When spinal misalignments happen the body experiences soreness, inability to rotate the neck, or after sitting/standing in one position for too long hip and leg discomfort/pain. This is why spinal alignment is so crucial to healthy living. These examples help to illustrate the delicate balance required in the spine to maintain optimal health, stay pain-free, prevent injury, and the ability to conduct everyday chores/responsibilities without the fear and anxiety of setting off pain symptoms.
Understanding how pain is processed
Pain is a complex sensation. Neural pain receptors, also known as nociceptors detect harmful stimulation/s in the form of:
- Body Temperature changes
- Mechanical forces and pressure on the body
- Chemical changes in the body brought on by inflammation or cell damage
How the signal transmits from the stimulated nerve and how it is perceived depends on the upper levels of neural activity in the body. Specifically, the spinal cord, brainstem, and the brain. Examples of pain perceptions:
- Mood levels
- Stress levels
- General health
- Other sensations the body could be experiencing
- Previous pain generating experiences – auto accident, work injury, etc.
Spinal Misalignments and Balance
Pain is essential for alerting the body when engaged in activities, and body positions that can cause damage to the tissues like poor postures, work/sports/personal injuries, inflammatory foods, etc. The nerves’ pain pathways can experience overstimulation when the system is overloaded.
Excessive stimulation can be brought on by chronic inflammation, mood disorders, and poor health. One overlooked issue with the perception of pain is the health/effectiveness of the actual neural pathways. The nerve’s energy is affected by spinal misalignments. Proper nerve health and circulation are crucial for the body to transmit proper pain signals. Spinal misalignments can be brought on by:
- Chronic poor posture
- Other imbalances in the body
- Can lead to major dysfunction of the nerves pathways
The longer the pain and discomfort go on the more intense/severe the issues can become. This is when pain and discomfort become chronic leaving individuals feeling hopeless, frustrated.
The spine does more than provide stability. Any type of spinal misalignments will affect the rest of the body as well. Possible symptoms that the spine is out of alignment includes:
- Chronic headaches
- Frequent illnesses
- Lower back pain
- Neck pain
- Hip pain
- Knee pain
- Numbness/tingling in the hands or feet
- Walking gait abnormalities causing one shoe to wear out quicker than the other
Many treatments focus on masking the pain rather than addressing the underlying root cause. This can lead to a chronic pain cycle and dependence on pain medications and invasive treatment. Chiropractic is a science-based approach that focuses on getting to the root issue. Chiropractic utilizes gentle and effective techniques like:
- Exercise regimen
- Stretching regimen
- Body mechanics training
- Health nutritional education
When the body is aligned and the spinal nerves are healthy, an individual’s pain perception will be changed for optimal functionality.
Body composition goals
The first step is to reduce caloric intake by changing/adjusting dietary nutritional habits. Individuals can experiment with various types of diets and regular exercise regimens, and getting into the habit of getting the proper amount of sleep. Depending on an individual’s existing muscle mass, gaining Lean Body Mass first could be an option. An individual may be able to lose fat and gain muscle because:
- Increased muscle mass will increase the Basal Metabolic Rate/metabolism, and if no extra calories are added body fat can be shed while building muscle.
- Lifting weights can increase Total Daily Energy Expenditure, causing the body to burn more calories.
Circuit training is one option for improving changes in body composition while not affecting changes in overall body weight. This means muscle gain and fat loss is happening at the same time.
Dr. Alex Jimenez’s Blog Post Disclaimer
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.*
Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
Dubinsky RM, Miyasaki J.Assessment: Efficacy of transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation in the treatment of pain in neurologic disorders (an evidence-based review). Report of the Therapeutics and Technology Assessment Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology. 2010;74:173-176.
Shrier I. Does stretching help prevent injuries? Evidence-based Sports Medicine. Williston, VT: BMJ Books; 2002.