Function vs Structure
Many people know and love chiropractic for its pain-relieving effects. Many aspects to muscle and joint pain come from nerve irritation or subluxation. This is an example of a segmental subluxation or a specific area of the spine that experiences loss of proper motion and impacts the function of the nerve. However, there is another type of subluxation that is less known and discussed and that involves more the posture or global structure of the spine. This encompasses more of the ligamentous piece of the spine and requires distortion to change and bring back to proper position. Below is an example of a postural subluxation that we are working on with a patient.
In an ideal world, we need both proper function and structure in order to restore optimum health in the body. So, here at Chiropractic Health and Wellness, this is our goal! First, we must target the function of the spine and optimize specific and proper movements to rid the body of segmental spinal subluxation. We incorporate what is called ‘mirror image adjusting’ to help stimulate the brain and joint receptors throughout the body. By putting the body in a particular position and sending stimulus into the large joints, we help to trigger the body to stay in this position.
Next, we incorporate specific postural exercises that target our conscious muscle activation. We teach our patients how to engage particular muscle groups to put them into the desired posture. This is the ‘active’ part of the spinal rehab, allowing the brain to work towards optimum posture. Pictured here is a patient practicing her postural exercises. Please note that this is a mirror of her x-ray pictured above.
Finally, we use spinal traction to target the ligaments which is the more passive, rigid aspect of the soft tissue. Ligaments are not consciously controlled and are less flexible than muscles and, therefore, must be pulled with force in order to change. There are millions of different patterns that might be targeted, depending on the person but below you will see one pictured.
After a traction program is completed, we retake x-rays to determine change and what might need to be done moving forward. We see great results here at our clinic and love that our patients get relief!