if treatment is appropriate for you. A common treatment plan may involve spinal adjustments, nutritional counseling, massage therapy, and exercise/rehabilitation according to the needs of the patient.
The question is, how healthy do you feel? If you suffer from chronic pain, discomfort, or fatigue – what steps have you made to seek treatment? If you haven’t found relief, it may be time to consider alternative health methods. Today, over 22 million Americans receive chiropractic treatment annually. An examination of your spine may help you discover any underlying issues and get you on the right path of action, helping you avoid prescription drugs and even invasive treatment such as surgery. Get informed, and take charge of your health today!