Our spines are physical columns that have to stand in gravity for a lifetime. If they have good shape (posture) and movement then the body's natural tendancy to adapt to its surrounding gravity environment ensures that we maintain strong bones and healthy joints. If, however, we have bad posture and less than ideal movement then our adaption is unhealthy and degeneration or osteoarthritis occurs.
Your posture is a window into the condition of our nervous system. It reveals how we adapt to stress and it can reveal our lifestyle! Just standing erect requires the coordination (by your nervous system) of 200 muscles. No wonder those with poor posture complain of being tired!
Initially degeneration will occur without symptoms, but these areas of stress gradually worsen until stiffness and pain are experienced.
As lack of mobility in the spinal joints worsen, other very important things occur. The discs in the vertebral column are vital in their main functions of providing flexibility whilst acting as spacers between the vertebrae allowing the nerve roots to leave the spinal cord unimpeded. Unfortunately these discs do not have a blood supply and completely rely on movement to pump in fresh nutrician and pump out the waste products produced by metabolism. Without normal motion in these joints the discs dry out and we see a build up of metabolic waste (CO2, lactic acid etc).
The discs lose their structural qualities and integrity and they can fail, leading to prolapse or herniation with resultant pressure on the spinal cord.
As degeneration continues, the body tries to help itself; it tightens muscles around the joints and sends inflammation to the area to prevent motion. This unfortunately worsens the problem as normal physiology is interrupted further.
Initially your chiropractor will adjust or manipulate the affected joints and restore some normal function; improved range of motion, better blood supply and more normalised joint neurology. As pain is reduced it is absolutely necessary to address the cause of the problem or the situation will gradually worsen. Your CBP doctor will work to slowly change the shape of the spine back towards physiological normal, whilst improving it’s movement or biomechanics. This is done using very specific chiropractic adjustments, specially designed stretching or traction machines in our office and providing specific exercises to improve spinal stability.
Because our living cells are constantly being replaced, we have a tremendous opportunity to consistently improve the structure and therefore function of our spines.