Everett Chiropractic Center Blog

October 24, 2012

The “Chiropractic Reflex”

A Little Oversimplified:-)

B = brain cell
SC= spinal cord
N = nerve
M = muscle
J = joint

I use this graphic to explain to new patients how the chiropractic adjustment has it’s effects on the body in restoring health.

When the joint doesn’t move well… the nerve signal leaving the joint going to the spinal cord is abnormal. Incoming abnormal impulses result in outgoing abnormal impulses to the muscle making it (almost always) too tight. Tight muscles crossing an already restricted joint don’t help and result in a perpetuation of abnormal nerve signals. And the cycle repeats. (This “abnormal motor pattern” termed the “Subluxation” or “Subluxation Complex” in chiropractic jargon, goes by other names in other disciplines.)

When present, this Subluxation Complex is often associated with pain, though it may not be. The abnormal wear and tear on the joints causes them to break down (become arthritic), the abnormal stress on muscles causes them to break down (becoming fibrotic – like scar tissue). The abnormal nerve function causes it to break down (the abnormal reflexes are memorized by the nerve system making recovery more complicated and longer, if not impossible).

The chiropractic “Adjustment” restores motion to the restricted joint. The nerve signals normalize going into the spinal cord. Because the outgoing signals are a reflex, normal incoming means normal outgoing – to the muscles which can now relax. The whole cycle now functions normally.

Certain effects have been observed as a result of people receiving chiropractic spinal adjustments. Among them are relief from pain, relaxation, improved sleep, increased energy, improved physical performance. We now know there are positive changes in the brain and improvements in immune, digestive and respiratory function as well in some people. Other effects include a decrease in the use of medication, decreased need for surgery, and cost savings to the patient, the employer and the entire health care system.

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