October Is National Chiropractic
October is National Chiropractic Health Month. During this month, the American Chiropractic Association is focusing on how “musculoskeletal health leads to strength, stability and ultimately the success of a life lived more fully and actively”. Millions of chiropractic patients worldwide can attest to the accuracy of this statement. Chiropractic has helped people around the world by finding and adjusting what is called the Vertebral Subluxation Complex. I’ve discussed this in the past, but I think it is worthwhile to revisit what a subluxation is because it is at the heart of what chiropractic is all about. See how chiropractic care at Balanced Health Chiropractic Centers in Zeeland and Grand Rapids can help you!
The process goes something like this… We get a spinal misalignment/altered biomechanics from any number of things; stepping off a curb wrong, sleeping on our stomach, slips/falls, accidents, poor workstation ergonomics, poor posture and on and on; the list is nearly endless. Once the misalignment occurs, surrounding muscles, joints and nerves are affected. This may create muscle spasm or tightness. It may feel like you “pulled a muscle”. The joint may become inflamed creating sharp pain in the short term, or a more chronic achy pain/stiffness/soreness, in the long term as the joint degenerates. The nerve exiting the spine may become irritated in some way too. On occasion it may be “pinched”, but more often it is stretched, pulled, scraped or irritated by surrounding inflammation. This can result in numbness, tingling or burning down an arm or leg, headaches, or muscle spasms to name a few.
Unfortunately, subluxations don’t always result in a symptom we can feel right away. That seems like an odd statement so let me explain what I mean. Everything in the body is controlled directly, or indirectly, by the nervous system. When you tell your arm to move, it moves because your brain sends a signal down the nerves telling the arm what to do. We all know and understand this idea, but it is way more complex and intricate than just that. The brain is constantly sending and receiving information/messages/instructions through all of the nerves that travel down and out of the spinal canal. How does your arm move?...Nerves. Now, think of essentially anything going on in your body right now (digesting lunch, keeping blood sugar stable, keeping body temperature at 98.6 degrees, fighting infections, etc.) and it is being controlled directly or indirectly by your nerves or nervous system as well.
Chiropractic Care in Zeeland and Grand Rapids
It’s a great design. Just imagine if you had to consciously think about every process in your body at all times; you couldn’t do it. Your nervous system does it for you on “auto-pilot”. That’s great! Consider, however, that most of the nerves that are taking care of these functions do not carry pain signals. That’s fine, until a subluxation occurs. Without a pain signal, how do you know something is wrong? As an analogy, think of a garden. If the hose supplying water to the garden were somehow kinked or “pinched”, the hose would still deliver water to the garden, just not the usual amount. There is a good chance you wouldn’t notice right away. The garden would continue to grow, just not as well as it could grow. The garden may survive, but not thrive. It may take you a while to recognize that there is a problem and if you don’t recognize it soon enough, the damage will be done and the effects on the garden will become irreversible.
So it goes with subluxations. If the subluxation irritates a nerve involved in the function of your immune system, digestive system, circulatory system, etc., there is a good chance you won’t know, because there often isn’t any pain signal. In fact, it is quite likely that this will not result in any immediate perceptible symptom at all. Your immune system will still function, just maybe not as well as it could. Your digestive system or circulatory system, etc. will still function, just maybe not as well as they could. Will you recognize this soon enough? I hope so.
We would like to help. One way to help detect these subluxations is to give us a call. Our teams in Zeeland and Grand Rapids specialize in finding and adjusting subluxations…ones you can feel, and ones you can’t. Just because the initial pain from the subluxation may go away, does that really mean everything is OK? Something else to ponder… it’s commonly accepted as a good idea to get your teeth checked twice a year for cavities, even if you don’t have any pain (toothache). Perhaps it’s a good idea to get your spine checked for subluxations, even if you don’t have any pain. Encourage those you care about to do the same.