How Chiropractic Works!
The science is finally catching up to the "miracles" that occur when the brain and body are communicating free of interference. Nerd out with us below : )
The Vagus Nerve: Immune Health and Anxiety
Vagus nerve on immune health and on parasympathetic states.
Let's be honest, life is stressful. Whether we are driving in rush hour traffic, dealing with financial or emotional stress, have too much pressure at work, sit all day at work, beat up our bodies, you name it, life takes it's toll.
As we continue to battle through life's challenges, stress tends to compound. As these stressors stack and stack and stack, we reach a point where our body needs to kick into overdrive to help us get through. This overdrive system is our sympathetic nervous system. Our fight or flight response. Our bodies prepare to fight or run from a bear, only there is no bear for that outlet to use that elevated heart rate, our increased blood pressure etc. Now we are facing these modern day stressors with our body ramped up in go mode. Over time, as these stressors compile, our body has a harder and harder time shifting back into our parasympathetic state, the state where we are able to rest, digest and heal. In this state we are running on cortisol, and less energy devoted to our immune system, to the organs that allow our body to run optimally and eventually this leads to burn out and adrenal fatigue.
Here is where Chiropractic can really help. We have this long wandering nerve that influences our heart rate, our blood pressure, our respiratory rate, regulates our digestive organs and helps our body perform those functions we want it to. This is called our vagus nerve. It runs just in front of our Atlas, that top bone in our neck, the one that our skull sits on. Research is now showing that just 1 adjustment of that Atlas can help activate the vagus nerve, encouraging a shift into a parasympathetic state, AND up regulating the nervous system.
There are many causes of Sciatic Pain. The most common I see, and the easiest to visualize, comes from a shifting of the sacrum, and a spasm of the piriformis muscle. First we must appreciate that the Sciatic Nerve is formed by a joining of nerves that exit under L4, L5, and that come out of the sacrum, then it travels underneath the piriformis muscle and down the back of our leg. So if we see some shifting of these segments, or any tension stored in the many muscles, fascia, and ligaments that comprise our low back, hips, sacrum and pelvis, and/or that piriformis muscle tightens down, it can pull pressure on this joining of nerves and really hurt!
We will asses the positioning of your sacrum, pelvis and lower lumbars, feel how these tension patterns work their way up your back and down your leg, and adjust/ release tension accordingly. This helps that spasmed piriformis muscle calm down, takes tension off of the nerves that form the sciatica nerve and help reduce and rid sciatica pain.
Posterior view of sacrum, piriformis and sciatic nerve
+ add quote from sciatica pt
Chiropractic and Pregnancy
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Joint Positioning: Neck Pain, Back Pain, Joint Pain. Ease of Movements and Muscle Tone
It is easy to visualize how if a joint is stuck it's movement is impaired and it's really uncomfortable. This is one of the most common experiences people can visualize when coming into the office. Someone comes in with limited range of motion, with or without a "crick" in their neck, the muscles around the area are super tight, and massage isn't quite getting the job done. We free the restrictions in the joints between the vertebrae that aren't moving well and vuala! You can move more, that movement is much more smooth, your muscle tension dissipates and the pain subsides. We adjust necks, backs, SI Joints, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, ankles, even cranial bones. Repetitive use, physical traumas, and even emotional insults and stressors can cause these joints and the muscle/fascia around them to get tensed up.
This is your Nervous System dealing with the traumas and stressors of life. The harder your Nervous System is working, the more often it can use a hand getting reset (like the electrical reset on your computer or electrical outlet). This is due to a phenomenon known as the "Vertebral Subluxation Complex". Subluxations occurs when joints shift out of place, altering the communication to and from the brain and whatever is on the other end of the nerves around that stuck joint. The brain controls and monitors literally every function in your body, and it communicates with every thing via your nervous system. The brain extends into the spine via the spinal cord, and nerves branch of your spinal cord, out of the spine, to connect your brain with every cell and tissue in your body. When a vertebrae shifts out of place, this creates some inflammation around the place where the nerve exits and it's function is altered. Between that and the aberrant movement of the stuck joint the muscles and fascia tighten up around it, creating the icky feeling we recognize as tension and tightness. At Evolve Family Chiropractic we offer 10 and 20 minute adjustments to help you feel how these tension patterns are connected throughout your body and use various force applications to help you release this tension so you are capable of handling more stress and of moving more smoothly and comfortably in your life!
Schalow, Philip R., et al. “Secretory Immunoglobulin A and Upper Cervical Chiropractic: A Preliminary Prospective, Multicenter, Observational Study.” Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, vol. 20, no. 3, 2021, pp. 121–127, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcm.2021.10.003.
(Vagus nerve immune study)